Operational policing regards all tools and powers that the police use to tackle crime and also to prevent it. There are codes of practice and laws governing what the police can and can’t employ in their fight against crime. This protects the public and provides the police with everything they might need to ensure our communities remain safe and crime-free.
One part of the operation policing system is the PACE Act. PACE stands for the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and regards the way in which police conduct their arrests, evidence gathering and charges. It lays out the procedures to be used when arresting, searching and charging suspects. The PACE Act is in place to ensure a healthy balance is met between the powers of the police officers and the rights of individual members of the public. The PACE act is constructed from codes A to H and these set out all areas of police and public relations.
In a modern world, however, these guidelines are not sufficient when the police force in England and Wales is subjected to new types of criminal activity. This means that new codes and more diverse considerations have to be made to the operation policing in England and Wales.
There is a crime and disorder focus on tackling specific crimes and policies determining how these are to be approached. This section covers areas such as child abuse, alcohol misuse and domestic violence. There are codes specifically tailored to each type of crime as a generic one cannot suffice in all situations. Police occasionally have to adapt their operational policing styles and practices in order to cope with a different situation.
As well as codes regarding how crime is to be dealt with, operational policing also concerns itself over the manner in which crime can be prevented. This often involves some level of safeguarding the vulnerable such as the elderly and children. This is to ensure that they are not left exposed to any possible source of harm or abuse. In doing so there is a greater understanding and level of confidence in the safety given by the police force.
On a more modern note, there are more modern considerations to be made; forensic investigations are not a very important part of police work and this must be carried out in a scientifically accurate nature. This is all regulated and the strictest of requirements are enforced upon all areas of scientific investigation. This is so vital as courts can easily reject evidence if it is not 100% watertight.
Operational policing is a vital part of the work done by the police. There are codes of practice concerning all areas of their work and this is all with good reason. This fits in well with the strict nature of the legal system in England and Wales. It is good to know that the public are safe in the knowledge that the safest of procedures and the most professional of forces is keeping us safe. In a world of blame cultures, it’s nice to know that everything is covered.