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Who Guards the Guards?:

Policing, trust, and transparency

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This Debate

Ian Blair, Charlie Falconer, Ian Loader, Lawrence W. Sherman. Shaun Ley hosts.

The police are widely trusted. But a range of scandals from phone hacking to 'plebgate' have led to doubts. Have we made a serious mistake?  Should we be sceptical of police power and demand complete openness or is policing the police an impossible task that undermines our security?

The Panel

Shaun Ley questions the justice system's most powerful voices under Labour: former Police Commissioner Ian Blair, Director of The Centre for Criminology at Oxford Ian Loader, Director of the Cambridge Institute of Criminology Lawrence W. Sherman, and former Justice Secretary Charlie Falconer.

Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Lawrence W. Sherman
    The Pitch
    We need an evidence based approach to policing
  • Charlie Falconer
    The Pitch
    Police must become more transparent
  • Ian Loader
    The Pitch
    We have no choice but to trust the police
  • Ian Blair
    The Pitch
    Police are accountable and trusted
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    Should we trust the police?
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    Can transparency restore trust?
Join the conversation

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Hannah Carter on 17/02/2014 4:18pm

I think Ian Loader is right - it is right and necessary that we distrust the police. We may think that the police are becoming more slanderous when we read about episodes such as Hillsborough and plebgate, but really this is all to do with ever-increasing transparency. In most countries cases of corruption such as this would never see the light of day. We should celebrate the fact that police corruption is being exposed, and continue always with the same discerning approach towards the police. This may lead to stiffled relations between the police and the public, but that is a small price to pay when compared with the problems we would face if our faith in and support of the police was unerring.

Tommy Fes on 05/12/2013 1:26pm

The problem here is one of mutual distrust. Blair and Falconer, both central to the administration of law and order under Labour, don't trust the public - they are to blame for not being consistent or clear about what they want from their police. Meanwhile we as outsiders tend to blame policing failures on the institutional cultures and practices. Both sides are passing the buck. The public can surely only trust the police if they in turn trust and respect the public. Chiken and egg-syndrome. Surely we need a body that has specific oversight of the ongoing relationship between the police and the public...

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