The role of the police service is to:

  • Uphold the law fairly and firmly
  • Prevent crime
  • Pursue and bring to justice those who break the law
  • Keep the Queen's Peace
  • Protect, help and reassure the community
  • Be seen to do all things with integrity, common sense and sound judgement

There are 44 police forces in England and Wales, including the British Transport Police. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) oversees the service. The police service has seen a major cultural change over the last two decades. It no longer polices by itself, but is part of the wider police family, made up of:

  • The police service of England and Wales - full police powers to uniformed officers
  • Community Support Officer - limited police powers
  • Neighbourhood Warden (Accredited) limited, discretionary powers
  • Neighbourhood Warden (Non-Accredited) - no powers

The National Policing Plan is produced annually, providing a three-year framework for local police planning. The underpinning themes are community engagement and civil renewal, including tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB), and countering t errorism and the threat of terrorism. One of the National Policing Plan's five priorities is tackling ASB.

Each police force and its police authority, on an annual basis, jointly create the Local Policing Plan. This sets out where each force will be focusing its efforts in the coming year and beyond. It should balance local policing needs with government priorities and form part of the longer-term, three-year policing strategy.

Further information


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