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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Local government partnership programmes: examples: Crime and Disorder Reduction partnerships


These are statutory partnerships established under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended by the Police Reform Act 2002). This places a duty on police forces and local authorities, along with police authorities, fire authorities, primary care trusts in England, and health authorities in Wales, to work together in partnership with other agencies. The aim is to develop and implement a strategy for reducing crime and disorder in each district and unitary local authority area in England and Wales.

The Home Secretary has powers under the Act to specify bodies that must co-operate with the partnership and those that must be invited to co-operate.

Bodies who must co-operate

The ‘must co-operate’ list comprises:

  • registered social landlords (normally VAT registered and making predominantly exempt supplies)
  • parish and community councils (section 33 and unregistered bodies), and
  • NHS trusts (section 41 bodies).

Bodies who must be invited to co-operate

The ‘must be invited to co-operate’ list is lengthy and diverse as follows:

  • schools, further education and tertiary colleges
  • youth services
  • the Crown Prosecution Service
  • Crown and Magistrates’ Courts
  • Drug Action teams
  • Neighbourhood Watch
  • Victim Support
  • Military Police
  • public transport providers
  • fire services
  • groups established in the interests of women, young; elderly and disabled people
  • groups established in furtherance of good race relations
  • groups established in the interests of lesbians and gay men
  • groups established for religious purposes
  • groups established for the interests of residents in the area
  • co-operatives and partnerships
  • shopkeepers, retail organisations and other employers, and
  • trade union organisations.


Partners must decide locally how they can best secure effective input from all these groups and should also not exclude any other local agencies if they clearly have something useful to contribute.

In recognition of local differences in problems to be addressed, the Act does not specify how a partnership should be structured or organised. Indeed Home Office guidance is clear that it should not be assumed that every aspect of the work will be led by the police or local authority. The partnerships are required to let leadership fall to whoever is best placed to provide it in the light of local circumstances and the nature of the specific issue. An underlying maxim is that the people who live and work in an area are best placed to identify the problems facing them and the options available for tackling them.

VAT treatment

Funding for the partnerships is predominantly, if not exclusively, by grant or donation whether of money or in kind. Consequently the delivery of the local Crime and Disorder Reduction programme is unlikely to give rise to supplies for VAT purposes, although it is possible that some business supplies might be made.

Whether VAT incurred can be recovered largely depends on the VAT status of the partner delivering that aspect of the programme. This is most likely to be the police or local authority, with VAT recoverable under section 33 (see VATGPB4000). But this cannot be assumed. All of these partnerships are thought to operate as management boards rather than as limited companies or charities.