The Act will introduce directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners which will make police forces truly accountable to their communities by:
- representing all those who live and work in their area identifying their needs
- setting priorities that meet those needs by agreeing a strategic plan for the force
- holding the Chief Constable to account
- agreeing the force budget; and
- appointing – and, where necessary, removing – the Chief Constable.
The act also includes:
- measures to give communities greater say over alcohol licensing to tackle problem premises;
- stronger local influence on licensing allowing everyone to comment on decisions;
- powers to allow councils to introduce a late-night levy to charge for licences to pay for extra policing; and
- immediate powers to temporarily ban the latest so-called legal highs.
Commenting Mark Reckless said:
‘A Police and Crime Commissioner will give a major boost to Kent Police in their fight against crime and anti-social behaviour. The Commissioner will help restore the link between our force and the communities it serves, ensuring that local concerns are properly addressed.
‘I look forward to the election of our first Commissioner for Kent and Medway in November of next year. They will help drive up efficiency, cut waste and bureaucracy, and deliver better value for money for taxpayers in Rochester and Strood.
‘With changes to alcohol licensing it will be easier to clamp down on problem premises, making our high streets safer. And powers to ban new legal highs will protect young people.’