has pledged his support for the difficult job officers do at his
second reform summit with police chiefs.
people most beleaguered by yobbish behaviour and drug-related crime,
and set out proposals to boost the effectiveness of measures against
anti-social behaviour - in particular, to update and slim down, the
procedure for gaining anti-social behaviour orders.
Mr Blunkett told police chiefs yesterday that police reform was on track and
that through clear and decisive leadership, a partnership approach
coupled with innovative thinking, it was within their grasp to
improve the lives of individuals and to see dramatic improvements in
Mr Blunkett was joined by former New York police commissioner, Bill
Bratton to reinforce the message that leadership can deliver results.
'Reform and reward go hand in hand. Increased opportunity for pay,
accelerated promotion and resources targeted at those in the most
difficult or community orientated jobs is an essential part of
restoring both confidence in and results for the police.
'The government has delivered on investment, recruitment - with
record numbers of police officers - additional powers and a renewed
emphasis on partnership so that crime reduction and anti-social
behaviour can be shared.
'I strongly support the hard work and dedication that police men and
women do day in and day out. I am committed to slimming down
bureaucracy, halving the number of performance indicators, getting
more officers out in to the community and visible to the public and
backing them up with the equipment, improved conditions and
additional support they deserve.
'Tackling anti-social behaviour on housing estates and on the streets
of the most difficult areas is key to addressing the fear of crime
and reinforcing the task of communities to build securer and safer
The home secretary told his audience that what had been achieved in
New York, in driving down crime and restoring confidence, could be
achieved here not in exactly the same way, not using precisely the
same methods but tailored to the specific conditions of Britain in
2002. Inspirational leadership, clear goals, determination and of
course, the backing of the politicians to get it right.
'That is why we are offering that support in new proposals to tackle
anti-social behaviour, reforming the criminal justice system,
supporting and enabling officers to gain and to make more convictions
The proposals being considered in respect of anti-social behaviour
orders, a fast track to civil legal action against those committing
disorder in the community, include:
- An interim anti-social behaviour order - to enable immediate action
to be taken prior to going through the full process. The order would
be made at the first court appearance, pending a full hearing. This
would enable the community to be protected from a persistent offender
- An anti-social behaviour order which would 'travel' with the person
on whom it is served. This will tackle the problem of people moving
to other areas and resuming their anti-social behaviour.
- Looking to extend the scope of the orders by allowing registered
social landlords and the British Transport Police, to apply. Both
will be required to consult the local authority quickly and simply,
as well as the police, in the area in which the behaviour has
- Exploring with the lord chancellor's department to see if there
might be a role for county courts in making orders, for example where
the court is dealing with applications for evictions or injunctions.
- Proposals to tackle variations in detection rates between forces,
and give support to staff and police through the new powers and
increased visibility of uniformed officers - using the Standards Unit
to ensure that differences in performance are ironed out.
The anti-social behaviour order proposals and powers announced in the
Police Reform Bill will enable the police to do their job more
effectively, freed up from unnecessary paper-work, and focus on the
key job in hand.
Mr Blunkett said:
'Tackling anti-social behaviour is fundamental to improving quality
of life. We need to think creatively and intelligently about the
challenge ahead and how best to meet it. This is as much the
responsibility of chief officers as it is of bobbies on the beat.
'Everyone has a part to play. The crime and disorder reduction
partnerships draw together a wide range of players at local level.
This, together with increased police efficiency, backed up by the
resources to do the job, really will make a difference.'
Former commissioner of the New York Police Department, Bill Bratton,
'I am pleased and honoured to have been invited to participate in
this event. The key to improving the quality of life in New York City
and the US generally was reducing crime.
'This method of policing was clearly successful, as shown by an
almost 80 per cent reduction in subway crime and more than 50 per
cent reduction in crime on the streets of New York showed in the
Last Friday the government published its Police Reform Bill (see LGCnet).
Officers are currently considering an outline agreement on
modernisation of pay and conditions, reached in December and agreed
by the Federation, Association of Chief Police Officers, the police
authorities and the government. On Monday the home secretary
announced changes to the package to offer more reassurance protection
to those working long and arduous hours and Christmas and Easter
An information leaflet explaining the agreement can be found on
the home office website. Around 95,000
copies of the leaflet are being distributed to police officers
through basic command units and via inserts in magazines.
The home secretary announced on 27th January details of a 33%
increase in investment in police modernisation. The announcement
shows the breakdown of how the£209m capital provision for
2002/3, up from£157m for the current year, is to be divided up among
43 police forces. Forces will be able to bid for£20m of this
funding which has been specifically earmarked to modernise working
conditions for police office.