Dame Sara Thornton has responded to the concluding report of the Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales


The Review, chaired by Sir Michael Barber and hosted by the Police Foundation, is the first independent review of policing for many years. Launched in 2019, the Review sought to examine how crime, the fear of crime and other threats to public safety are changing in the twenty first century, assess the capabilities of the police service to respond, and set a long term strategic direction for policing.

The Review makes many recommendations about the future of policing but has a central focus on crime prevention. It strongly argues that there is a  need to do much more to prevent crime and harm, and recommends that alongside a criminal justice system there is a requirement for a public safety system which is run by a new Crime Prevention Agency, informed by a cross-departmental strategy and supported by a new duty on businesses to prevent crime. It describes a system of multiple actors and institutions whose aim is to promote safety and to prevent harm, incorporating multi-layered prevention.


Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said:

“I welcome the publication of this final report and I am greatly encouraged by the emphasis on preventing crime and harm through a comprehensive approach to public safety, including a focus on the role of public health.

“This Review makes innovative proposals for a national agency, for a new legal duty for business and a reinvigoration of local partnerships to prevent all crime.

“Focusing on prevention is key to combatting modern slavery. We need to develop responses which address the economic, structural and cultural conditions which allow slavery to flourish.

“Since 2020 my office has been involved in the development of a public health approach that recognises the value in re-framing our response through a public health lens.  I am convinced that this type of approach to all crime would prevent harm and would reduce our over reliance on the criminal justice system as the only way to address crime and criminality.”




Access the full reportA new mode of protection: Redesigning Policing and Public Safety for the 21st Century