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Principles of effective policing

Published:Tuesday | April 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I remember reading recently that the police were now seriously worried over the lack of cooperation they were receiving from the general public during their investigations.

Maybe they should consider the nine principles for an effective police force drawn up by Sir Robert Peel in the early 1800s. These are really the tenets that we, as the general public, should be expecting our police to operate under.

The duties are:

1. To prevent crime and disorder;

2. To recognise that its ability to perform is dependent on public support;

3. to recognise that it needs the cooperation of the public in the voluntary observance of the law;

4. to recognise that its ability to earn cooperation diminishes in direct proportion to its need to use physical force;

5. Impartial observance of the law is paramount;

6. Force should only be used when the power of persuasion is exhausted;

7. Be aware that the police are the public and the public are the police;

8. Recognise that the police should never be seen to be usurping the powers of the judiciary;

9. Recognise that the absence of crime, not the enforcement of law, is its greatest test.

We must realise that no police force is perfect, but a strong one depends on an unbreakable bond between it and the general public whom they serve.

The public and the police must now work together if the latter are to succeed.

The above is something to implement, not talk about in endless committees!

I am, etc.,