Letter to the Editor
Stephen Glover asks why a US police chief should not take charge of a British police force (article, 24/01/13). Of course if foreign citizens are now to apply, the task of selecting future chief constables is now a matter for elected Police and Crime Commissioners.
But I am very clear British policing has nothing to fear and plenty to gain from being open to ideas from abroad. I have the privilege to sit alongside many big city US police chiefs on the board of the New York-based Police Executive Research Forum - and I have benefited greatly from their leadership and expertise. Among some outstanding chiefs from the US, I've sat alongside Bill Bratton and hold him in high regard. The point I make in respect of applying the US experience of gangs to Britain is that it is overly simplistic not to recognise the two situations are very different. That is not to say we cannot learn from each other, and that is precisely why I proposed the international policing conference which was held following the 2011 riots, at which Bill and I both spoke. We continue to share ideas, and many British police chiefs are in demand overseas where US policing is keen to learn from our approaches not just to gangs but in areas such as public order policing and more.
Crime statistics published yesterday continue to show a long term trend towards falling crime. Policing is a risk business: in the 7million plus interactions with citizens every year some mistakes are inevitably made, and there is much more we can do to tackle crime, support victims and keep people safe. But our committed police officers and staff at every rank are also getting many things right, and rather than be risk averse or timid, they are determined to do more.
Sir Hugh Orde
President, Association of Chief Police Officers