Birmingham Salon


Is there policing by consent?

Saturday 11th May, 1.00 pm - 3.00 pm

Map Room, Cherry Reds, 88-92 John Bright Street, B1 1BN

Tickets £3.50 (plus EventBrite fee)

Please book via EventBrite

Recent surveys show the U.K. public have decreasing levels of trust in the police to do a good job, solve crime, and treat everyone fairly regardless of background. A sense that police responsiveness and visibility in communities is lacking, scandals about dishonourable treatment of victims of crime and violent sexual offending carried out by officers are significant factors. And so is public perception of whether the police act impartially.

The Peelian principles on which the U.K. police were established state that public consent for policing is maintained “not by pandering to public opinion” but by applying the law fairly, impartially and by using minimal force. But accusations of two tier policing are frequently made by people with a wide variety of political views and from different backgrounds.

Between 2010 and 2019 around 20,000 officers left the police force and government funding was cut by 20%. Nine thousand, the highest number on record, quit in a single financial year ending March 2023. The current number of police officers is a few thousand more than in 2010, but has not kept pace with U.K. population growth.

In the year leading up to March 2022, half of the police officers who left had retired , leaving the police force struggling with a significant reduction in experienced police officers with young officers not having enough inspectors to train them properly. One third of police officers has less than five years experience, more than double the number in 2017 (Source: BBC News). 

In spite of the obvious police numbers, retention and public trust issues, police powers are due for an unprecedented increase via the Criminal Justice Bill. Currently, only local authorities can issue Public Spaces Protection Orders, but this power would be given to the police via section 68 of the Bill. In effect, this gives the police powers to make up by-laws to make their lives easier without any need for public consultation or democratic accountability. They will also be able to issue Community Protection Notices to children as young as 10. 

What will restore the Peelian principles and our trust in our police force?

Tom Andrews, Lecturer in Policing, University of Derby
Dolan Cummings, writer, co-ordinator of Manifesto Club campaign against the Criminal Justice Bill
Chair: Chris Akers


Survey finds country police force has second lowest morale in the country, Dominic Robertson, Shropshire Star, April 2024

Met Police apologises for 'openly Jewish' comment, BBC News, April 2024
Stop the Criminal Justice Bill, Manifesto Club, February 2024
Only 40% of people in England trust their police force, research reveals, Vikram Dodd, The Guardian, April 2024
How woke policing betrays ordinary people, Neil Davenport, Spiked Online, April 2024