§ The Minister for Crime Reduction, Policing and Community Safety (Ms Hazel Blears)
I have today placed in the Libraries of both Houses copies of the National Policing Plan 2004–07 and the consultation paper "Policing: Building Safer Communities Together".
The national policing plan sets the framework and context for policing in England and Wales for the next three years. It sets out the vision for successful policing, the key priorities, underpinning themes, national standards and the operational tools to deliver the service wanted and demanded by the public. The national policing plan will inform local planning and help to ensure that all communities know what they should expect from their local police force.
The plan is central to our determination to ensure the police are able to work within a modern and efficient criminal justice system and to be engaged with the communities they serve. That is why we have published it jointly with our consultation paper "Policing: Building Safer Communities Together".
The consultation paper sets out our broad thoughts on the future direction of police reform. We want to build on the successes of the existing reform programme in moving towards a modernised, truly representative, more responsive police service delivering, consistently, core national standards of policing that the public has a right to expect, within a framework which allows for local flexibilities. We want a genuine dialogue on the issues contained in the paper which are grouped under four main themes—increasing community engagement, strengthening accountability arrangements, improving operational effectiveness and modernising the police service.
Both documents are available on the Home Office website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/