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Priti Patel considering police 'league tables' to rank forces' crime fighting
22 April 2021, 14:05
Priti Patel is drawing up plans for police "league tables" to rank forces by their success in cutting serious crime, reports suggest.
Police chiefs have been told they will be measured on six crime types including homicide, violence and cybercrime, according to reports in The Times.
But some chief constables have warned it would be a return to targets as the Home Office seeks a crackdown on violent crime.
The system of "national crime and policing measures" was branded as being "akin to league tables".
But a Government source told the newspaper they were not classified as targets and were more about tracking progress as part of making sure forces are held to account.
In a letter, policing minister Kit Malthouse reportedly said the plan would provide "national accountability and collective responsibility" but "does not represent a return to force-led numerical targets".
Harvey Redgrave, chief executive of criminal justice consultancy Crest Advisory, said: "We would need to see the detail, but on the face of it there is nothing wrong with the Government seeking to publish comparable performance information across different police force areas."
But he added: "Purely outcome-based measures are a poor way to hold policing to account."
A Home Office spokeswoman told the newspaper: "The public expects the Government to work with the police to cut crime and keep them safe."
At a police conference in February last year Ms Patel told chiefs cutting crime was "non-negotiable" and there must be "no weak spots" in efforts to do so.
She told them she was "unequivocal" in her support for officers but added: "I will be unapologetic about holding you to account."
It prompted National Police Chiefs' Council chairman Martin Hewitt to set a three-year target for results, saying improvements in tackling crime must be felt by the public by April 2023 or "we will have failed".