User:CalvinK/Policing and Crime Act 2009

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Policing and Crime Act 2009
Long title
Citation 2009 c. 26
Introduced by Jacqui Smith(Home Secretary) and Lord West of Spithead [1]
Territorial extent England and Wales
Scotland
Northern Ireland
Dates
Royal assent 12 November 2009
Commencement 12 November 2009
Status: Current legislation
History of passage through Parliament
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Policing and Crime Act 2009 (c.26) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that received Royal Assent on the 12 November 2009. The Act makes provision about police reform, prostitutes, sex offenders, sex establishments and certain other premises. It amends the law on aviation security, alcohol misuse, proceeds of crime, extradition and gang related violence.


Background[edit]

The Act emanated from a number of recommendations in government reports on police reform and jurisdiction, and on engaging local communities in fighting crime and holding their local police service to account. When it was proposed in the Queen's Speech in 2008, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) President Ken Jones said "We welcome the Government’s continued commitment to assist the police service in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and to strengthen our ability to protect our ports and borders." [2]

The Government initially planned to allow the local community to elect crime and policing representatives to run their police service. The Local Government Association (LGA),[3] ACPO[4] and the Association of Police Authorities (APA)[5] criticised this plan, warning it would lead to heavier beureaucratic burdens on councils,[6] increased political control on policing[5] and would create a barrier to women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds getting involved.[7]

The APA also stated there was a "very real danger of extremists and single issue pressure groups targeting these elections for their own ends".[8] This plan was later dropped amid fears that the police could become politicised.[9]

Green paper[edit]

The Policing green paper was published on 17 July 2008 and titled 'From the neighbourhood to the national: policing our communities together'.[10] In this green paper it discussed a number of areas where policing in the UK could be improved, based on the review that Sir Ronnie Flanagan had undertaken. These areas were:

  • Citizen Focus, leading to the national Policing Pledge that police forces would have to take.
  • Reducing bureaucracy and developing technology for police officers.
  • Defining roles and leadership within the police service, focusing on development and deployment.
  • Reinforcing colaboration between forces.
  • Improving performance and effectiveness in policing.

Bill[edit]

The Policing and Crime Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 18 December 2008 and was passed to the House of Lords on the 20 May 2009.

Police reform[edit]

The Police Service is reformed by adding a number of amendments to the Police Act 1996, which require police forces to have regard to the views of people in their area about policing in that area. It creates a Police Senior Appointments Panel which has authority regarding the appointment of senior police officers. It creates a legal framework to allow two or more police forces to collaborate and make agreements in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency, for payment or otherwise.

The Act also amended the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to allow for the collaboration agreements that are created under this Act.

Sexual offences[edit]

Prostitution[edit]

This makes paying for services from a prostitute subjected to force an offence, amends the law on loitering for the purposes of prostitution and also amends the law on soliciting. When this was first announced by the Home Office, Dr Timothy Brain, Gloucestershire Chief Constable and ACPO Lead on Prostitution and Vice Matters praised the new measures, saying that "With these proposals the Government has clearly signalled its intention to bring about a sea change in attitudes towards prostitution." [11]

Other amendments[edit]

The Act amended the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to introduce closure orders on brothels,[12] prevent time limits of complaints and make sexual offenders surrender their passports.[13] The Act also amended the the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (c. 30) (control of sex establishments) to reclassify lap-dancing clubs as 'sex establishments' instead of 'entertainment venues',[14] thus allowing the Government to tighten up regulation.

Alcohol misuse and gang-related violence[edit]

This relates to how the police deal with alcohol misuse. The Act amends the power the police have under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 to require a person aged 16 years or over to leave a public place, to a person aged 10 years or older.[15]

The Act deems it an offence for a person aged under 18 years to be in possession of alcohol in a relevant place without reasonable excuse, on 3 or more occasions, within 12 consecutive months.[16] It also introduces a new mandatory code of practice for alcohol sales. This part of the act is applicable only to England and Wales and Northern Ireland.[17]

The police and local authorites are now able to apply for injunctions to prevent gang related violence.[18]

Other amendments[edit]

This Act introduced a number of amendments as follows:

The Act also deals with the policing of airports.

Reception[edit]

The English Collective of Prostitutes has said that the Act will force prostitution further underground and prevent women from reporting violence and accessing health or other services.[19]

The Chief Constable for Gloucestershire Constabulary, Dr Tim Brain, has criticised the Act, saying that he feared the complexity of the law may make gaining evidence hard.[20]

Commander Alan Gibson, head of the Metropolitan Police's anti-trafficking unit, argued that the law with regards to criminalising men who pay for sex with prostitutes would be "very difficult to enforce".[21][22]

ACPO reported on the bill, saying that "chief officers will welcome the introduction of powers to impose mandatory conditions on the supply of alcohol", and "includes other measures we welcome, such as those to close brothels and give police powers to protect neighbourhoods from the nuisance and harm they create; and strengthened legislation to support police operations to recover the proceeds of crime."[23]

The LGA also passed comment on the bill, saying that they supported "the core principles behind the Bill of empowering local people by giving them a stronger voice in police decision-making, and greater freedoms and discretion for the police to concentrate on local policing priorities."[3]

The APA praised the Green Paper, saying "we welcome the government’s recognition of the valuable role of police authorities in holding police to account on behalf of local people."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bills before Parliament". Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ "ACPO comment on the Queen's speech". December 3, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "LGA comment on the Policing and Crime Bill". Retrieved December 4, 2009.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "lga" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ "ACPO comment on Government's response to Green Paper". November 28, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Not the right time to increase political control of policing". December 3, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2009.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "apa" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ "Direct elections risk new bureaucratic barrier between public and police". Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Direct elections create barrier to women and minority ethnic communities joining police authorities". November 12, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Put communities first in policing". July 17, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2009.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "lgapcf" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  9. ^ "Police elections plan is dropped". December 18, 2008. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  10. ^ "From the neighbourhood to the national: policing our communities together" (PDF). July 17, 2008. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  11. ^ "ACPO comment on tough new measures to tackle demand for prostitution". November 19, 2008. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  12. ^ s.21 "Closure orders", Policing and Crime Act 2009
  13. ^ s.22 "Closure orders", Policing and Crime Act 2009
  14. ^ s.27 "Regulation of lap dancing and other sexual entertainment venues etc", Policing and Crime Act 2009
  15. ^ s.31 "Directions to individuals who represent a risk of disorder", Policing and Crime Act 2009
  16. ^ s.30 "Offence of persistently possessing alcohol in a public place", Policing and Crime Act 2009
  17. ^ s.115 "Extent", Policing and Crime Act 2009
  18. ^ s.34 "Injunctions to prevent gang-related violence", Policing and Crime Act 2009
  19. ^ "Impact of the Policing and Crime Bill on the health and safety of sex workers". July 15, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Police doubt over prostitute laws". Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  21. ^ "A-Z of legislation: Policing and Crime Act 2009". Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Anti-trafficking law will be hard to police, says Met commander". December 10, 2008. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  23. ^ "ACPO statement on the publication of the Policing and Crime Bill". December 18, 2008. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 

External links[edit]