The Federation has welcomed a package of legislation around law and order announced in the Queen’s Speech during the State Opening of Parliament on Thursday.
The speech set out plans for:
- A Police Protections and Powers Bill, which will introduce a new test to assess a police officer’s standard of driving
- A Police Covenant, with the Home Office being required to report annually on progress
- A Royal Commission to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system
- Specials to be allowed to join the Federation
- Changes to pre-charge bail conditions
- New sentencing laws aimed at ensuring the most serious offenders, including terrorists, serve longer in custody
- Improved measures for police to deal with demonstrations and knife crime
- A pledge that those charged with knife possession will face ‘swift justice’
- New laws which will require schools, councils, police and health authorities to work together to prevent serious crime
- Legislation to support victims of crime and their families.
John Apter, national chair of the Federation, says the reform package shows the Government is listening to the Federation and demonstrates that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stayed true to his pre-election promises.
He explains: “The Federation has been campaigning for a Police Covenant, changes to police driving legislation, allowing Special Constables to be members and increased sentences for violent offenders. In addition, we have been calling for a Royal Commission into policing for more than 20 years and, while we await the details, it is an opportunity to examine what the public wants from the police in the 21st century.”
“Policing must form a major part of the commission’s remit, and it is vital the Federation is involved to shape future policy for the benefit of our members and the public they serve.”
“When I meet with the Home Secretary and the policing minister early in the new year, I will make it clear these promises must now be actioned and supported by long-term investment which we expect to see announced as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review.”