Reform Bill, home office minister John Denham said today:
'The Police Reform Bill is an essential part of the government's
of crime and raising the performance of the police service as a
'The driving force for Community Support Officers (CSO's) has come
from the police themselves, in particular the Metropolitan Police
Service. I am pleased that the committee has recognised that CSO's
could play an important part in supporting the police and that the
powers we are proposing should be tested. CSO's will not be police
officers; they will perform a separate, but important function. In
addition we will continue to increase police numbers - we currently
have record levels and are on target to reach our pledge of 130,000
by spring next year.
'CSO's have a vital role to play in visible patrolling, tackling low
level crime and anti-social and yobbish behaviour. They will free up
officers time allowing them back onto the frontline. They will have
limited specific powers, such as issuing fixed penalty notices, to
help them effectively carry out this role. We will reintroduce powers
of detention for CSO's into the Bill in the commons as we believe
these are vital for their effectiveness.
'Everyone has the right to expect high standards of policing -
wherever they live. The government remains convinced that powers to
tackle persistent poor performance are required. I note the
committee's welcome for the extra safeguards for these powers that we
have proposed. Our intention is reintroduce the powers, with these
safeguards, in the commons.
'I welcome the committee's support for a more effective and
independent system to deal with serious complaints against the police
which the IPCC will offer.'