|Police in uniform march on the 2003 UK Gay Pride March, |
the first year gay police officers were allowed to march in
uniform. Photograph: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images
How do you turn our police force into an open and accountable institution? The principle of appointing police crime commissioners, for one, originally came from the desire to achieve this. I opposed it, because I believe that politics should be kept out of policing. However, I am more open to the proposals made by Theresa May on Wednesday, introducing direct entry to senior ranks in the police service.
These days, policing demands a more complex managerial approach to law enforcement, and the challenges necessitate strong command and leadership. For example, with more than 31,000 officers the Metropolitan police is London's biggest single employer – but the English capital is also one of the most ethnically diverse cities on the planet. These days the police service is much less defensive than it was 30 years ago, when recruitment was limited mainly to white, heterosexual men; being openly different from the norm was met with suspicion – you remained outside "the gang". Read the full article...>