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Four Themes in UK Policing: Key Insights from the Day 2 Conference Keynote


To start the second day of the Police Client Conference, Ali Motion presented observations on the evolving landscape of UK Policing, encapsulated in four overarching themes.

Unprecedented Changes in Demand and Complexity

The first theme delves into the unprecedented changes in demand and complexity faced by police forces. Fraud offences have surged by 98%, recorded sexual offences have tripled, and computer misuse increased by 89% in the last two years. These crime types demand intricate investigations, leading to challenges such as establishing thresholds for fraud, implementing Operation Soteria for sexual offences, and growing CEOPs teams for computer misuse.

Workforce Transformations and Growing Pains

The second theme revolves around significant changes in the police workforce. New recruits tend to end up on Response teams that are facing substantial growing pains, lacking experience and contributing to higher levels of abstraction. Factors like increased time on scene; increased double crewing, and political pressure have led to concerns. Despite a massive influx of resources, there are still substantial vacancies in skilled positions, impacting response performance for many forces across England and Wales.

Trust and Public Confidence Under Pressure

The third theme highlights the ongoing pressure on trust and public confidence in policing. Macro conditions, high-profile cases, and the impact of social media trials are all influencing public perception. This all permeates into an environment where simple problems, such as a delay in service response, create further issues for forces struggling to not only manage and meet the expectations of the public, but also maintain a level of trust.

Focus and Scrutiny on Planning for the Future

The fourth theme emphasises the critical importance of planning for the future. With increased access to quality data, the planning process becomes fundamental to shaping the future workforce. Notably, not all forces have a strong grip on workforce planning, leading to questions about vacancies in specific units. Proper workforce planning, when executed effectively, results in increased control and confidence in long-term plans. The need for strategic planning in facilities, resourcing, and horizon scanning, tactical sizing of resource requirements, and operational support is crucial for the future of policing.

In conclusion, Ali presentation shed light on the complex challenges faced by UK policing today and the strategic considerations needed for navigating an ever-changing landscape. As we look toward the future, the key lies in adaptability, effective planning, and a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted issues at hand.

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