Michael Todd, the police chief in Manchester, England, is among British law enforcement officials who are “being asked to modernize their forces and take their community policing cues” from the United States, the New York Times reports. Britain’s major cities have seen an alarming jump in gun-related and violent crime. Gang warfare, drive-by shootings, and crack dealing, once seemingly confined to the U.S., have become common. Assaults, robberies and carjackings have grown steadily.
Gun crime in England and Wales rose by 35 percent in 2002 and has nearly doubled since 1997. Eager to reverse the trend, David Blunkett, the British home secretary, has embraced American-style policing. The shift began in Scotland Yard, but is now moving to other large cities like Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Blunkett has hired Boston police commissioner Paul F. Evans to head the Police Standards Unit, which oversees 50 police agencies. The decision to hire an outsider prompted an outcry in Scotland Yard but Blunkett called Evans “the ideal” candidate.