The new body designed specifically to co-ordinate operational policing and collaboration among forces at the national level has been formally established today. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) will bring together operationally independent and locally accountable chief constables and their chief officer teams in joining up the operational response to the most serious and strategic of threats.
The NPCC will now work closely with the College of Policing – which is responsible for developing professional standards – on developing national approaches towards issues such as finance, technology and Human Resources.
Chief constable Sara Thornton will chair the NPCC supported by two vice-chairs in addition to their day jobs as chief officers within forces. Chief constable Peter Vaughan has already been appointed and a second vice-chair will be announced shortly following a ballot of chief officers.
“I’m delighted to lead the NPCC as we meet the challenges facing the police service,” explained Sara Thornton. “Some of the biggest threats we face in the UK, such as terrorism and organised crime, are both national and international so there has never been a greater need for forces to work together.”
Thornton continued: “Demand is changing. We are balancing an increasing number of major investigations into crimes that may have taken place many years ago with tackling the issues of today and tomorrow. We’re also dealing with an unprecedented increase in levels of complex crimes such as sexual abuse and cyber crime, which take longer to investigate and require more resources. All of this is set against a background of significant budget cuts meaning that we have to prioritise carefully and change the way in which we police.”
In conclusion, Thornton stated: “I look forward to working with my chief constable colleagues to ensure we have the best co-ordinated response in place to protect members of the public.”
In the coming months, the NPCC will develop an annual delivery plan so as to determine where it will focus efforts for the first year.
Background to the new organisation
Chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have signed a legal agreement under Section 22A of the Police Act 1996 declaring that they will collaborate with each other in the running and funding of the NPCC.
The NPCC is hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service but is independent of it.
The NPCC has the following functions:
*The co-ordination of national operations including defining, monitoring and testing force contributions to the Strategic Policing Requirement working with the National Crime Agency where appropriate
*The command of counter-terrorism operations and delivery of counter-terrorist policing through the national network as set out in the Counter-Terrorism Collaboration Agreement
*The co-ordination of the national police response to national emergencies and the co-ordination of the mobilisation of resources across force borders and on the international stage
*The national operational implementation of standards and policy as set by the College of Policing and the UK Government
*To work with the College of Policing on developing joint national approaches to criminal justice, value for money, service transformation, information management, performance management and technology
*Where appropriate, to work with the College of Policing in order to develop joint national approaches to staff and Human Resource issues (including misconduct and discipline) in line with the chief officers’ responsibilities as employers
*For further information about the NPCC’s work, structure and membership, as well as its history and background, visit the dedicated website: http://www.npcc.police.uk/