Jump to site navigation [j]

The police

Policing in the 21st century consultation - reconnecting police and the people

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.

Comment online now

The consultation is broken into five chapters. You can either download and read the entire Policing in the 21st century: reconnecting police and the people consultation document and email us your responses.

Or you can read the individual chapters and respond online to the questions immediately

Contents of the consultation

Chapter one: The challenge

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
  • a powerful new National Crime Agency to lead the fight against organised crime and strengthen our border security
  • 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
  • a clear role for everyone, including members of the public, in cutting crime through beat meetings, neighbourhood watch schemes and voluntary groups.

Read chapter one - the challenge

Chapter two: 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. They will ensure that the police are held to account democratically, not bureaucratically by Whitehall. This is the most radical reform in 50 years. We expect the commissioners to be elected for the first time in 2012. There will be much less costly micromanagement and intervention by central government in local policing, in return for much greater responsiveness to the public.

Removing bureaucratic accountability (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.

We 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: 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. 

Chapter five: 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.

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

A number of the proposed changes will feature in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which will be published in the autumn.

Bookmark and Share

Home Office websites