We are working to ensure we have a flexible and modern police force, fit for the 21st century and focused on cutting crime and keeping the public safe.
Our programme of police reform is coherent and comprehensive - from reforming local accountability to strengthening national structures; from dealing with so-called low-level crime to tackling the most serious; from enhancing professionalism to reducing bureaucracy - and all with the clear aim of helping the police to fight crime.
Elected police and crime commissioners will ensure the policing needs of their communities are met, bringing communities closer to the police, building confidence in the system and restoring trust.
Our major reform to national level law enforcement is the creation of the National Crime Agency (NCA), an operational crime fighting agency with a vision that stems from policing. The NCA will:
- tackle organised crime
- strengthen our borders
- fight fraud and cyber crime
- protect children and young people
Continuing to build the professionalism of the police
The College of Policing will underpin all future training and development. It will provide help and assistance to individual police officers and staff throughout their career.
We are also working with the College and police to strengthen police integrity and ensure consistency in standards of professional behaviour across forces.
The police should focus on police work, not paperwork. By changing the way police forces work and stripping out bureaucratic processes, officers can be freed up to do the job they joined to do - fight crime and protect the public.
Supporting the police service through change
Getting the best value out of every pound spent on policing is more important than ever, as budgets necessarily reduce. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found forces had risen to the challenge of decreasing spending while still cutting crime and improving public satisfaction.
Transformational change can take many forms, from relatively small policing process improvements that have a 'transformational impact', to larger changes like engaging private sector providers to deliver a force's backroom functions at significantly lower cost, whilst at the same time bringing in new expertise or technology to ensure better support to the front line.
Winsor review of police pay and conditions
As a service spending £14 billion a year, in the current economic situation there is a compelling case that the police can and must make their fair share of the savings that are needed. Around 80 per cent of total police spending goes on pay, so clearly these savings do mean changes to the workforce.
However, reforming police pay and conditions is about more than saving money: reform of police pay and the savings that it generates can be reinvested in the front line, and reward skills, performance and crime-fighting.
The Winsor Review makes recommendations that recognise the hardest-working officers, reward professional skills and encourage continued development.
Difficult decisions are being made across the public service on pensions. The police cannot be exempt from these changes. We have done all we can to secure a fair pensions package for police officers that reflects the frontline nature of policing work and protects those closest to retirement. Police officers will continue to retire earlier that most public servants and police pensions will continue to be among the best available.