Policing needs to look much further ahead if it is to prepare for the threats and challenges of the future, says the head of the body that represents senior operational police officers.
Responding to the launch of the Policing Vision 2025 by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Chief Superintendent Gavin Thomas, President of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, said:
“The Policing Vision 2025 is a very welcome step for the service but I would like to see thinking and planning that looks much further ahead.
“The service – and society – needs a policing futures strategy that looks into the middle of this century, well beyond the short-term time scales that currently influence the management of change and the development of strategy in policing.
“I want to see a well-researched and evidence-based futures strategy that considers the threats, risks and opportunities for policing. The service, academia and the science and technology fields, and policy makers need to join together in producing a vision and a plan that can guide critical decision-making and will remain relevant and fresh through regular re-assessment.
“This approach will help policing to get ahead of the curve, rather than playing catch up as we are today. If we had such a strategy even 10 years ago we may have been in a different place on issues that are affecting the public now, such as cyber crime, the proliferation of online fraud and internet-enabled abuse of children.
“Leadership is not just about leading people in the here and now, but also about understanding what the risks, threats and opportunities are for the society, and therefore for the police service, beyond our own tenure.”