Priti Patel considering police 'league tables' to rank forces' crime fighting

22 April 2021, 14:05

Reports suggest Priti Patel is drawing up plans to rank police forces in league tables
Reports suggest Priti Patel is drawing up plans to rank police forces in league tables. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

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.

READ MORE: Met recruiting thousands more officers in 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.

Police chiefs have warned the rumoured plans will be a return to targets
Police chiefs have warned the rumoured plans will be a return to targets. Picture: PA Images

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."

READ MORE: Some police forces failed to follow coronavirus self-isolation rules, report finds

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."

Police forces are coming under increasing pressure to crack down on crime
Police forces are coming under increasing pressure to crack down on crime. Picture: PA Images

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".

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