Speech

Queen's Speech: Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

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

Notes on: "A Bill will be introduced to make the police service more accountable to local people and to tackle alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour."

The purpose of the Bill

  • Make the police service more accountable to local people, create a dedicated Border Police Force and set out measures to tackle alcohol-related violence and disorder.

The main benefits of the Bill

  • Increased police accountability through directly elected individuals.
  • Improved relationships between police and local residents.
  • Amended health and safety laws that do not stand in the way of ‘common sense’ policing.
  • Enhanced national security.
  • Improved immigration controls.
  • Stronger powers to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder.

The main elements of the Bill

  • Directly elected individuals to hold the police to account. They would ensure that local policing activities meet the needs of the local community, help build confidence in the system and bring communities and the police together.
  • Amended health and safety laws that do not stand in the way of ‘common sense’ policing.
  • Dedicated Border Police Force, as part of a refocused Serious Organised Crime Agency, to enhance national security, improve immigration controls, and crack down on the trafficking of people, weapons and drugs.
  • Strengthened relations to deal with serious crime and extended collaboration between forces to deliver better value for money.
  • Overhaul of the Licensing Act to give local authorities and the police much stronger powers to remove licenses from, or refuse to grant licenses to, any premises that are causing problems.  Banning the sale of alcohol below cost price. Also allowing local councils to charge more for late-night licenses to pay for additional policing, giving them powers to shut down shops or bars persistently selling to children and doubling the maximum fine for selling to children to £20,000.

Existing legislation in this area

  • Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009
  • Licensing Act 2003

Devolution

Border Police Force to be confirmed.  Other provisions apply to England and Wales only.