§ Mr. Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will clarify the relationship between the local police authorities and local chief constables in areas of the United Kingdom, particularly in relation to the police authority's functions in the determination of local police policy.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The duty of a police authority in England and Wales is to maintain an adequate and efficient force for its area. Subject to the approval of the Secretary of State it appoints, and may in the interests of efficiency or for disciplinary reasons remove, the chief officers of the force. It fixes the establishment of the force, subject to the Secretary of State's approval, and it provides the resources necessary.
The chief constable has the direction and control of his force; local policing is his responsibility. On the other hand, the Police Act in no way inhibits discussion of operational issues between the chief constable and his police authority whether in the context of a review of the resources necessary or more generally. The chief constable is generally accountable to his police authority for his policy;
£ million Expenditure Income Grant-in-aid Provisional outturn 1977–78 … … … 60.6 35.9 24.7 Supply estimate 1978–79 … … … 67.0 35.9 31.1
The expenditure figures include grants to private woodland owners of £1£3 million in 1977–78 and £2£4 million in 1978–79.
Further details of these figures will in due course be given in the Forestry Commission's annual reports.