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POLICE BILL AN EXPENSIVE DISTRACTION, SAY COUNTIES AND METS

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The government has admitted today that it will cost at least£21 million to implement the Police and Magistrates' C...
The government has admitted today that it will cost at least £21 million to implement the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill, a statement issued by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and Association of County Councils says.

The two groups claim the money would pay for more than 1,000 extra police constables on the beat and is in fact and expensive distraction from the real business of fighting crime.

The Associations, with a all party support, say the Bill will turn police authorities into quangos and give the Home Secretary far too much power. The statement said: 'He will have the authority to appoint the paid chairman and five of the authority's 16 members - whose only qualification for the job is that they must be local. He will also have the power to sack the chairman and any other member of the authority whether he appointed them or not.

'Combined with other measures in the Bill this would end local government's role as a crucial constitutional check against a government directing the police.'
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