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Warning against state control of the police

Idris Francis is back at work, and forwarding this warning against state control of the police from Lawrence Roach, who wrote the Times,

Sir, Under the guise of a reorganisation of his department, the Home Secretary announces that he will take charge of “policing” and amalgamate it with “security and terrorism”. So Robert Peel’s great work and one of the most famous and influential of all British contributions to modern society, the community-based and locally accountable professional police service, finally falls under the control of government (report, Feb 27), without a whimper.

. . .The genius of British policing lies in the police being, as an organisation, directly accountable to the people it serves, while each individual constable remains independent under the law and personally answerable for his or her actions in the courts.

That carefully balanced, and visible, independence from outside influence, including that of the government of the day, is the basis on which policing by consent is built.

LAWRENCE T. ROACH
Deputy Assistant Commissioner,
Metropolitan Police, 1990-96
Borehamwood, Herts


Peel understood that to protect against the risk of tyranny the police had to be independent of government. Are we going to be forever at the mercy of a government that does not remember or understand the fundamental principles of freedom? For more on Robert Peel, see the Liberty Timeline, 1800-1833.

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