Police 'retreating from beat'

Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens has warned that police officers are "beating a retreat from the beat". He was writing a day before his Independent Police Commission publishes 37 recommendations on the future of policing.

Police 'could be struck off professional register'

Police officers could face being struck off a professional register if they are guilty of misconduct, under proposals designed to restore faith in the service.

Lord Stevens' report into the future of policing, published today, recommends a new status of chartered police officer, in addition to the office of constable.

Lord Stevens has warned that police officers are "beating a retreat from the beat" Credit: PA Wire

The reform would bring the police into line with other professions such as nursing, with officers registered with the College of Policing which could strike them off for failing to meet professional standards.

The College of Policing would also decide misconduct hearings in public, unlike the current, opaque, disciplinary process.

Read: Police are 'retreating' from the beat

Miliband: Policing reforms could save £60 million a year

Labour leader Ed Miliband has described Met commissioner Lord Stevens report into neighbourhood policing as of "profound concern" after it claims to have identified an initial £60 million of savings a year - the equivalent of 500 additional officers.

The threat to neighbourhood policing highlighted in a report by Lord Stevens is of 'profound concern', Ed Miliband will say.
The threat to neighbourhood policing highlighted in a report by Lord Stevens is of 'profound concern', Ed Miliband will say. Credit: PA

Lord Stevens, writing in The Sunday Telegraph (£), acknowledged that no extra money for his reforms would be made available, but said he had identified the savings by paying the lowest price for common equipment.

At the Labour-commissioned report's launch Mr Miliband will say: "Crude salami-slicing without reform, as pursued by this Government, simply stores up costs later down the line.

"This independent commission has identified an initial £60 million a year that could be saved by better procurement.

"That is cash that could be re-invested back into the front line: saving that could mean 500 additional police officers protecting our communities."

Read: Main recommendations of inquiry into policing

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Main recommendations of inquiry into policing

A two-year inquiry into the future of policing by the Independent Police Commission will make 37 recommendations when it is published tomorrow.

Here are some of the main points it is expected to make:

  • Every local area in England and Wales should be given a guaranteed level of neighbourhood policing
  • Every crime reported to police should be investigated. If this is not possible, the victim should be told why
  • Police forces should not investigate their own officers when accused of misconduct or criminality
  • Electronic submission of case files to courts and prosecutors
  • Savings on uniform and equipment by buying in bulk

Read: Lord Stevens: Police are 'retreating' from the beat

Police officers 'should be visible in the community'

Lord Stevens, who oversaw the introduction of neighbourhood policing as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has warned policing has "deteriorated".

Writing in the Telegraph, he said that forces were falling back on a "discredited" model of policing:

Policing is more than just reacting to things going wrong for people and catching the criminals who have wronged society. We see it every day when there are major car accidents or big public-order events. But the police are there to help prevent crime, too. That means being visible in the community, making people feel safer, and making communities stronger and more resistant to crime and disorder. It’s about making our communities and our society a better place.

– lord stevens

Lord Stevens: Police are 'retreating' from the beat

A former Metropolitan Police commissioner has said that police officers are "beating a retreat from the beat" in favour of a "discredited" style of reactive policing.

There are 10,000 fewer frontline officers in England and Wales than in 2010, Lord Stevens' report found
There are 10,000 fewer frontline officers in England and Wales than in 2010, Lord Stevens' report found Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Lord Stevens, who heads the Independent Police Commission, was writing in the Telegraph a day before his wide-ranging inquiry into the future of policing is to be published.

"We have seen that neighbourhood policing is under threat and the police are at risk of retreating into a discredited reactive model," he writes.

Lord Stevens was also critical of the the current police reform programme, describing it as “confused”, “fragmented” and “unfocused”.

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