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Lord Stevens to set out focus on neighbourhood policing

A long-awaited review of policing will be published today, calling for restrictions to be introduced on the use of private companies for policing functions.

The review, led by former Metropolitan police commissioner Lord Stevens, calls for a register of chartered officers, with those found guilty of serious misconduct struck off.

The Independent Police Commission report, commissioned by Labour in 2011, includes 37 recommendations. It focuses on a commitment to neighbourhood policing, including guaranteed response times to reported crimes.

Some police forces should be merged, it will recommend, with a national procurement strategy – including standardised uniforms. Electronic submission of case files to courts and prosecutors should be introduced, as well as mobile access to intelligence, while cybercrime experts could be recruited directly into police forces.

Additionally, the Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Independent Police Complaints Commission should be replaced with a more powerful body, the report will state.

Labour leader Ed Miliband will say at the launch: “This review is the first step in setting a new direction for policing in the 21st century.

“Neighbourhood policing was pioneered by Labour. It wasn't just a slogan; it was a different philosophy of policing; policing rooted in local communities, doing more than reacting to crimes by also preventing them, and working in partnership with local authorities, schools and the NHS.

“So it is of profound concern to me that the independent commission concludes that neighbourhood policing is under threat. We don't want to see services retreating back to their silos, becoming more remote from communities.”

But policing minister Damian Green said: “Recorded crime has fallen by more than 10% since the government came to power and we have put in place long-term reforms to help the police continue that downward trend.

“We have stripped away targets and red tape to free police from desk-bound jobs; we have installed the National Crime Agency to take on organised crime; we have installed a College of Policing to professionalise policing; we have modernised outmoded pay and conditions; and we have introduced a newly-reinforced ethical framework to ensure police conduct is on an equal footing to cutting crime.”

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