Abstracts: April 15th, 2009

Following on from the Policing Green Paper there has been a fundamental shift in police accountability and reporting. The focus is now on police reporting and responding to local communities rather than central government. Individual police officers have the responsibility and the discretion to tackle the issues that matter locally.

Earlier reviews and surveys revealed that the public are unclear about the standards they should expect from the police. There was also uncertainty about how they can find out about policing in their area, how they can have their say on crime issues and how they can hold the police to account when there are problems.

All but one of the police’s targets have been removed to reduce unnecessary ‘red-tape’ and free up the police to spend more time on the frontline. The other significant measure is the introduction of a national Policing Pledge, giving the public a new entitlement to consistent national minimum standards of service from 999 calls, local meetings and information.

The Pledge gives the public a set of national minimum standards that they are entitled to. These include a one hour response to calls about agreed neighbourhood priorities, the right to meet with their local team and others in the community to agree priorities and action to tackle them at least once a month. There is also an entitlement to crime maps, information on specific crimes and information about what happened to those brought to justice in their neighbourhood.

The Police Pledge is available from the Home Office. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/policing-pledge?view=Binary