The Act moves the decision-making on policing away from government to communities giving them the power to elect police and crime commissioners.
Communities will now have a greater say in licensing decisions, with tougher powers for local authorities to restrict problem premises selling alcohol at night.
‘The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act is a landmark in the government’s agenda to decentralise control and return power to the people’ said Policing Minister, Nick Herbert.
The Minister added:
‘The election of police and crime commissioners in England and Wales in November next year will give local people a strong voice in how their communities are policed and provide a powerful boost to the fight against crime.’
PCCs will make forces truly accountable to their communities by:
representing all those who live and work in their area identifying their needs
set priorities that meet those needs by agreeing a strategic plan for the force
hold the chief constable to account
set the force budget
appoint - and, where necessary, remove - the chief constable
Other measures in the Act include:
measures to give communities greater say over alcohol licensing to tackle problem premises
a stronger local influence on licensing allowing everyone to comment on decisions
introducing a late-night levy allowing councils to charge for licences to pay for extra policing
immediate powers to temporarily ban the latest ‘legal highs’