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Evaluation of police and fire reform year 4: international perspectives

Evaluation of police and fire reform year 4: international perspectives on police and fire reform.


Appendix A: Police case studies

Case Study 1: New Zealand

Demographic information

New Zealand consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, and approximately 600 smaller islands. It is located south east of Australia, in close proximity to the Pacific island area. There are 4.8 million people living mainly in urban areas on the North Island, with one third living in Auckland. 

New Zealand covers a total area of 268,000 km2 and has a 15,000 km long coastline. New Zealand also has one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world, covering more than 15 times its land area.

Structural organisation of the police

In New Zealand there is a single police service that’s responsible for policing the country. The chief executive of Police is known as the Commissioner and is appointed by the Governor General. The Commissioner of Police is accountable to the Minister of Police for the administration of police services but acts independently in carrying out law enforcement decisions.

There are 12 districts, which are administered from Police National Headquarters in Wellington, and a number of national service centres that provide administrative and specialised support, such as forensic services, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Diplomatic Protection Service. Each of the 12 districts has a District Commander and a team of Area Commanders who manage the day-to-day operations. Each district is divided into areas and has a central station from which subsidiary and suburban stations are managed.

Shape and size of police workforce

New Zealand police currently serve a population of 4.8 million with over 12,000 police staff, approximately 1 officer per 400 in the population. 

New Zealand Police is divided into 12 districts, 9 in the North Island and 3 in the South. These districts vary in the geographical area they cover. Auckland City is the smallest district and Southern Police District is the largest covering a quarter of the country’s landmass in total. Some specialised services are situated within these districts, e.g. there are Fingerprint Sections in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch as well as in Wellington. 

Brief history of police structural reform 

When reform took place

The most recent police reform began in 2011 and was called Policing Excellence. At the core of the reform was the National Operating Model which emphasised a move from a model of enforcement to prevention. The new model is called Prevention First.

Why reform occurred

Police reform in New Zealand occurred within the context of an independent investigation into policing, published in 2007. This was concerned with the way in which the New Zealand Police had dealt with allegations of sexual assault by members and associates of the Police. The investigation reflected on the need for a culture change in the police. After this report, and informed by other factors, the government made an additional investment in policing.

Main aims of reform

In New Zealand, the aim of reform was to move towards a new Police model with a prevention first focus. To achieve this there was an aim to build stronger relationships with local communities. Part of the reformed approach has included training police officers in how to more effectively engage with the public.

Where they are on reform journey

Reform in New Zealand has led to a refocusing of policing, preventing people entering the criminal justice system by working in partnership and sharing data with other agencies to solve issues at a community level. While the crime rate in New Zealand is near the lowest rate it has ever been, the demand for police services hasn’t dropped in the same way. Police are facing increases in non-crime demand areas such as mental health and family harm. This reflects wider pressure on all social agencies and changing expectations of the police.

In 2017 as part of ongoing police reform, further resources started to be invested in improving police visibility in the community and communication between the public and the police. To achieve this, the police are moving towards having a single non-emergency number for the public to call and investing in infrastructure to enable online reporting of (more) crimes. New Zealand police have also invested heavily in mobile technology which is used to reduce the gap between demand and available resources and support police visibility in the community. Investment in mobility solutions has made an important contribution to frontline capabilities over the past 4 years.

Case Study 2: Norway

Demographic information 

Norway covers a total landmass of 385,252 square kilometres and has a population of 5,302,778 people. The country shares a border with Sweden to the east, Finland and Russia to the north-east, and the Skagerrak strait to the south. Norway’s extensive coastline faces the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. Norway's core territory constitutes the most western and northerly area of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Its largest urban populations are found in the capital city of Oslo, as well as in Bergen and Stavanger. 

Structural organisation of the police

The Norwegian Police Service is the country’s civilian police agency. It is made up of a National Police Directorate, seven specialty agencies (the National Criminal Investigation Service, Norwegian Police University College, National Police Computing and Material Service, National Mobile Police Service, Norwegian Border Commissioner, National Police Immigration Service and the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime) and 12 police districts. Each of these districts is led by a chief of police and within these districts there are police stations in urban areas and sheriffs’ offices in rural areas. Sheriffs (or “Lensmann”) staff the rural offices and have a long tradition in Norway dating back to the 13th Century; though they have a different title to police officers they hold police jurisdiction over the areas they serve. The government agency is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. The Police Department and the Directorate of the Police constitutes the central authority for the police.

