Policing Matters: Recruitment, Training and Motivation

Anthony Howlett Bolton, Anthony Burden, Tony Caplin, David Ramsbotham, Kate Rutherford, Chris Woodhead
edited by Sheila Lawlor

November 2005

Public Confidence in the police is declining as crime, both national and international, causes grave anxiety. What can be done to maintain law and order and protect the public from criminal activity? The Home Office’s latest plan is to cut the number of forces, but its approach to reform by blueprint and target has not enjoyed success. The problem, this study suggests, is more fundamental. At every stage, policing is beset by low standards and dismal expectations. Unlike other bodies, the police do not recruit the most able or seek the highly qualified graduates needed to lead the force. The training system is erratic and the employment structure does not reward ability and achievement.
Politeia’s distinguished commissioners analyse the implications for policing in the country, identifying the weaknesses in the system and suggesting how they should be tackled. The study concludes with a series of recommended measures which will improve the standard of policing at every stage and also allow for the development of a national specialist force.