By Laura Bundock, Sky correspondent

Britain's top police watchdog has warned policing must make "profound and far-reaching" changes or public safety will be put at risk.

Events like the Salisbury poisoning, the Gatwick airport drone incident and environmental protests in London highlight some of the complex issues police forces face, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary has said in his annual assessment of policing in England and Wales.

Sir Thomas Winsor called on politicians, police and crime commissioners and the heads of local police forces to make "bold, long-term decisions".

In his report, Sir Thomas questioned the 43 police force structure and suggested it is acting as a barrier to solving crimes like fraud or "county lines" drug dealing.

He also found the "wider criminal justice system is dysfunctional and defective", letting down victims and the vulnerable and leaving many offenders caught in a cycle of crime.


Sir Thomas added the public will have to debate and decide how much they are prepared to pay to help the police keep up with demands.

He wrote: "I believe that some profound and far-reaching aspects of police reform are called for.

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"For these reforms to take place, leaders in central government, PCCs and chief constables will all need to make bold long-term decisions.

"If they don't, the windspeed of police reform will fall to a flutter, leaving tRead More – Source