Public policing in England and Wales is currently undergoing and will undergo substantial changes to the way it delivers its services in the future. Consideration of the different proposals for change when viewed in isolation appears to produce uncertainty in terms of organisational structure. However, when considered as interdependent they provide a more clear and problematic issue that could undermine the current democratic model of policing utilised in this country. This article considers the ideas of the function of the public police within a democratic policing model and how changes such as the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, an apparent lack of engagement by the public with the democratic process, as well as the possibility of privatisation and outsourcing currently in vogue, may have a detrimental effect upon the policing philosophy that has underpinned policing in England and Wales for nearly 200 years.
- police commissioner