Police authority plans for change

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A POLICE authority has agreed the future management of the service if a Government scheme gets the green light.

Durham Police Authority agreed how the authority will manage the changeover from police authorities to police and crime commissioners, should the Government’s controversial plans for reform go ahead.

A report, proposed to members at a special meeting of the authority, details a two-pronged approach as to how the local changes to policing governance will be managed in County Durham and Darlington.

The changes to policing are outlined in the Government’s Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which was initially presented to Parliament in November 2010, but there is still some uncertainty around the proposals which are currently being debated in the House of Lords.

Durham Police Authority is carefully planning ahead on the basis that the Bill is passed and police authorities up and down the country are replaced with police and crime commissioners in May 2012. 

Peter Thompson, chairman of the authority, said: “We will continue to the best of our ability to ensure that the delivery of local policing meets the needs of our local people in the most efficient and effective way possible until such time that police authorities are abolished.

“We firmly believe that failure to plan ahead would pose a significant risk on the future governance of policing and we owe it to our local communities not to take any chances. It is important that the handover from police authority to police and crime commissioner (if it happens) is as smooth and seamless as possible. The Transition Programme will enable this.”