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New Policing and Crime Legislation puts people first

New Policing and Crime Legislation puts people first

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 12 November 2009

New measures to protect the public, increase police accountability and tackle crime and disorder were welcomed today by the Home Secretary Alan Johnson after the Policing and Crime Bill received Royal Assent.

The new Act gives a clear voice to local people in the policing of their areas and also brings in new powers to ensure the police and local communities have the powers they need to deal with issues that matter to the public such as gang-related violence, prostitution and alcohol-related disorder. New measures include the introduction of a mandatory code of practice for alcohol retailers, the creation of a new offence of paying for sex with a prostitute who has been coerced or deceived and the power for police and local authorities to apply for injunctions against people involved in gang-related violence.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:

"The public are at the heart of everything we do and they are our best weapon in fighting crime. The Policing and Crime Act gives police and local authorities new powers to tackle the issues of most concern to communities, like gang violence, alcohol-related crime and disorder, prostitution and lap-dancing clubs."

Further measures include:

Crime and disorder

* Giving greater powers to Local Authorities to control the opening and regulation of lap-dancing clubs;

* Strengthening police powers to deal with young people drinking alcohol in public;

* Lowering the number of times premises can sell alcohol to young people before incurring a penalty and toughening the penalties for those premises;

* Making sure that those subject to football banning orders in England and Wales are also banned from attending regulated football matches in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Policing

* Placing a duty on police authorities to have regard to the views of the public on policing in their area in the exercise of all their functions;

* Ensuring that HMIC assesses how well authorities are reflecting the views of the public when they inspect an authority's functions;

* Strengthening the independence and status of the Senior Appointments Panel for Chief Officers;

* Facilitating more effective collaborative working of police forces and police authorities at regional and national level by improving operational processes and clarifying the framework for collaboration agreements.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

* Increasing police powers to close premises associated with prostitution and pornography related offences for a set period;

* Protecting vulnerable individuals by increasing the maximum duration of foreign travel orders, requiring those sex offenders banned from travelling anywhere abroad to surrender their passport, and increasing the penalty for the offence of failing to provide access to suspected encrypted indecent photographs of children;

* Increasing the efficiency of the Criminal Records Bureau, and make amendments to strengthen the working of the new Vetting and Barring Scheme.

Organised and International Crime

* Making a number of small amendments to clarify HM Revenue and Customs powers;

* Strengthening the arrangements for recovery of assets obtained through criminal means;

* Improving the efficiency of arrangements for judicial co-operation between UK and its international partners.

Airport Security

* Enhancing inter-agency co-operation in establishing airport security arrangements with greater clarity of roles and responsibilities;

* Introducing a systematic regular assessment of how threats to airports are being mitigated;

* Enhancing airport security planning at UK airports both locally and nationally as Airport Security Plans will help ensure more effective deployment of resources to mitigate threats;

* Bringing in a consistent funding process for dedicated police activities at airports that ensures police authorities are reimbursed by airport operators for agreed dedicated policing costs, in turn benefiting the taxpayer.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Details of the new Policing and Crime Act can be found at http:// police.homeoffice.gov.uk/police-reform/policing-crime-bill and at http://www.cri mereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/policing25.htm

224/2009

Contacts:

Home Office Press Office
Phone: 020 7035 3535
NDS.HO@coi.gsi.gov.uk

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