Already more academics and policy-makers are pressing for better scientific evidence.
For example, see William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter and Mark Burgman, “Policy: Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims”, Nature, Vol 503, No 7476, 20 November 2013 [ www.nature.com/news/policy-twenty-tips-for-interpreting-scientific-claims-1.14183 ]
According to Chris Sims, chief constable of Britain’s second biggest force, ‘The criminal justice system belongs in a domain of serious crime. We do it no favours if we clutter it up with things that are better dealt with by other means.’
Chris Sims QPM, Chief Constable West Midlands Police, The Times, London, 23 November 2009, p. 15.
And in his valedictory address in 2012 the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Denis O’Connor, made an open plea for radical change. ‘Preventative policing has ebbed and flowed over my forty years-plus in the Service. It now needs to be nurtured [otherwise] we will be looking not at reform but at decline.’
Sir Denis O’Connor CBE QPM, ‘The importance of a plan to win’, Valedictory Lecture, 11 September 2012, Policy Exchange, London.
In fact ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers is philosophically already there. Its core principles are as follows:
1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.