July 12, 2006

Size matters

Hell hath no fury like a former Cabinet minister scorned.
Sacked as Home Secretary two months ago, Charles Clarke has launched a strong attack on the government over the possible collapse of the police merger programme.
He criticised the decision to halt the voluntary merger between the Lancashire and Cumbria forces - and said the decison would jeapordise the government's entire police reform programme.
As the paper published by Owen Patterson MP (available on our side bar) details there is no country where effective policing is achieved with police forces modeled on the system the former Home Secretary proposed.
Owen Patterson's researchers examined police 'best practice' accross the world, from Europe to America and Japan. Many examples of effective policeing could be found but none in units of the scale proposed by Charles Clarke. Further examination of polic structures will confirm that nowhere in the 'Western World' is size regarded as the chief cirterion on which force capability is judged.
The former Home Secretary should be big enough to admit that the merger plans were rushed into print principly to placate John Prescott's regionalisation plans.

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