In recent years, the problem of the merger of police divisions in theUKhas been widely discussed. Moreover, the Home Office even made efforts to realize the idea of the merger of police forces ofEnglandandWales. Even though this initiative practically failed, the Home Office as well as police forces and public continue discussions concerning the necessity of mergers and the extent to which they can improve the current situation. Obviously, in such a context, it is necessary to research in depth the current situation and the perspectives of the merger of police forces in the UK, though, it is worthy of mention that the merger in terms of the UK is rather a future perspective that has to be carefully researched, while at the moment the efforts of the Home Office to merge the police forces are basically concentrated on England and Wales.
Nevertheless, the research of the problem of the merger of police forces is important for the entireUKbut not solely forEnglandandWaleswhich have been directly involved in the experiment recently. In fact, it is obvious that the merger of the police forces in theUKcan change theUKpolice considerably. At any rate, the perspectives of the merger of police forces in theUKshould be carefully analyzed. In this respect, it is necessary to clearly define the reasons for the merger and objectively assess them in order to find out whether theUKpolice do need such a change or probably it will be useless that means that it is necessary to forecast possible consequences and the reaction of public to the merger. Consequently, one of the primary goals of this research will be to find out the attitude of all parties affected by the change, i.e. police forces, including the opinion of ordinary police officers, the Home Office, as the major authority which is supposed to conduct the reconstruction of the UK police forces, and naturally ordinary people, since it is the public safety and order that is under a threat in case of the failure or negative outcome of the merger.
In such a way, on analyzing the data received from the police forces, the Home Office and public it will be possible to find their attitude and view on the merger and, therefore, to forecast its perspectives. At the same time, it will be also necessary to take into consideration possible problems and ethical issues the research may affect.
Basically, the research should be focused on the problem of the merger of police forces in theUK, its causes and possible effects that may be revealed on the basis of the analysis of the opinion of all parties involved as well as the opinion of specialists in sociology and criminology may be also used in the research. Obviously, the current situation needs changes since people want to feel the presence of police in the streets. In such a way, they will feel more secure in the time of a serious threat of terror attacks and increasing crime rates. At the same time, it is obvious that the merger of police forces cannot be a one-sided process. This means that it should not be a decision of the Home Office, but, in contrast, it should be the mutual decision of the Home Office and police forces. Moreover, the final decision should be made only after public discussions which can help find out whether the public support this idea or not. This is why the research is supposed to take into consideration the opinion of all parties concerned and the analysis of the position of the Home Office, police forces and the public can help make a definite conclusion whether the merger is needed.
However, as soon as the major problem of the research is defined, it is necessary to start with the definition of the major objectives the research is supposed to meet. In this respect, it is worthy of mention such objectives as the definition of the factors that have provoked the current discussions concerning the necessity to merge of police forces in the UK, what the public opinion in relation to this problem is, what the position of police forces and the Home Office is, and, finally, what the results of the merger will be, i.e. whether the merger will improve or deteriorate the situation.
Naturally, the analysis should be based on the data collected by the researcher concerning the merger but, primarily, it is necessary to carefully analyze the current situation and overview the current literature dedicated to this problem that will lead the researcher in the essence of the subject of the research. In fact, due to the literature review it will be possible to analyze the existing points of view on the problem of different specialists that can contribute to the higher objectivity of the research since the researcher will be able to compare a variety of views on the problem. After that it will be necessary to define the basic methods that could be applied to the research and, what is more, it is necessary to find the most effective methods that could contribute to the reliability and objectivity of the research. On defining and applying the methods chosen, it is necessary to analyze the data collected and discuss the results of the research.
In such a way, the researcher will be able to clearly state the major findings of the research. In order to make the research more effective, better organized, and less time consuming it is possible to create a timetable of the research.
Taking into consideration the major goals of the research, it is necessary to apply methods that could fully reveal the current situation and attitude of all parties involved to the merger of police forces. In this respect, it is possible to recommend implementing interviews in order to find the opinion of the representatives of police forces, the Home Office, and the public. It should be said that interview can involve specialists which work directly on the problem of the merger, especially in the Home Office, as well as it can also reveal the attitude of ordinary police officers and people to the merger of police forces. At the same time, it will be quite useful to interview specialists in the field of sociology and criminology in order to find out possible effects of the merger on society and the criminal situation in theUK.
Furthermore, it is possible to use questionnaires which can also help reveal the attitude of the parties involved to the problem of the merger. It should be said that questionnaires are basically oriented on the mass audience, i.e. questionnaires include a standard set of questions that, as a rule, imply the definite answer leaving less option for personal variations in answer than interviews. This method should be applied to the research of the public opinion and the attitude of police officers to the perspective of the merger.
Also, it is extremely important to analyze the current statistics concerning the crime rate and the criminal situation in theUKat the moment in order to assess whether the existing system is effective and find out possible advantages of the merger compared to the current structure of police forces. It seems to be equally important to organize public discussions using media, including specialized journals, to find out the opinion of the wide audience as well as the position of specialists in relation to the merger of police forces.
On collecting the data, it is necessary to analyze them carefully. It is necessary to apply both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The quantitative analysis can help better understand the current situation, assess the level of crime rates and current trends, i.e. whether crime rates grow or not. It will also help define the extent to which the merger is supported by police forces as well as the public that is important because there should not be the opposition to the merger within the police or society. In other words, the quantitative analysis will help define whether the merger is supported by the police and society or not.
As for the qualitative analysis, it should be said that this analysis should primarily focus on the position of specialists since this will help reveal the possible outcomes of the merger and assess whether it can improve the situation or probably, in contrast, it will deteriorate the current situation in theUK.
Naturally, the researcher may face certain problems, including ethical ones. For instance, the research implies the analysis of the opinion of the Home Office and police forces that may involve the participation in the research of police officers and their authorities. If their views on the perspective of the merger differ it may provoke some tension in their professional relationships. This is why the research should guarantee anonymity to its participants.
Also, it will be quite difficult to assess the support or opposition to the merger from the part of the public since people can simply lack the information about the merger of police forces that means that the researcher will also need to think over larger informing the audience about the problem researched.
Nevertheless, all the problems can be solved and the public discussion of the problem of the merger of police forces may attract not only specialist but the public and therefore the more people are involved in the discussion and the more conscious they are of the essence of the problem the more reliable will be the results of the research.