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Police Reform

Volume 594: debated on Thursday 12 March 2015

When I became Home Secretary in 2010 I initiated a programme of radical police reform to improve accountability, increase efficiency and continue to cut crime.

We have given chief constables greater independence from Whitehall by scrapping national targets, while at the same time making the police more accountable to the communities they serve through directly elected police and crime commissioners.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has been made independent of the Government and of the police so it can act directly in the public interest. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is now strengthened to take on all serious and sensitive cases.

We have reformed pay and conditions, opened up the senior ranks of the police through direct entry and established the College of Policing to improve standards and professionalism. The National Crime Agency is operating with the powers and mandate it needs to tackle serious and organised crime.

The further reforms I am announcing today build on this programme of work.

I have brought forward changes to improve the transparency and accountability of the Police Federation, as I set out to the Police Federation conference last year, and published a draft clause to make it subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I have launched a statutory inquiry into undercover policing to get to the bottom of past injustice and ensure we learn the lessons for the future.

Lastly, the Government have today published their response to two integrity consultations, setting out a package of measures to overhaul the police complaints and disciplinary systems to increase public confidence in their ability to hold the police to account and promote the highest standards of integrity among police officers.

These reforms have been made during a time in which crime is down by more than a fifth according to the independent crime survey for England and Wales. I commend the reforms under this Government to the House.