US police measures can work in UK says 'supercop' William Bratton

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The Independent Online

The former New York police commissioner who is to advise the Government in the wake of rioting across England believes crime-fighting solutions that have worked in America can also work in the UK.

"Supercop" William Bratton that tackling racial tensions and making police forces more ethnically diverse could help to curb future disorder.

"We can definitely take some of the lessons here and apply them there," he told the Associated Press.

The 63-year-old, who is now a prominent security consultant, will meet Prime Minister David Cameron next month to share his expertise on tackling gang violence and street crime.

Over the past two decades he has gained a reputation for introducing bold measures to reduce crime, heading police departments in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

Reacting to the riots, Mr Bratton said British police needed to focus on calming racial tensions by working more with community leaders and civil rights groups.

He also said employing more minority police officers could be a potential long-term solution to stopping any future disorder.

"Part of the issue going forward is how to make policing more attractive to a changing population," he said.

Los Angeles and New York have benefited from police forces which "reflect the ethnic make-up of the cities".

Mr Bratton left Los Angeles police in 2009 - after significantly lowering the crime rate - and is now chairman of Kroll, a Manhattan-based private security firm.

Previously he was head of the New York Police Department where, in his first two years at the helm, reports of serious crime dropped 27%.

He also famously delivered a list of about 400 gang and drug kingpins he wanted to arrest to the mayor of Boston when he became commissioner in 1991.