Home Affairs Committee Press Notice

No 17/08 Friday 18 January 2008

Policing in the 21st Century: New inquiry

The Home Affairs Committee has today announced a new major inquiry into Policing in the 21st century. This will examine progress made with the programme of police reform initiated by the Government in 2001.

The primary focus of the inquiry will be on how expectations of the police force have changed and the resources the police have to meet these expectations. In particular, the Committee will consider:

  • What the public expects of the police; how Chief Constables determine priorities; the role of the Home Office in setting priorities;

  • The effect of heightened concerns about terrorism, immigration, gun and knife crime, identity fraud; the growth in cyber-crime; the Olympics;

  • Public involvement in local policing;

  • Roles of and relationship between PCs and PCSOs; different ways in which police forces deploy staff;

  • Use of technology to enable police officers to return to the beat;

  • Definition of 'front-line policing' (ie should it include work on case files and report preparation?);

  • Police funding and the efficiency with which the various police forces deploy the financial resources available

  • difficulties in recruitment and retention, covering not just numbers but quality of applicants/staff retained.

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

"The police are in the front line of public service. The Committee will examine a wide range of issues from recruitment and retention, to the use of new technology including Blackberries and other hand held computer devices through to Tazers. Policing has changed since the days of Dixon of Dock Green and the Committee is eager to be informed as to how the police can provide a more efficient service. "

Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Friday 15 February 2008.


Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format€”not PDF format€”and sent by e-mail to homeaffcom@parliament.uk. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.