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Government unveils plans for smarter working to help Police fight crime and tackle antisocial behaviour

A new programme of measures to help the police work smarter to fight crime, tackle anti-social behaviour and further increase public confidence was launched by the Home Secretary yesterday.

Plans set out in the government’s policing white paper will make the police more accountable to the public and deliver significant cost savings by working better in partnership, improving efficiency and standardising procurement.
'Protecting the public: supporting the police to succeed (new window)' builds on the successful reforms in the 2008 policing green paper that have put the public at the heart of policing. This has been achieved through neighbourhood policing, the single confidence target, the policing pledge and the 'Justice seen, justice done' campaign.

The white paper sets out a programme that includes:

Supporting the public and meeting their expectations by:

  • £2.5m to improve working between police and councils to identify and tackle antisocial behaviour
  • new police 'report cards' by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to give the public a clear view on the quality of police services in their area from March 2010
  • neighbourhood agreements across the crime and justice agendas to spell out service standards
  • expecting basic command units and the equivalent to hold meetings at least three times a year with local people
  • supporting the police to get it right first time and make amends quickly and informally when they don’t, setting out a clear and simplified complaints system
  • giving the Independent Police Complaints Commission new powers to uphold complaints where there has been no individual misconduct.

Protecting the public by:

  • publishing new principles and working with the Association of Chief Police Officers on guidance to underpin the policing of public protests
  • introducing new capability to tackle organised crime in four new regions
  • legislating to remove remaining barriers to effective collaboration
  • legislating to provide PCSOs with extra powers to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Strengthening accountability by:

  • having lead police authority members who will address public concerns in each local area and be contactable by the public
  • creating a competence framework for police authority chairs and a legal status for police authority chief executives to increase the effectiveness and impact of these key bodies
  • giving members of the public the power to sit on local authority 'Crime and disorder cverview and scrutiny committees' to hold local partners to account.

Continuing to cut bureaucracy by:

  • responding to Jan Berry’s report
  • legislating to cut the paperwork involved in stop and search
  • piloting the transfer from the Crown Prosecution Service to the police of powers to charge for lesser offences.

Boosting police productivity through working smarter by:

  • reducing the overtime bill through improved deployment of staff and internal management
  • developing standard national uniforms for police officers and PCSOs
  • national procurement for a standard 'beat car' for all forces
  • standardised body armour.

Statement from Home Secretary

Alan Johnson said, 'In the last ten years the government’s reform agenda has supported the police to help drive up confidence and drive down crime.
'We have firmly put the public at the heart of policing through neighbourhood policing, the single confidence target, policing pledge and the "Justice seen, justice done" campaign. The new policing white paper builds on these successes to meet the challenges of fighting crime and building public confidence in the 21st century.
'The white paper supports the daily hard work and dedication of the police by making clear the entitlements of the public, providing greater accountability and meeting the public’s expectations.'

Reducing bureaucracy

The reducing bureaucracy in policing advocate Jan Berry released her first year report today.
The document Reducing bureaucracy in policing (new window) presents the findings of Jan Berry’s examination of how the police service can build on the progress of the last year and remove even more unnecessary red-tape, freeing up police time and strengthening front line discretion to serve the public better.

Key recommendations accepted by the government today include:

  • roll-out of a successful pilot scheme which gives officers discretion to deal with crimes in the most effective way
  • making sure officers understand how they can deal with offenders through different options within the criminal justice system, for example through restorative justice or the courts
  • making sure officers understand acceptable ways of dealing with each crime and the consequences for public confidence and satisfaction
  • making sure decisions are made at the right level and that each officer’s role is clearly defined within that process. 

The government has accepted 13 of the report’s recommendations, and will work closely with the police to implement these and consider a further 22. 

The Home Secretary’s strategic policing priorities for 2010/11 were also published today. They are:

  • continuing to increase public confidence that police and councils are dealing with local crime and antisocial behaviour priorities
  • tackling youth crime and drug and alcohol-related offending
  • joint working between police forces, law enforcement agencies and the community to tackle serious organised crime, terrorism and violent extremism
  • ensuring value for money.

Notes to editors

Read the policing white paper – Protecting the public: supporting the police to succeed (new window).

Read Jan Berry’s report, Reducing bureaucracy in policing (new window).

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