The police watchdog has warned that public trust in the police is “hanging by a thread” as many do not trust cops following a series of “dreadful” scandals.
Cops have been arrested for rape, murder and assault and the police service is now at a “historic turning point” and Chief inspector of constabulary Andy Cooke insisted there is the need for “definitive action.”
He stressed that standards must improve instead of police forces using “glossy strategies and mission statements” that do nothing.
Cooke said that sweeping reforms are needed and that more scrutiny on vetting and recruitment is required and he is seriously urging the Home Secretary Suella Braverman to give strong consideration to his proposals.
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Cooke said, “Through the withdrawal from neighbourhood policing and the dysfunctionality of the criminal justice system, some critical elements – the police’s governance, leadership and workforce arrangements – need substantial reform.
“Included in that reform should be additional powers for the inspectors of constabulary so we can make changes happen when they’re needed.
“Too often we’ve seen forces failing to act, or not acting quickly enough, to address our recommendations. This includes a power for me as chief inspector to give directions to a police force where there are serious public safety concerns.”
He said that since 2016 the watchdog has constantly been raising concerns of abuse of power and vetting of police officers.
Cooke added, “And in those seven years, we had some truly horrendous acts by police officers. Now I’m not sitting here saying that wouldn’t have happened if they would have done our recommendations earlier.
“But surely the question’s got to be asked if I could direct around those issues, as opposed to recommending, a lot more would have been done a lot quicker.”