The proposals of the CPS localism paper includes devolving beat policing and offender management to local councils. On beat policing it would work the commissioning authority being the local council. It should be responsible for budget setting. In an area outside London, the Government funding to cover the SNTs and PCSOs would be redirected from the local constabulary to the local council via the Area Based Grant. Performance could be monitored through existing resident satisfaction surveys; and the cost and benefits of integrating the services.

There would be two main benefits in terms of fighting crime more effectively.

Firstly in ensuring the right priorities were taken:

Law and order falls into two parts. The criminal law is the rightful province of national government. Enforcing it belongs to the police. However the police cannot be everywhere. They have to choose which of the crimes designated by Parliament shall be enforced. Shall we tolerate car crime? Shall we show zero tolerance of speeding? Is cannabis use important? Shall we raid a brothel, a fence or a crack house tonight? Locally elected politicians should be able to express the community’s concerns to local police commanders and expect them to respond. Part of the police service should be responsive to these locally expressed views. No-one can tell the police how to do their job. But it is right that we ask them to do what could be done to help our communities.

The other comes from joined up Government:

Most police work, after all, is local. Most London Boroughs have about 1,000 officers dedicated to local work, headed by a Chief Superintendent or Commander; the equivalent of an Assistant
Chief Constable. Police spending in London averages £100 million a year per borough. The police work closely with the local authorities who control housing, social services, youth services and schools. Warranted police officers are trained to be out and about, in the face of wrongdoers, enforcing the law. Social workers, teachers and housing officers know the families, and know what they need. All these parts of the public services must work together, sharing data and expertise, to mend broken lives and destroy the pathways to crime.

3 comments for: Magna Carta for localism: Fighting crime

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