Headlines: September 5th, 1998

Home Office Minister Alun Michael has called for people from more varied backgrounds to take on the role of overseeing their local police forces.He has warmly welcomed the publicity campaign launched by the Association of Police Authorities to support the search for new candidates to fill vacancies falling in April 1999.The campaign’s key message is that independent members should represent the widest possible range of people in the community. Independent members work alongside councillors and magistrates to make up the full police authority.Mr Michael said: “Police authorities have a crucial role in modern-day policing. They give strategic direction to the local police force. They oversee its performance. They seek to ensure that it delivers the service the local community wants

“It is vital that police authorities can choose from the widest possible range of candidates to get a truly representative mix from the community, including the ethnic minorities.

It is the police authority which appoints the chief constable and holds him/her to account on behalf of the local community for the policing service which is delivered.