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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

June 29, 2010: Home Secretary's Speech to the National Policing Conference

 This is the concluding section of Home Secretary Theresa May delivered this speech on 29 June to the Association of Chief Police Officers and Association of Police Authorities National Conference in Manchester:

"I know that some of you have argued for mergers between police forces.  I understand the operational advantages of large forces, particularly in relation to the most serious forms of criminal activity.  But let’s get one thing straight: this government believes strongly in building strong local communities and giving the people who live in these communities a major role in the planning and delivery of the public services they use.  In keeping with this belief in local democratic accountability, police force mergers will not be allowed to happen unless they are voluntary and unless they have the support of local communities.
"But of course, there is a lot that police forces can do in terms of sharing back office functions and procurement.  And, to that end, I welcome ACPO’s offer to produce a national plan for the way the service does business. I’m eager to hear over the coming weeks from ACPO and the APA what progress has been made in putting together a project to meet the financial challenges of the future.
"I want that plan to look at what other matters are best reserved and what essential functions – such as criminal justice units, call handling and training – can be delivered more cheaply and effectively with other forces or partners. And I want that plan to identify where collaboration can strengthen the police response to terrorism, organised criminality and threats to the public that cut across force boundaries.
"We need to understand too the potential benefits of outsourcing, and not just in areas like human resources and finance. Some forces have already shown substantial savings in things like custody management. 
"The ACPO plan will need to look critically at the size of these functions and the number of officers deployed. I am determined that frontline availability should increase even as budgets contract. I acknowledge that increasing the visibility and productivity of officers, PCSOs and other staff is a major challenge. But I firmly believe that it is a challenge that chief constables can – and must – meet.
"The matter of deployment and availability will be examined by HMIC in their value for money inspections later this year. And we will make sure that the review of remuneration and conditions of service recommends ways we can give chief constables more discretion over how to use their workforce flexibly and cost-effectively. 
"Because we need to think creatively about how to get officers from behind desks and onto the streets.  And I’m pleased to say that we have, in our short time in government, already made some progress.
"We have long promised to scrap the ‘stop and account’ form in its entirety and reduce the burden of the stop and search procedures.  I can announce today that these important commitments will be delivered by the end of the year.
"In my speech to the Police Federation, I promised to return charging decisions to the police for a broader range of minor offences. And I can announce today that there will be a phased rollout of the new arrangements from November.
"Essex, London, Thames Valley, Staffordshire and West Yorkshire have been testing these new charging arrangements.  When they are rolled out across the whole country, up to 80,000 cases a year will be returned to the discretion of police officers. And I can also announce today that I am also scrapping the confidence target and the policing pledge with immediate effect.
"I know that some officers like the policing pledge, and some, I’m sure, like the comfort of knowing they’ve ticked boxes.  But targets don’t fight crime; targets hinder the fight against crime.  In scrapping the confidence target and the policing pledge, I couldn’t be any clearer about your mission: it isn’t a thirty-point plan; it is to cut crime.  No more, and no less.
"I know that the Home Office hasn’t been the only guilty partner in creating all this bureaucracy.  The criminal justice system can waste officers’ time, and I know that Nick Herbert, who is not only a minister in the Home Office but also the Ministry of Justice, is keen to hear your ideas about how to make it more efficient.  Nick is going to be here all week, and is anxious to hear your views on this and any other subject that is bothering you.  So please do make sure you speak to him.
"But we have to face the fact that some of this bureaucracy also stems from the forces themselves.  When times are tight, when we are removing red tape imposed by the Home Office, it simply cannot be right that this bureaucracy is reinstated at a local level.  Nor can it be right for remaining paperwork to be goldplated by forces.  So I call on all of you, chief constables and police authority members alike, to take the same, radical approach to cutting bureaucracy as we are taking in Whitehall.
"The announcements I have made today are by no means exhaustive, and I want to hear from you about what else we can do to help you do your jobs more efficiently and effectively. Tell me precisely where bureaucracy is making your life harder for no benefit, and I will do whatever I can to change it. 
"But the truth is that if we are going to make the police more visible, more available, and more accountable to the public you serve, then we have to go beyond these changes.  We have to look again at the driver of all this bureaucracy, and that is the top-down model of accountability imposed on police by government.
"That is government’s way of doing things. Ask a bureaucrat to do something and he’ll create bureaucracy. It’s not really a surprise, is it? But we can’t sweep away the targets, initiatives and paperwork and leave nothing in their place.  The police, like every public service, have to remain accountable. But they do not have to be accountable to bureaucrats in Whitehall – they should be accountable to the people they serve in their communities.  So we will swap the top-down, bureaucratic accountability for local, democratic accountability, as we promised to do in the Coalition Agreement, and indeed as was promised in the manifestos of both Coalition partners. 
"It means a directly-elected individual at force level, setting the force budget, agreeing the local strategic plan, playing a role in wider questions of community safety and appointing – and if necessary removing – the local chief constable.
"It means publishing accurate local crime data, so that maps can be produced showing exactly what crimes have been committed where.
"It means regular beat meetings for local communities to hold their neighbourhood policing teams to account. And I give you this assurance: none of these changes will compromise the foundation stone of British policing, your operational independence.
"That is the deal I am offering to you.  I haven’t had time today to do more than outline some of its main principles.  In the next few months, Nick Herbert and I will be in listening mode – and I urge you to use this opportunity to tell us how you think that these general principles should best be implemented. 
"Later this summer, we will be bringing forward detailed proposals and introducing the necessary legislation to be implemented in this session of Parliament.  Some of you will no doubt argue that this timetable is too ambitious.  Some have suggested that what we should do is set up a Royal Commission to think about these matters for a couple of years. 
"Frankly, these issues are too important to be put on the back burner.  In this age of spending cuts and policing on a budget, our programme of police reform becomes more urgent, not less.  So we will get on with the job.
"Our vision is a bold one, with a totally redrawn national policing landscape: more collaboration between forces, a review into the role and remit of the NPIA, a border police force as part of a refocused Serious and Organised Crime Agency, and, of course, directly-elected individuals to deliver local accountability. And I want you, the senior police officers, to think sensibly about a clearer and more transparent leadership role for ACPO in this landscape.
"Times might be tough, and money might be tight, but there is no reason to check our ambition. 
"What I have outlined today is a real plan to cut crime and anti-social behaviour.  It’s not – as we’ve been used to – a bureaucratic checklist we expect police officers to follow.  It’s a plan that gives responsibility to the police, accountability to the public, and the clearest sense of direction possible: your job is nothing more, and nothing less, than to cut crime.  And I will do everything I can to help you do so."