Chief Constable addresses police-public relations

Chief Constable Julie Spence has used her latest podcast to talk about the importance of good relations between the public and the police following the debate about the handling of the G20 riots. Mrs Spence pointed to measures taken by Cambridgeshire Poli

Chief Constable Julie Spence has used her latest podcast to talk about the importance of good relations between the public and the police following the debate about the handling of the G20 riots.

Mrs Spence pointed to measures taken by Cambridgeshire Police to improve public perception of the police force. Many officers at the G20 summit protests failed to display their numbers, but Cambridgeshire police have made the decision to put full names on police officers' epaulettes.

"It demonstrates, in my view, an openness and fairness in policing. People have a right to know who they are dealing with, and officers should be professional enough to cope with the minority who see first names as something to be abused rather than used constructively," she said.

"Most of you will never have any contact with the police, and so you are most likely to judge us on how you see us dealing with other people and situations," said Mrs Spence. "The relationship between officers upholding the law and the people they encounter on the streets is rarely going to be perfect. The circumstances under which they meet sometimes dictate otherwise."


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Mrs Spence also addressed the issue of TICs - further offences that offenders can ask to be 'taken into consideration' when being sentenced - and the perception that they are let off lightly.

"Knowing who committed offences, and when and where, means that we can offer some kind of closure for the victim. Small it may be, but it must be some kind of comfort for a burglary victim to know that the offender is being punished - even though taken to court for another offence.

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"And the offender? They at least can serve their time knowing they have admitted their crimes. That gives them a chance, deserved or not, of taking advantage of rehabilitation, knowing there is nothing more to answer to. That way there is a chance that they may not come out of prison and just start all over again.

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