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Police bosses concerned over shake-up proposals

PUBLISHED: 13:55 19 October 2010

POLICE chiefs have raised "significant concerns" over Government plans to shake-up the way forces are run across the country.

Suffolk Police Authority has written to the Home Office responding to a consultation paper on “Policing in the 21st Century”.

The letter outlines a number of serious concerns over the government’s proposals to abolish police authorities and replace them with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and Police and Crime Panels (PCPs).

Colin Spence, chairman of Suffolk Police Authority, said: “The primary concern of Suffolk Police Authority is to ensure an efficient and effective policing service for our county.

“This will not change and will continue to be the dominating concern in any feedback to the government over their proposals for police reform.

“It is our strong belief that the role played by police authorities is an essential and cost-effective way of ensuring accountability in policing and providing local communities with a means of scrutinising the way in which their policing service is delivered and their public funds are spent.

“Whilst we recognise the government’s desire to make improvements to policing and policing governance, and to put local people at the heart of accountability, we have significant concerns over the potential cost to the tax payers that these changes could incur, and the potential lack of political impartiality associated with a single individual.

“Whilst we await further information on the development of government proposals, we remain unwavering in our commitment to ensuring that our communities remain safe, and that they are provided with the highest possible level of visible, accessible policing,” he added.

• The full Suffolk Police Authority response can be viewed at www.suffolkpoliceauthority.org.uk

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