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Sir Chris Fox is retiring

February 10, 2006

Who? You may ask.

The president of ACPO is packing up his pencils and bean bags, but before he goes, he’s getting a few things off his chest.

OPERATIONAL officers must 'soften their image' in the eyes of the public by wearing less body armour, the outgoing president of ACPO told Police Review this week.

Sir Chris Fox said police officer health and safety was crucial to every chief constable but he was concerned that, because of the protective clothing some officers wear, people might think they walk the streets 'ready for battle'.

The 56-year-old conceded that officers not wearing armour such as stab vests 'might lead to more injuries' but he added the choice of what to wear on duty should be left up to individual officers regardless of any health and safety concerns.

Seeing as he probably hasn't patrolled the streets for thirty odd years, I'll take his advice with a pinch of salt.

POLICE officer numbers could be cut by anything up to 10,000 to make way for better technology, the outgoing president of ACPO predicted this week.

Sir Chris Fox said he sees the number of officers falling to pay for improved IT systems to help cut bureaucracy - allowing operational officers to spend more time on the front line.

In an interview with Police Review to mark his retirement in April after three years as ACPO's first full time president, Sir Chris said the public 'underestimate the professional skills' of the 140,000 English and Welsh police officers. But at the same time, he believes there could be around 10,000 fewer of them in the future.

Sir Chris said: 'I think this is probably the highest number of police officers there is likely to be. It will come down... because I think a number of things will drive it down. Financial settlement means that forces will not be able to afford the pay bill.

That will reassure the public then, knowing that an Apple Mac will be patrolling their street to keep the hoodies at bay.

If anyone wants to see the whole story, they’ll have to buy Police Review or go to their web site. Don’t expect to see any solutions to the real problems though.

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