Centralising our police forces would be a terrible idea

Policing needs to be brought closer to our communities, not made more remote

If the British public is to feel any benefit from the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers, then it needs to be clear that an expanded force will focus on public priorities rather than chasing political fashions.

Research commissioned by this newspaper shows that the proportion of crimes being solved has fallen to the lowest level recorded, and that courts are standing idle as police and prosecutors fail to bring cases to trial. At the same time, allegedly overstretched officers are finding time to record thousands of ‘non-crime hate incidents’, of which it seems there is always a plentiful supply on social media….

There is a yawning chasm between the priorities of the police and those of the public 

An extra 20,000 officers will mean little if they aren’t policing the crimes people care about

A few months ago, a police and crime commissioner advised women who are wolf-whistled or catcalled in the street to call 999 if they felt threatened. It was the latest example of the change in priorities that has further widened the gap between what the public wants and what the police do.

If you have been burgled, there is little point in contacting the police unless the intruders are still in the house, other than to get a crime number for insurance purposes. The chances of an investigation being conducted are slim. The same is true for car crime, where the police have all but given up entirely….

Why are the police at war with free speech?

To make good decisions, a society must have healthy discussions even if it is offensive to some people

Perhaps it would simplify things if the 999 dialling service was amended. From now on it might say: “Press ‘1’ for ambulance, 2 for police, 3 for fire-service and 4 for thought-police.” Although given current priorities, perhaps the thought-police option should be offered first.

The thought is prompted by the case of Harry Miller, heard at the High Court this week. Mr Miller is a former police officer who was contacted by Humberside Police in January after a complaint that a number of tweets he had published were “transphobic”.

Such door-knocking is a growing and disturbing trend. In recent…

The police must rethink its Orwellian obsession with ‘transphobia’ 

Police officers cannot take it upon themselves to act as the custodians of proper opinion

If there is an event that captures the lunacies of modern life, it is a hearing currently taking place in the High Court in London. The case concerns a complaint about allegedly “transphobic” remarks and the police response. Harry Miller, himself a former police officer, tweeted comments about gender that a member of the public reported to Humberside constabulary.

An investigation was carried out and even though Mr Miller was told he had not committed any crime, his activity has been recorded as a hate incident under guidelines set out by the College of Policing, which oversees force standards. It defines…