Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

Tom Brake: Restoring public confidence in the police

by Ian Shires on 1 March, 2012

Yesterday Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities, Tom Brake published ‘Trusted, Professional and Effective: British policing at its best’.

It proposes a number of changes to police forces in England around three key areas, which will change the culture of police for the better:

  • More trusted – listening to local people and making policing much more responsive to communities’ priorities.
  • More professional – setting up the new police professional body with a key responsibility to recommend detailed national minimum recruitment standards for the police.
  • More effective – making evidence based policing the defining feature of 21st century policing by establishing the world’s first Institute for Policing Excellence.

The proposed reforms including measures to:

  • Make Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) more accountable to the public between elections
  • Create safeguards against the expansion of the role of PCCs
  • Create an Institute for Policing Excellence
  • Create a Police First development scheme based on the success of Teach First
  • Encourage Police and Crime Panels to veto plans to cut police numbers unless all measures to cut bureaucracy have been exhausted

Commenting, Tom Brake said:

“We have fantastic police officers who are dedicated, able and trying to do their best by the community they serve. Yet as an organisation, the police suffers from a lack of confidence and trust.

“Many of the criticisms relate to a perceived lack of fairness in the way people have been treated. Labour’s legislative assault on our civil liberties has been disastrous for the reputation of the police who enforced it.

“It is essential that we clear up Labour’s legacy and end people’s feeling that they are both over-policed and under-protected. This paper demonstrates how the Liberal Democrats would do the right thing to restore public confidence.”

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