Ahead of Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, have your say

UKBA launches consultation paper outlining ways to change face of policing

28th July 2010: Ahead of the launch of Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, you can have your say on specific aspects of the reform programme.

The UK Border Agency has asserted the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill will be published in the autumn.

Ahead of the launch of this Bill, the Government is seeking the views of both the public and professionals across the criminal justice system on specific aspects of the reform programme.

Elaborating on `policing in the 21st century consultation – reconnecting police and the people’, the UKBA says: `We’ve launched a consultation paper which outlines new ways to change the face of policing for the better, over the next five years. We’d like you to get involved and have your say.

`The consultation paper, ‘Policing in the 21st Century: reconnecting police and the people’, contains proposals for ways to make police in England and Wales more available and responsive, more accountable, more effective, and deliver better value for money.

The consultation is broken into five chapters. You can email your responses, or respond online to the questions immediately.

The first chapter is on the challenge, and the key features of the proposed reforms include: electing policing and crime commissioners to hold police forces to account and strengthen the bond between the police and the public; and a powerful new National Crime Agency to lead the fight against organised crime and strengthen our border security.

It also included: greater collaboration between police forces to increase public protection and save money; phasing out the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA); cutting bureaucracy, removing restrictive health and safety procedures and freeing up police officers’ time; and a clear role for everyone, including members of the public, in cutting crime through beat meetings, neighbourhood watch schemes and voluntary groups.

Chapter two is on increasing democratic accountability. Police and crime commissioners will be required to ensure that police forces work more efficiently by collaborating with each other across a much wider range of policing functions than at present, to strengthen public protection, but also ensure better value for money.

Removing bureaucratic accountability is chapter three. The strategy also sets out how the government will tackle the bureaucratic burden on police officers by returning more responsibility to the police for charging in minor offences, scrapping unnecessary paperwork like the ‘stop’ form, and abolishing central targets.

The UKBA will also work with the police service and the health and safety executive to strengthen guidance on applying a common sense approach to health and safety. This will include scrutinising procedures that act as a barrier to intervening and recognising those officers who put themselves in harms way.

Chapter four is on a national framework for efficient local policing. The policing landscape will be further simplified through the phasing out of the NPIA and clearer roles for Association of Chief Police Officers and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.

A new National Crime Agency will lead the fight against organised crime and help to protect our borders.

The last chapter is on tackling crime together. The new approach will ensure that everyone has a say in how their area is policed, and that everyone plays their part in cutting crime.

This includes more opportunities to get involved in keeping neighbourhoods safe through attending beat meetings and being members of Neighbourhood Watch. It will also provide more opportunities for citizens to volunteer with the police service, and within the wider criminal justice system.

Policing to get facelift, new National Crime Agency to protect borders

Failed asylum seekers with pending fresh claims entitled to seek consent to work