In recent years, the government litany of the three ‘E’s – economy, efficiency and effectiveness – together with the ideology of managerialism, has come to affect the organisation and operational work of the police (McLaughlin and Muncie 1994). ‘Policing by objectives’ has now become the established canon of m odern policing in Britain and elsewhere (Goldstein 1990; Reiner 1994), further evidence of convergent, institutional trends in the era of ‘late modernity’ (Giddens 1991). Of particular importance to the fate of community safety initiatives is the recent decision by the British government to establish measurable, national objectives for policing. These may marginalise yet further social crime prevention strategies, given the difficulty of ‘measuring’ their success in terms of readily quantifiable perform ance indicators. The future mandate of the British police may be much more focused on quasi-militaristic public order control and serious crime investigation at the cost of the ‘social service’ dimension to British policing. In the current situation of uncertainty, the British police appears, almost for the first time in its history, to be a public service desperate for allies outside of central government.