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New Act puts public at the heart of policing

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill has received Royal Assent today, 15 September 2011.

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

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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’

Read the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act.


Updates to this page

Published 15 September 2011