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NATIONAL POLICING FORUM WILL DELIVER PEOPLE-FOCUSED POLICE AND IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

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The new National Policing Forum, with responsibility for drawing up ...
The new National Policing Forum, with responsibility for drawing up

the National Policing Plan, a key element in the government's police

reform programme, starts work today.

The first meeting of the forum will be chaired by Home Office

minister John Denham. The forum will have a broad range of

representation, drawing together representatives from the voluntary

sector, victims' support groups, and ethnic minority leaders as well

as professional policing groups, and it will be the first time that

victims will have been given a voice in the formation of policing

objectives and priorities.

The National Policing Forum will also provide a platform for

discussions about the implementation of the government's police

reform programme. It would also consider the key elements of the

proposed National Policing Plan, which is one of the proposals in the

Police Reform Bill.

The National Policing Plan will set out the government's priorities

for policing, their delivery and indicators by which performance will

be measured.

Mr Denham said:

'At the moment there is no single place where the government's

policing priorities, plans for new development, and ability to

measure how forces are performing come together. The National

Policing Forum will allow us to draw these aspects together and use

them to set out a strategic vision of where the Government wants the

police service to be going.

'The very broad range of experience that the members of the Forum

bring to the group will allow them to identify the real issues that

concern the general public and enable us to put them into a National

Policing Plan that really tackles the things that the public want to

see dealt with by our police service.

'The National Policing Plan is not about centralisation or imposing

policing priorities from above. Instead it is about consulting and

listening to what concerns people - and allowing them a voice in

setting objectives for the police service.

'The Forum and the Policing Plans it produces will be key elements in

giving us a police service that is even more focused on the people it

serves. It will have a crucial role to play in achieving the aims of

our reform programme - cutting crime, cutting the fear of crime, and

raising the standards of all police forces to those of the best.'

Helen Reeve, chief executive of Victim Support, said:

'We are very pleased to be involved with the National Policing Forum.

Victim Support helps more than one million people every year, so by

providing input on policing objectives and priorities, we hope that

victims of crime will feel that they are being listened to, and that

their views can make a difference.'

David Phillips, ACPO president and chief constable of Kent

Constabulary said:

'The essence of British policing is that we seek as far as possible

consensus, embracing the views of those who receive the service and

those who are responsible for it. It is within this excellent

tradition that we look forward to this new body as an opportunity for

a lively debate around a common purpose in a just and safe society.'

Notes

1. 'Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform' (published in

December 2001) gave a commitment to set up the National Policing

Forum to provide a formal structure to consider the key elements

which should go into the National Policing Plan.

2. The White Paper also gave a commitment that the Forum will

produce a draft National Policing Plan by the end of 2002 to inform

the planning cycle for the police service for 2003-2004. During

debate on the Police Reform Bill in Lords Committee this

publication date was brought forward to the end of November.

3. Although provided for in the Bill, the Plan is not dependent on

the Bill receiving Royal Assent before November. Under the

proposals in the Bill, it will be laid before parliament annually.

4. The National Policing Forum will be chaired by John Denham and

has representation from the Home Office, HMIC, ACPO, APA, the

Metropolitan Police, Superintendent's Association, Police

Federation, National Black Police Association, Unison, Victim

Support, Local Government Association, the NHS Confederation, the

Association of Directors of Social Services, and the Association of

Chief Education Officers, voluntary sector and minority ethnic

groups.

5. The National Policing Forum will meet at least three times a

year. It is a non-statutory advisory body.

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