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Police: Public Opinion

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward proposals for the selection process for chief constables to take account of public opinion in the area for which the appointment is to be made. (281781)

Police authorities appoint chief constables, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State and Police Regulations. Appointing a chief constable is a key means by which the authority can discharge its function of securing an efficient and effective police force for an area. Consideration of the public's views should inform the police authority view of the professional and strategic requirements which underpin the recruitment of a chief constable.

The Policing and Crime Bill currently before Parliament strengthens the requirement on police authorities to consider the public's views in discharging any of their functions.