The prosecution service is integrated with the Police. The Higher Authority is a separate government body responsible for serious crime and appeals, while the Lower Authority of police prosecutors is responsible for all other offences. 

Shape and size of police workforce

There are currently 16,000 people working in the police, approximately 9,000 of these are Police Officers, and the rest are civilians (responsible for tasks such as border control, highway patrolling and search and rescue). With a population of 5.3 million, there is currently 1 member of the police for every 331 members of the population and 1 police officer for every 589 members of the population. With the latest reform the police force is now made up of a central National Police Directorate and 12 police districts. 

Brief history of police structural reform

When reform took place

The first reform was in 2001, and it was called “Police Reform 2000”. In 2012/13 a further reform took place following criticisms of the police after the 2011 terrorist attack in Norway.

Why reform occurred

Police reform in Norway has been ongoing since the late 1990s and is linked to wider public sector reforms. The aim of public sector reform was to make services more efficient by adapting to respond better to modern society and modern social problems.

Main aims of reform

The main aim of the first wave of reform in 2001 was to re-organise the structure of the police by reducing the number of police districts from 54 to 27. At the same time the number of local police stations was also reduced. 

Further police reform was planned in 2011 but was halted by the terrorist attack. The inquiry report into the terrorist attack criticised the Norwegian police leadership and culture and said there were failures in communication. This prompted a new White Paper on police reform, “The Police Analysis”, which came out in 2012/13. The reform that followed had 6 main aims:

1. A more accessible and present Police, anchored in, and cooperating with, local communities

2. A more uniform police, delivering the same level of services with improved quality across the country

3. A Police that has a clearer focus on prevention, investigation, and a force ready for deployment

4. A Police with improved competence and capacity, sharing knowledge, and able to learn from experience

5. A Police that gets better results in a culture of openness, trust and good management and employee involvement

6. A Police that works more efficiently by utilising better methods and new technology

Where they are on reform journey

Police reform in Norway resulted in the centralisation of the police force. The process of implementing this reform was focussed on combining existing districts into fewer, larger districts. Offices were not closed down and the intention was not to reduce police involvement within municipalities. The first wave of reform introduced in 2001 reduced the number of police districts from 54 to 27, as part of the latest wave of reform Parliament decided that this should be reduced further to 12. The specialist agencies were centralised and became subordinate to the National Police Directorate. 

Case Study 3: Netherlands

Demographic information 

Netherlands is a country located mostly in Western Europe with a population of 17.2 million. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve provinces and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

'Netherlands' literally means 'lower countries', referring to its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level.

Further, the Netherlands has a long history of social tolerance and is generally regarded as a liberal country, having legalised abortion, prostitution, and euthanasia, while maintaining a progressive drug policy.

Structural organisation of the police

Police reform in the Netherlands has created a national police force with three organisation levels: national, regional and local police teams. 

The police consist of ten regional units (not autonomous), districts as a sort of intermediary level and about 145 local basic police teams. Further, there is the National Unit and the Police Service Centre. The management is in the hands of Chief of Police.

Law enforcement in the Netherlands operates primarily through governmental police agencies. The law-enforcement purposes of these agencies are the investigation of suspected criminal activity, referral of the results of investigations to the courts, and the temporary detention of suspected criminals pending judicial action. Law enforcement agencies, to varying degrees at different levels of government and in different agencies, are also commonly charged with the responsibilities of deterring criminal activity and preventing the successful commission of crimes in progress.

How local policing is organised

In the Netherlands, the approach to local policing varies by municipality. Some areas set up weekly or regular meetings in the community where members of the public can meet and raise issues with local police officers. In others, they link in with local services such as schools, to conduct visits and build relationships. One national initiative is the Community Police Officers (CPO). For every 5000 inhabitants there is a legal requirement to have a CPO for that area. CPOs generally have a broad role that includes prevention work, working on neighbourhood problems and cooperating with partners. It is also their role to link between the community and the police and other local services including social services, health services, and local businesses. 

Community policing remains one of the main policies of policing but set within 10 larger regions instead of 25 smaller regions.

