Policing Review Launched

A review of policing was launched today by former head of the Met Police Lord Stevens.

50 years on from the last review, the Independent Commission on the Future of Policing will look at the function and responsibilities of the police and how best to deliver on reduced budgets.

“We’re going to look at how the police are held to account”

Lord Stevens told the BBC today: “We’re going to look at the role of the police and what is expected of the police, we’re going to look at how it is going to be delivered, what they deliver in terms of the workforce.

“We’re going to look at the criminal justice system – see how that relationship is – we’re going to look at how the police are held to account.

Police will not get higher pay

But he added that the police shouldn’t expect to get any more money, and that cutbacks would have to made.

He also stated that morale was one of the biggest problems, and admitted that there was also an issue with the perception of the police, particularly in relation to stop and search powers.

Hatred of the police was found to be a cause of the riots

Policing facing “perfect storm”

Labour has criticized the government for failing to re-evaluate policing. Launching the event, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said today:

“Policing in Britain now faces a perfect storm. The scale of the cuts, the chaos of confused reforms, escalating demands, and declining morale.

“We have a proud tradition of British policing and great successes including in recent years. However I am now worried about the future for policing and the risk of a growing gap between public concerns and the capacity of the police to deliver. Faced with these challenges I believe it is time for a new vision for the future of policing.

“We are setting up this independent commission to set out the role and purpose of policing in our communities for the 21st century and the reforms that are needed to deliver it.”

Joining Lord Stevens on the panel are former head of NYPD Mr Howard Safir, former Director of Europol Mr Max-Peter Ratzel and the Patron of the National Victims Association Baroness Harris of Richmond. The commission is also academically by experts from six UK universities and police chiefs from around the country.

Public concerns about policing will be heard

The Chairman of the Police Federation, Paul McKeever, said in a statement released today that he supports the review and will be submitting evidence.

“We have to get policing right for the public because it is too important to get wrong. We need to listen to the public and find out what they want from their police service, as well as listening to police officers themselves who are struggling at a time when morale is at its lowest.

But he said that the assessment was a “step in the right direction” but warned against a “piecemeal approach” which could make the findings redundant.

The unpaid Commission is expected to report back with its findings in the next 15 months.

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