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Patrolling: A Report by the Police Federation of England and Wales

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Date Published
This paper examines recent changes in the style of patrolling in England and Wales.
In order to improve efficiency and effectiveness, some police forces have made fundamental changes in the style of patrolling, changes involving constraints on spending and contraction of the core work force -- police officers. The public overwhelmingly favors traditional foot patrols and 80 percent of people surveyed in 1995 said they were ready to pay for increased policing. A 1995 survey of members of the Police Federation revealed strong support for the patrol function, but disturbingly low morale among patrol officers. They were trying to cope with an impossible workload, with no time for problem-solving and other positive aspects of patrolling. They felt frustrated and let down; almost half of all patrol officers would have liked to transfer to specialist roles. Patrol officers wanted improvements in: targeting problems and persistent offenders, intelligence and information, managing resources, training, administration, and briefing. They were strongly against the use of more special constables on patrols, street patrol by Neighborhood Watch members, and private patrols.