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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

September 19, 2005: Home Secretary Responds to HMIC

The police service was today invited by Home Secretary Charles Clarke to come forward with firm proposals for the creation of strategic forces in each region. He made the announcement in response to the publication last week of a report ‘Closing the Gap’ by  HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. (HMIC) which found that the current 43 forces structure is no longer fit for purpose. HMIC was commissioned to provide a ‘professional assessment of whether the present 43 force structure is the right one to meet the challenges posed by the current and future policing environment’.

The report showed that the present structure is not sufficiently robust to provide the necessary level of protective services, such as major investigations, that the 21st century increasingly demands. It concluded that some reorganisation of forces is necessary in the interests of efficiency and effectiveness of policing. While a number of restructuring options are available, it recommended creating strategic police forces of sufficient size to provide both effective neighbourhood policing and protective services. Mr Clarke said:

“HMIC have worked hard on this thorough report which will shape the future of policing in this country. I welcome it as an important contribution to this vital debate.

“It is clear that policing needs to change if it is to meet the challenges of the modern world. We’ve already made the first step change with reforms which are putting neighbourhood policing at the heart of every community. By 2008 every citizen will have officers who are dedicated to policing their streets.

“I want to see local police teams working in – and responsible for – an area which in most places will be the size of one or two local wards. This will allow residents to influence the policing in their areas so the crimes they are most worried about are dealt with. It also makes the police accountable, along with local councillors, to their local community. Working with local police community support officers and voluntary and community organisations like Neighbourhood Watch, a strong and resilient local police presence will be established for every community in the country.

“These local teams will form part of a basic command unit, where a senior officer will be able to set unique priorities for their patch to address problems in that area. The senior officer will have responsibility for their area and will have the power and responsibility, working through effective local crime and disorder partnerships, to make policing work for the communities they serve. These basic command units must, as in almost all cases today, be coterminous with the local district or unitary councils so that co-operation can be made fully effective.

“On the basis of this structure we need to bring into effect the second step change – providing an effective police force above the local basic command unit level to provide support for every locality and to deal with serious and sophisticated crime. The modern threats we face today from terrorism, international drug and people traffickers and financial crime gangs need police forces which have the resources and capabilities to match the criminals.

“As the HMIC report indicates, currently, some forces are simply too small to meet these challenges. We need strategic forces able to address them effectively and to provide the support which localities need. Doing things 43 different ways no longer works and the implication of the HMIC report, which I accept, is that inevitably we will have less forces in the future. But with local accountability for tackling crime delivered by neighbourhood policing, bigger, more strategic constabularies will mean we will have forces ready and equipped for policing in the 21st century.

“I am now asking the leadership of every police force in the country to respond to the challenges set out by the HMIC Report and make their proposals for the best way to create this new strategic framework. I am confident that the challenge will be met professionally and speedily.”