The recent discussion about the time police officers spend completing forms is another example of policy coming round full circle. Have we suddenly forgotten the Brixton riots? Do we want the police able to stop and search on the street without having to justify their judgements and decisions? The forms have a purpose that we should not forget.
Or perhaps, since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, do we believe that the police have changed their ways? Institutional racism is no longer an issue? To remove scrutiny from the acytions of police officers, to allow them to work with minimal constraint required a great deal of trust in their integrity and in their ability to exercise discretion. That trust requires time to develop and effort to maintain. And where are the reflexive practitioners who might be caspable of acting without scrutiny?