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‘Damaging’ force league tables should be scrapped

Police officers have called for the government to scrap planned league tables for regional forces that could spark the ‘return to a damaging, target-driven culture’.

Originally reported by The Times, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse announced in a letter to police chiefs that forces would be assessed on their ability to reduce homicide, serious violence, drug supply, neighbourhood violence and cybercrime, as well as on victim satisfaction.

It is believed that new benchmarks will incorporate recorded crime, hospital admissions for stabbings, referrals to drug treatment programmes and other figures.

The Police Federation of England and Wales said the plans would result in a return to a ‘damaging, target-driven culture’ and urged the government to reconsider.

John Apter, chair of the federation, said: “Mechanisms for holding individuals and forces to account are in place, and we are already amongst the most scrutinised professionals in the world. My message to the government would be to stop and think before returning to the mistakes of their predecessors. Targets in policing are not new, and we have seen before that when resources become scarce, forces focus on targets to the exclusion of other issues.”

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