The Police Foundation’s 2019 annual conference explored the role of community engagement and its importance to the challenges and opportunities the police face, both now and in the future.
‘Policing by consent’ means the public must be willing to cooperate with the police to keep communities safe. Without public confidence, the police will struggle to gather intelligence, ease tensions and solve problems. And as society changes so must the police. Crime and vulnerability are changing, communities are becoming more diverse and technology is transforming all aspects of our lives. The police must find new ways to maintain the confidence and cooperation of the public.
The conference discussed the following themes with speakers and participants from the across the police service, universities, local authorities and the private and voluntary sectors:
- How can the police maintain the support of the public when they have to increasingly ration resources?
- How can neighbourhood policing teams engage with the communities they serve?
- How can Police and Crime Commissioners involve the public more directly in decision-making?
- How can the police reach out to diverse communities?
- How can the police meet the expectations of increasingly tech-savvy citizens?
Attendees also heard about our in-depth research findings on understanding the public’s priorities for policing. The research looked at what the public want and their understanding of what the police do in 2019.