The British police are undoubtedly going to come under scrutiny on Monday over their handling of the anarchists' May Day mayhem in London. Law and order is an election issue, or rather the Tories wish it was, and some factions of the British media are regularly pumping out reports of how many police stations are closing every month, although some were forced to back track on Tuesday over reports that there has been a surge of recruits signing up to join the force. However, the general public, and to a lesser extent the media, only see the results of “traditonal” law and order policing but a lot of work is being done in the margins. This week's Interpol conference in Palma involves over 100 policemen and women from all over the world who are all working “in the margins” to crack a crime which is not merely about catching, convicting and releasing, it involves intelligence gathering and both pro-active and preventative policing and such approaches are not only relative to crimes against children, but the international child slave trade industry, prostitution and human trafficking - a lot of which is being organised over the Internet in the virtual world of crime which is being fought by cyber police. But, however high tech the criminals and the police may be - the easiest and most effective way to fight crime - on all levels - is to have a positive relationship between the police and the community. Every police force in the world, from Palma's Local Police to the New York police and the Metropolitan force in London, have invested large amounts of time and money in trying to raise the level of the general public's confidence in and respect for the police to increase the level of co-operation because in the end both the public and police want the same result - criminals off the streets. Bob McLachlan, head of Scotland Yard's Paedophile Unit said this week that while their may be thousands of British ex-patriates living in Majorca, it does not mean they no longer have a role to play in helping the police.

Humphrey Carter

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