Peter Hoskin

A mobile police force?

A mobile police force?
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Reading the news release, I initially thought that Gordon Brown's "new kind of policing" - by which every household in England and Wales will be given e-mail/mobile phone details to contact "neighbourhood police teams" - sounded like a good idea.

But then two figures jumped out at me.  The first is the cost of the scheme - some £325 million.  And the second is the percentage reduction in crime that the pilot version brought about in Clapham - some 0.9 percent.

Of course, falls in crime shouldn't be sniffed at.  But £325m is a not-insignificant 3 percent of total spending on police in England and Wales.  It's a large commitment to make - especially on the back of so slim a crime-reduction.

The uncharitable might say that it's the Government wasting money again.  And if this report is anything to go by, I suspect they'd be right...