'Total policing' requires doing less, not more

Article By: Prof Martin Innes

The Metropolitan police has a new mission – to deliver "total policing" to the people of London.

This week, Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new commissioner, set out his vision of what this involves: about how modern policing is multidimensional, encompassing a diversity of tasks beyond just preventing and detecting crime. He suggests total policing requires "a total war on criminals", "total victim care", and being totally professional. In so doing, he is seeking a more rounded depiction of the police function in society than those formulations that pivot around just one aspect (crime-fighting, zero-tolerance policing, intelligence-led policing, etc). But if it is to be a viable policing model, then three key problems cannot be overlooked.

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