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‘National Standards, Local Delivery’ - Police Reform in England and Wales

GPS, Vol. 5 No. 2, (2009)

The system of police governance in England and Wales has been subject to
a process of centralization for many decades. This development has accelerated
in recent years, to the extent that although the de jure organization of
policing remains based on local provincial forces, some commentators now
feel that there is de facto national police force. In this paper, we outline the
main contours of the institutional governance of policing in England and
Wales, and discuss the main aspects of centralization that have occurred in
recent decades. Although the overall picture of centralization is clear, a
number of countervailing tendencies are visible that suggest the possibility
of enhanced local influence. The paper concludes with a discussion of the
future prospects for police organization and governance in England &

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