Police face fees for unified standards body

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A new professional body for policing that will represent the entire service is to be established.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday revealed that the body “will develop policing as a single profession” and “act only in the public interest”, adding that she also saw the need for a chiefs’ council.

The announcement, made in a written statement to MPs, follows this summer’s review of policing by Peter Neyroud, the former head of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

However, Mrs May also said Mr Neyroud’s recommendation that the new body should hold chartered status “will be an issue for the professional body itself to pursue when it has developed a body of evidence demonstrating it reaches the rigorous criteria required”.

Mrs May said: “The Government is transforming policing for the modern age with the most radical programme of change for more than 50 years.

“At its core is a new professional body that will develop skills and leadership, enabling the drive to reduce bureaucracy and with greater accountability to the public.

In his review, Mr Neyroud said police officers should each have to pay an annual fee to do their job.

Constables should pay £50 a year while chief constables should pay £250 to be part of the national professional body for policing that would oversee standards. He called for the Association of Chief Police Officers to be merged into the new organisation.

The move could bring policing into line with other professions, such as medicine, by ensuring continuing annual licensing and minimum standards, the report said.

Entry-level qualifications should also be brought in for all police constables.