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The recruitment process for the selection of the independent members of the new style police authorities was announ...
The recruitment process for the selection of the independent members of the new style police authorities was announced by Home Secretary Michael Howard yesterday.

Applications are invited from people of good character from all walks of life who consider they have the skills and experience to contribute to the work of their police authority.

Five local people will be appointed to each of the new sixteen strong independent police authorities in England and Wales under the Police and Magistrates Courts Bill.

Key tasks of the new police authorities in each of the 43 police force areas will be to set local policing objectives, take account of local views and issue a costed local policing plan.

Candidates will be considered by six regional short listing panels each made up of a recruitment consultant and two other people independent of government. The Lord Lieutenants Association is being consulted about their involvement in the short listing procedure.

Mr Howard said: 'Any member of the public of good character can apply. We need to mobilise all parts of the community, from all walks of life, to bring their best talents and skills to bear'.

Advertisements will appear in the national press shortly.

Potential candidates should be at least 21 years old and under 70 years of age at the end of their term of appointment and be of good character.

They should also live or work in the area of the authority; possess good communication and financial skills; be able to challenge accepted views in a constructive way; have an understanding of the needs of the community and of the pressures and challenges which face the police; and have skills and experience which would broaden the expertise available to the authority.

The posts will require a minimum commitment of 18 days a year. Most will be on weekdays, on some occasions during the evenings. Appointments will be made for periods not exceeding four years.

Police authority members are not paid but are entitled to receive an allowance and expenses relating to the work they carry out on the authority's business.

They will be expected to act on behalf of local people as the 'customer' of the service which the police force provides; consult the public about the work of the police; and help to build a partnership between the police and the local community.

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