Chapter 1

The autonomous approach

Policing the UK is complex. Forces must be ready to respond to the communities they serve and be possessed of the dynamism to react as they change. Any notion of permanence is misguided. Our society exists in a constant state of flux, with any number of factors, be they internal or external, influencing change at a startling pace. Police forces must react to situations that might arise entirely unforeseen. As an example, the war in Ukraine is thought to have been responsible for a surge in agricultural crime across the British countryside. Police believe criminal gangs are stealing machinery which is then smuggled into sanction-hit Russia (1). This circumstance would have been virtually impossible to predict but has required inter-force cooperation to tackle a 300% rise in the theft of agricultural machinery in England and Wales (2).

The need to react to change has in part been responsible for the evolution of today’s service. There is no single law enforcement agency in Britain. Policing is as diverse as the country itself. While standards, guidelines and, of course, the law are set at the national level, each of the 43 territorial and 3 specialist forces is very much a single entity. Each has its own priorities, and its own challenges. The earlier statistics notwithstanding, crime rates, for example, are typically higher in urban areas than in rural (3). Areas of higher population density will place comparatively higher demands on resource numbers. As a result, each force has its own budget and the autonomy to take its own approach

How Enterprise Resource Planning can help shape a force fit for the future

Police forces today deal with a diverse and unique range of challenges. There are frequently varying responsibilities, new priorities, and a continual need to support society whilst negotiating budgets

Read more