Following the abolition of the Metropolitan Police Authority at midnight last night, the Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (MOPC) was created and the Metropolitan Police became directly accountable to the mayor.
For the first time, the power to determine the strategic direction for the police service within London has been vested in one powerful individual, the Mayor of London. No longer will the police service in London be held to account by committee, but by the public through a directly elected representative.
The mayor now has the legal power to determine the policing priorities for the Metropolitan Police Service and respond to the needs of the communities that the Met serves.
The mayor will also set the annual force budget for the Metropolitan Police in consultation with the Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe.
The new PCC powers have been transferred to the mayor ahead of elections for 41 Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales on 15 November 2012.
Nick Herbert Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice said:
‘The government is transforming policing for the modern age with the most radical programme of change for more than 50 years.
‘The introduction of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners is part of our reform agenda 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.
‘The people of London have from today a stronger voice in how their streets are policed and will be able to turn to the Mayor of London to hold the police to account on their behalf.’
The Mayor of London will have all the powers of a PCC excluding the power to appoint and dismiss the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner. The Commissioner will continue to be appointed by Her Majesty the Queen, on the recommendation of the Home Secretary.
A committee will be set up by the London Assembly to provide a robust overview at force level of decisions taken by the elected Mayor of London.
Notes to editors
1. On 15 November 2012, the public will take to the polls to elect 41 Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales.
2. Police and Crime Commissioners are designed to be powerful local representatives, able to set the priorities for the police force within their force area, respond to the needs and demands of their communities more effectively, ensure local and national priorities are suitably funded by setting a budget and the local precept, and hold to account the local chief constable for the delivery and performance of the force.
3. The Mayor of London will hold the Metropolitan Police to account for their local use of resources, including any national arrangements for buying goods and services and of nationally provided services; and to hold the force to account for their contribution to and use of collaboratively provided services within their region. PCCs will have to publish details of their staff salaries in the interests of transparency. The public can then judge whether they are making best use of public money.
4. For interviews with Nick Herbert Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, call the Home Office press office on 0207 035 3535.