Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Met Chief's Plans Deserve Support

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Met Chief's Plans Deserve Support

Article excerpt

THE NEW Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, missed his man when he joined today's series of dawn raids on burglars and robbers.

The suspect concerned had been picked up in the small hours during a break-in elsewhere, which rather spoiled the stunt. Nonetheless, Sir Paul deserves credit for breaking down some recent policing orthodoxies.

The Commissioner has announced that officers will in future patrol singly rather than in pairs, wherever possible. For too long we were told that officers could not go out alone because one was needed to summon help while the other grappled with the suspect. But most police activity is not like that. Much of it is about being visible to the public. That deters opportunistic criminals, reduces the fear of crime and encourages witnesses to come forward.

In turn, a virtuous spiral should develop of fewer opportunities for crime, better chances of arrest when incidents do occur and more confidence in the force. …

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