There has been increasing criticism from the media and opposition parties over the influence of the police in politics and politicians in policing. The forced resignation of Sir Ian Blair in February 2008, the arrest of Damian Green MP and proposals for direct elections to police authorities have all prompted comment that policing has become over-politicised.
The police began in the 19th century as a non-partisan, a-political organisation. Does politicisation undermine this ethos?
The Forum considered some of the following questions:
- Is policing necessarily political and if so, what are the implications?
- Or is there too much political interference in policing and should the police be independent of government?
- Is it true the police have been more political and if so do we need to be concerned?