Who are we going to call? Merseyside's gang-buster

The new Commissioner of Scotland Yard is to be Bernard Hogan-Howe.

 Bernard Hogan-Howeis to be the new Commissioner of Scotland Yard. He has a formidable reputation as being tough on crime in Merseyside where the community saw a reduction in crime of a third whilst he was Chief Constable of Merseyside.

These are troubled times and Theresa May, Home Secretary, made it clear why Hogan-Howe got the job when she described him as a "tough, single-minded crime fighter."  Will the new Commissioner be able to restore public confidence in the Metropolitan Police in light of concerns over the number of police officers on the beat, the scale of public unrest including rioting and looting in the capital and concerns about security and public safety during the 2012 Olympics, not to mention the safety of the athletes, spectators and dignitaries when the eyes of the world may be upon us?

There is also the issue of phone hacking and every police officer's worst nightmare - being tainted by allegations of impropriety and corruption.  A big task awaits Bernard Hogan-Howe.

At a time when tutors are welcoming new Uniformed Public Service students and trying to reassure them about the worth or value of considering a public service career, this new appointment may serve as an appropriate reminder of why people take on such challenges and what may set them apart.  Surely nobody joins the police 'service' to complete paperwork - they join to catch criminals and to be the best in the role they have chosen.

Mr Hogan-Howe seems convinced that the correct approach is to launch 'total war' on wrong-doers, especially known gun criminals. He is also committed to going after ill-gotten gains and assets from convicted criminals.  The Home Secretary seems to share this view as does Boris Johnson, the London Mayor.  Does this appointment match the public's anger and mood about recent events around the country?  Suggestions and reminders that London's problems are linked to gangs is not necessarily universally accepted.  

A 'softly softly' approach may not cut any ice with the new Commissioner - will we see evidence of a hardening of public opinion about how best to go about policing and will this spill over into arguments about the criminal justice system and sentencing policy?  

 The appointment may turn out to be a valuable resource in terms of opening a debate about what the  Metropolitan Police  need in a new Commissioner. 



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