Reassurance Policing was introduced as a policing style to police forces in England and Wales to address the problem of the Reassurance Gap. This Gap was the difference between what the official crime statistics showed and what the public perceived to be the case. The public thought crime was rising despite the fact that recorded crime was falling. The Association of Chief Police Officers in England and Wales (ACPO) published a report in December 2001 that outlined the seriousness of the Reassurance Gap to police and how it should be addressed. The solution was to introduce dedicated neighbourhood police teams who would patrol on foot. The report can be summed up in one sentence;
"In short police forces need to demonstrate visibility, accessibility and familiarity and these are the main elements of this report."
In an early draft of an academic paper I wrote "police needed to become more visible, accessible and familiar" only for my supervisor to cross it through and comment " I do not want familiar police." I think he had visions of police officers going round calling everyone "mate" and "luv".
Anyway Sir Paul Stephenson the Commisioner of the Metropolitan Police has recently commented that police officers in his force are now happier. It nice to know in this Christmas season.
At least now when a police officer calls you luv or mate they should be smiling or perhaps even laughing.