The Association of Police Authorities has cautioned that the Police and Justice Bill - which today (6/3/6) receives its second reading in the House of Commons - could mean less say in policing for local people, whilst giving greater power to the Secretary of State.

The Association of Police Authorities has cautioned that the Police and Justice Bill - which today (6/3/6) receives its second reading in the House of Commons - could mean less say in policing for local people, whilst giving greater power to the Secretary of State.

The Police and Justice Bill seeks to move control over the role and membership of police authorities to the Home Secretary. The APA believes these moves fundamentally undermine local accountability for policing.

Bob Jones, APA Chairman said: "The APA is committed to improving policing. We therefore welcome those aspects of the Bill which will help us drive up standards and hold Chief Police Officers to account."

"But we have grave concerns that the bill brings local policing under greater central control. The Home Secretary will be able to intervene directly in police forces and authorities. He will be able to change the role and membership of police authorities without Parliament's specific consent."

Police Community Support Officers have been welcomed by communities, but we are concerned that the Police and Justice Bill's proposals to give them standard powers will divert them from their key task, patrolling our streets.

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