Press release

Home secretary outlines plans for new police professional body

A new police professional body that supports police officers at all ranks and civilian policing professionals will be set up next year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government is clear that the police service must be radically reformed in order to meet growing challenges and deliver the most effective service possible.

The new body will take responsibility for developing professional skills and leadership in the police service. It will act in the public interest and will be a single voice for the police service with a publicly accountable board and independent chairperson.

As part of the government’s programme of policing reform, we are rationalising the landscape of the police service by phasing out the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). This follows consultation with the police service and partners.

Some of the NPIA’s critical national services will be moved into the National Crime Agency (NCA) via the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Responsibility for delivering other national services - like the non-emergency 101 phone number and crime mapping - will move to the Home Office.

Home Secretary Theresa May said:

‘The government is transforming policing for the modern age with the most radical programme of change for more than 50 years.

‘At its core is a new professional body that will develop skills and leadership, enabling the drive to reduce bureaucracy and with greater accountability to the public. 

‘Together with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners and the new National Crime Agency, this is a strong and coherent agenda for reform which will free the police to fight crime at the national and local level, deliver better value for the taxpayer and give the public a stronger voice.’

A  Chief Constables’ Council will enable senior officers to assess and discuss critical operational issues. The Home Secretary is working with ACPO and key partners to consider the Council’s precise remit and its relationship with the police professional body.

The government is also establishing an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company. The company will be owned by police authorities and subsequently Police and Crime Commissioners, with the police service as its customer. It will be responsible for the procurement, implementation and management of complex contracts for information technology, related business change and outsourcing services, supplying both national and local services for police.

Notes to editors

1. The Home Secretary and Policing and Criminal Justice Minister have consulted on Peter Neyroud’s Review of Police Leadership and Training which sets out a vision of a professional body for policing. A summary of the government’s response can be found at:     

2. The police professional body (PPB) will focus on policing in England and Wales but will also work closely with forces in Scotland and Northern Ireland particularly on cross-border issues.

3. The Developing Professionalism Working Group, chaired by the Policing Minister, will take forward work on the police professional body with representatives from ACPO, the Police Federation, the Police Superintendents’ Association, Unison and the Association of Police Authorities. The Working Group will consider which, if any, of ACPO’s current functions should move across to the PPB.

4. Plans to phase out the NPIA are being implemented following detailed consultation with the police service and its partners. Working with the police service and the NPIA, the government plans to:

  • transfer key national critical operational functions to the NCA, which naturally fits with its new national crime fighting remit. Those areas already identified include the Central Witness Bureau, Crime Operational Support, the National Missing Persons Bureau, the Serious Crime Analysis team, and the Specialist Operations centre. In the short term, these important functions will move to the Serious Organised Crime Agency, one of the major precursor bodies to the NCA;
  • transfer responsibility for the 101 non-emergency phone service, crime mapping, pathology services, forensic and other non-ICT procurement and the programme for implementing Schengen Information System (II) (SIS II), to the Home Office;
  • hand over the hosting of the new National Police Air Service to a lead force; and
  • end the work the NPIA currently does advising on Value for Money by November 2012. In its place, Police and Crime Commissioners will drive value for money in the police service, with further support where necessary.

5. The government announced in July that it would establish an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company. The company will be owned by police authorities and subsequently Police and Crime Commissioners, with the police service as a customer. and will ensure:

  • better value to forces for their ICT spend;
  • greater innovation in police ICT, so that operational officers have better systems;
  • freedom for chief constables to focus on fighting crime rather than managing ICT; and
  • services and products that support forces and other customers in their drive for interoperability.
Published 15 December 2011