Shape and size of police workforce

Before reform took place there was one national force and a regionalised police system with 25 regional police divisions which were semi-autonomous. Reform reduced the number of regional police divisions from 25 to 10 and police management and administration was centralised to take place at a national rather than regional level. However, the power to make decisions about what the police should do is still at the local level, shared by the mayor and the local public prosecutor. The combination of national and local powers means that the Netherlands police have a dual structure of governance.

In addition to the 10 regions, the police have one national department for special police tasks and 145 local basic police teams. Approximately 65,000 people work for the police in the Netherlands.

Brief history of police structural reform

When reform took place

Police reform in the Netherlands took place in 2013 when the police was centralised creating one national police force led by the Chief of Police.

Why reform occurred

The reasons for undertaking a police reform in 2013 were to:

  • stop organisational fragmentation
  • establish more standardised police procedures and work processes
  • shift power from local/regional to national level 
  • Improve police infrastructure (e.g. computer system)

Main aims of reform

The main aim of reform was to move towards a more standardised and centralised structure and improve IT infrastructure. 

Where they are on reform journey

While an evaluation of the 2013 police reform has taken place[28], the implementation of the reform is ongoing and has undergone amendments. This, among other things, has resulted in a delay in the finalisation of the reform process.

Case Study 4: Manchester, England

Demographic

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of approximately 2.8m people. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs (Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford). 

Greater Manchester spans 1,277 km2. It is landlocked and borders Cheshire (to the south-west and south), Derbyshire (to the south-east), West Yorkshire (to the north-east), Lancashire (to the north) and Merseyside (to the west). There is a mix of high-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Greater Manchester, but land use is mostly urban. It has a focused central business district, formed by Manchester city centre and the adjoining parts of Salford and Trafford, but Greater Manchester is also a polycentric county with ten metropolitan districts, each of which has at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs.

Structural organisation of the police

Greater Manchester police is made up of 10 local districts that mirror the 10 local authority areas in Greater Manchester. Across Greater Manchester there are 4 Chief Superintendents. For each of the 10 districts there is a Police Lead (Superintendent) who report to a Chief Superintendent. Each district has a varying number of Neighbourhood Policing Teams based on the size of the area. Neighbourhood Teams are led by an Inspector, below which there are Neighbourhood Sergeants, Neighbourhood Beat Officers, Neighbourhood Police Officers and Police and Community Support Officers. In addition, Greater Manchester police has a number of specialist / protective services including: Major Crime Investigation, Forensics, and Serious and Organised Crime.

How local policing is organised

Local policing has been restructured a number of times in response to reform. The impacts of reform have in the main been on local policing and how the police deliver a multi-agency response to tackling serious and organised crime. Greater Manchester Police are moving towards the integration of the neighbourhood policing function alongside other public services that deliver at a neighbourhood level including Housing Officers, ASB (Anti-Social Behaviour) Officers, Community Development Officers, Health Visitors and Social Workers. 

Shape and size of police workforce

Greater Manchester has a police force made up of over 10,000 staff: 6,237 police officers, 512 Volunteer Special Constables, 606 Police Community Support Officers, and 2,961 members of police staff. The workforce has shrunk in the context of public service reform, restructuring and austerity measures.

Brief history of police structural reform 

When reform took place

Police reform in Manchester, is part of a wider public service reform that began in 2012 and is ongoing. Greater Manchester Police are central to the ‘Public Service Reform’ programme and are engaged with partner agencies across the conurbation focussing on how service delivery can be more effectively delivered through the reform and integration of services, functions and structures.

Why reform occurred

The main drivers for reform being introduced are a need for both increased effectiveness and efficiency; due to increased demands, complexity and expectations while a decrease in funding. There has been a growing realisation that the Police are often the service of both first and last resort. Policing, the demands of it and the way of responding to these, has changed significantly from 10-20 years ago. The various devolution deals that have been provided to Greater Manchester as a region have also impacted on why reform has occurred.

Main aims of reform

The aim of public service reform is to integrate public services, functions and structures across Greater Manchester, so they are delivered more effectively and efficiently. This includes responding to and reducing demand at a local level by building on community assets and addressing the root causes of demand. The Police reform is to follow the general shift towards a 21st century, citizen-centred mentality of the public services. 

Where they are on reform journey

Reform in this case study area has been an ongoing process. Greater Manchester Police is currently in the process of delivering 5 strategic programmes that will take it to the realisation of its Target Operating Model; which has been significantly influenced by the Greater Manchester Reform Programme.

Contact

Email: socialresearch@gov.scot

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