Radical Police Reforms Announced

Plans for a radical overhaul of policing in England and Wales have been unveiled by Home Secretary Theresa May.

The plans include the introduction of locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners and a new National Crime Agency.

The first elections for the new commissioners, who will oversee each police force in England and Wales, will be held in May 2012.

The new FBI-style National Crime Agency, which will replace the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), will lead the fight against organised crime and strengthen border security.

The Soca had been criticised by the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee after figures revealed that only £1 was seized from organised criminal gangs for every £15 in the agency's budget.

There are also plans to phase out the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

The Home Secretary also said that the measures would encourage greater collaboration between police forces to increase public protection and drive savings, reduce bureaucracy, remove restrictive health and safety procedures and free up officers' time.

Announcing the proposals, Mrs May said: "For too long, people have been faced with crime levels that are too high and a police service that has been too focused on Whitehall targets to really get to grips with what matters locally."

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "It is vital that police officers are free to tackle the crime and antisocial behaviour that matters most to people, not tied-down by bureaucracy and form-filling. The fundamental reforms we are announcing today continue our work to deliver a police service that is visible and accountable to the very people it serves in communities up and down the country.

"By replacing invisible police authorities with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners, we can forge a direct link between the police and the public, ensuring that the public have a voice in setting police priorities and have the power to hold the police to account for keeping our streets safe and secure."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 December 2004
UK receives $10 million of confiscated Colombian drug money
Ten million dollars confiscated from a Colombian drugs baron will be used to tackle crime in the UK, Home Office Minister Caroline Flint said today, following a successful international US/UK drugs enforcement operation. The money (£5.
30 March 2004
New agency set to take on organised crime
The Home Secretary has unveiled plans to make the UK "one of the most difficult environments in the world" for organised crime, through the creation of a serious crime agency similar to the US' Federal Bureau of Investigation.
19 October 2015
NCA To Lead Investigation Into Alleged Police Corruption
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is to lead an investigation into alleged police corruption during the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation. The NCA is managing the investigation on behalf of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), and it is being led by NCA Deputy Director for Specialist Investigations, Roy McComb.
13 August 2015
Eight Arrested In Weapons Importation Investigation
Seven men and a woman have been arrested following an investigation into the importation of firearms. Officers from the National Crime Agency's Armed Operations Unit and Kent Police made the arrests on Tuesday, 11 August.
12 June 2015
On The Run Drug Smuggler Jailed After Complaining About Towed Car
A lorry driver who went on the run while awaiting trial for drug smuggling has been recaptured and imprisoned after he visited a police station to complain about his car being towed.