British governments routinely discover that the gap between policy and practice – between what is decided in Whitehall and what happens on the ground – is one of the hardest to bridge.
A Force For Change is based on Demos’s experience over two years in guiding groups of senior police officers through a ‘futures thinking’ exercise, using four scenarios designed to help them think about the strategic context for policing in 2020. Based on interviews with over 150 senior police officers, the report argues that reform of the police force must be 'future proof'.
It proposes that, instead of the incremental change being envisaged, the 43 police forces in England and Wales should be scrapped and replaced with no more than a dozen regional forces. The report’s authors also propose that police authorities should be abolished and replaced by more democratic forms of control, modelled on the management structures used for SureStart and Foundation Hospitals.