Key Links



Death Penalty


Justice System





Practitioner Links

Domestic Violence

Mental Disorder

Restorative Justice

Sex Offenders

Substance Misuse



News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

Police have become bogged down in a ‘snow-storm’ of guidance at the expense of their availability to the public HMIC's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Denis O’Connor, has stated.

Addressing senior members of police forces and police authorities, he said that the overly cautious approach of the service resulted in the production of 2615 pages of guidance for officers last year alone. The production of “guidance” around particular risks and legislation which has been “rising year on year” is leading to a growth of specialists and less visible officers being available to the general public.

Sir Denis said:

 “In the last year, alone 52 new guidance documents were produced for the police amounting to 2615 pages. These manuals contained over 4000 new promises, covering duties such as policing international cricket matches and data collection for missing persons. If all the pages from currently available national guidance (6497 pages) were laid end to end they would be three times higher than the Eiffel tower.”

Officers becoming experts in specialist areas of knowledge means fewer police officers are left to deal with everyday policing tasks, resulting in a steady drift away from frontline policing. Sir Denis said:

 “In the last four years there has been a 30.9% increase in officers covering national functions such as Counter Terrorism, an 8.8% rise in investigators and a 2.4% fall in the number of uniform officers policing our communities, equating to around 1,400 officers. This fall has been masked by the introduction of Police Community Support Officers”.

The vast volume seeks to cover all possible outcomes no matter how unlikely. And it affects officer behaviours; for example, officers now feel the need to escort drunk people home just in case they later come to some harm.

Sir Denis concluded:

“The British model of policing is built around the presence of bobbys on the beat, preventing crime. The more policy aimed at eliminating all possible risks, the less time officers are available to those who need them.”