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Inquiry into policing

The Home Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry looking into whether forces are equipped to deal with the rapid growth in technology and the challenges and opportunities it creates.

It aims to explore the challenges of modern policing and examine whether forces are sufficiently equipped and resourced to keep the public safe and to respond effectively to evolving demands and changing patterns of crime.

Advances in technology have led to new forms of crime and have enabled other crimes to move online, changing their nature and impact on victims and communities.

These advances in technology have also generated new opportunities for the police, at a time of increasing focus on efficiency and innovation.

Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Yvette Cooper MP said: "Police forces are facing multiple new and emerging challenges in their quest to protect the public from harm, including the growth of online crime and the pressures generated by non-crime demands, such as mental health crisis work.

"Ongoing funding reductions mean there is continuing demand for new efficiency measures, and technological change provides new opportunities for innovation.

"We are seeking written and oral evidence on the reforms which might be required to ensure that our police are fit for purpose, cost effective and open to innovation and technological change."


The terms of reference for the inquiry include:

  • Current and future crime trends and their implications for policing in England and Wales, including emerging or growing categories of crime (such as online crime and child sexual abuse) and under-reported types of crime.
  • The extent to which the police are sufficiently equipped to deal with these changing patterns of crime and other operational demands, such as mental health crisis work, and where gaps in capacity and capability are likely to lie.
  • The relationship between public expectations of the police, including desired visibility and perceived priorities, and the operational realities of policing within the current financial context.
  • Police funding levels, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, including the role of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in driving innovation and reform.
  • The role of digital technology in policing, including take-up, risks and barriers to use.
  • International best practice examples of innovation in policing, and the extent to which they could be replicated in England and Wales.

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted online by midday on 16 February.
Send a written submission via the Policing for the Future Inquiry page