National Policing body under the spotlight

Wednesday, 23rd September 2015

STAFFORDSDHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Ellis, has joined the newly established National Audit and Assurance Board responsible for overseeing a new era of openness and transparency at the top of UK policing.

Mr Ellis was one of three PCCs who commissioned an Independent Review on behalf of all Police and Crime Commissioners into whether the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), established in 1948, was the most effective way of bringing Chief Constables together from across the country to coordinate and improve policing nationally.

The review, by retired General, Sir Nick Parker, concluded a new approach was needed and in April 2015 the new National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) was established to be more open, transparent and cost effective than ACPO, the limited company it replaced.

Mr Ellis has joined the new NPCC’s Audit and Assurance Board which will provide strategic oversight and governance of the NPCC, including approving spend and future strategy as well as monitoring performance around improving policing nationally. It is an unpaid role for the three PCCs on the Board.

Following the board’s first meeting in London last week, he said: “PCCs are bringing new accountability to policing across the country on behalf of the public. Increasing public confidence at a local and a national level is important and the new NPCC is a major departure from the old ACPO and will meet our ambition for openness and transparency at the top of policing.

“I was surprised that the previous organisation, ACPO, which was tasked with improving policing and ensuring local resources were coordinated nationally whenever needed, was a Private Limited Company. The NPCC will be more inclusive of all chief officers, be subject to Freedom of Information legislation and be much more accountable and open to scrutiny.

“The first meeting of the Assurance Board was encouraging and the independent members and chairman we’ve appointed mark a new era in making sure policing in this country can properly address the challenges of keeping people safe and protected in the 21st century.”

The Audit and Assurance Board meets every quarter and also includes Home Office representation, the Chief Constable who chairs the NPCC and independent members.