This report is an outcome of the Cumberland Lodge Police conference 'Freedom Restrained? Public Protection, Risk and Policing', which took place on 20-22 April 2018.

Published Date: 
Friday, 5 October 2018
Dr Francesca Menichelli

The 37th annual Cumberland Lodge Police Conference, held on 20-22 April 2018, explored the intersection between public protection, risk and policing, and how societal and individual freedoms can be upheld at a time of growing public fear and anxiety.

A wide range of institutions were represented, and those taking part included parliamentarians, senior academics and students, Police and Crime Commissioners, and a wide range of police officers, from Chief Constables to recent recruits on the Police Now scheme.

It was generally felt that any further discussions on the core issue of the conference must take two important issues into account. The first is given that the power of authorities to protect the public isnecessarily limited, then any such discussions will inevitably raise political issues that go straight to the heart of the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed. The second is the degree of challenge for police forces tasked with protecting the vulnerable, controlling crime, and managing hidden and visible risks amidst funding cuts. The post-conference report explores the following areas:

  • Executive summary
  • Systems of public protection
  • An expanding system of public protection: the case of MAPPA
  • The problems and dilemmas of risk prediction in criminal justice
  • Real-life scenarios
  • Anxiety, fear, and difference
  • A changing threat landscape
  • Proportional responses in counter-terrorism: where to draw the line?
  • Data and digital technologies
  • Data as socially constructed
  • Future challenges