Lessons of police reform: speech transcript

In a major keynote speech for Reform, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary, outlined her vision for ongoing reform and the role of the Home Office in managing demand on the police.

Key quotes

“According to both recorded crime statistics and the independent crime survey, crime is down by more than ten per cent since the election. Police reform is working and crime is falling.”

“So in policing in the future, I believe we will need to work towards the integration of the three emergency services. We should use schemes like the Police Innovation Fund to promote capital investment that produces efficiency savings. We should go further with direct entry. We should use technology – like body-worn video, smart phone apps and other mobile devices – to save time and improve outcomes, and it remains our aim to make all forces fully digital by 2016.”

“Understanding that overall crime levels are only the net result of millions of individual decisions in millions of different contexts, officials have been working to identify and understand the six main drivers of crime in this country. We believe they are alcohol, drugs, opportunity, the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, character and profit. If we can understand each of these drivers better, if we can understand how they relate to one another, we should be able to devise better policy to prevent crime occurring in the first place.”

“More than 15 years ago, the Car Theft Index contributed to a fall in vehicle theft by allowing consumers to make informed choices about which models of car to buy based on their likelihood of being stolen. Today I want to announce my intention to do the same with mobile phone theft.”

“In the last four years, we have achieved something no modern government has achieved before. We have proved that, through reform, it is possible to do more with less. We will need to go on doing more with less for many years into the future. But, looking ahead to the next Parliament, the next great challenge will be the need to reform to reduce the huge demand for public services in the first place.”

Media Coverage

The speech was covered in the Daily Mail, The Guardian and the Financial Times.

Clare Fraser, Researcher at Reform appeared on BBC 5 Live to discuss the value of integrating emergency services.

Further Information

The Twitter hashtag for the speech is #reformpolice. In July 2014, Reform published research on improving citizen engagement to manage demand on the police.


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