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<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Pauline Neville Jones gave this speech at Wilton Park on 31 January 2011. This speech is as written, rather than as delivered.</p> <p>Ladies and gentlemen it is a real pleasure to be at a <a title="External link opens in a new window" rel="external" href="http://www.wiltonpark.org.uk/">Wilton Park conference (new window)</a> with such a distinguished international audience.  The theme of this conference is Tackling online jihad: understanding the issues and how to respond?</p> <p>This fantastic setting provides an excellent environment for leading opinion formers and policy makers from a range of countries to discuss the best ways to deal with key challenges in this area.</p> <p>Let me begin by examining the nature of the terrorist threat and the role played by the internet. We are faced with a clear and proven threat to our national security. A loose network of terrorist organisations, centred around Al Qaeda but made more complicated by the existence of a number of disparate and autonomous groups, has a track record of planning and executing attacks, sometimes with devastating effect. This threat is underpinned by a larger group of potential sympathisers in the UK and other countries around the world whom these terrorist groups seek to recruit to be activists in their cause. Maintaining and radicalising these sympathizers, and coordinating the work of the various terrorist groups where possible, is central to Al Qaeda's approach. Increasingly, the key resource that links these people and supports this approach is the internet.</p> <p>Just like ordinary citizens, terrorists use the internet for a variety of purposes. Its ease of access, provision of an almost instant flow of information, ability to reach global audiences and lack of regulation in some areas of the world makes its use as a logistical, publicity and recruitment tool, inevitable.</p> <p>We have observed the internet being used for:</p> <p>1. Propaganda</p> <p>2. Research into targets and techniques</p> <p>3. Recruitment and Radicalisation</p> <p>4. Cyber-attack.</p> <p>The threat is diverse.  Not only do terrorists use the internet for propaganda, providing supposed Qu'ranic justifications for their activities and commentaries to persuade others of their view, they also use it to share information about weaponry, armaments and training, as well as approaches to the taking of hostages, kidnapping and assassination. As terrorists diversify their techniques and shift geographically, the range of tools available to them widens and opportunities for differing forms of terrorism, including cyber-attack increase. </p> <h3>Propaganda</h3> <p>The internet has enabled networks of terrorists to spread their propaganda. High quality international jihadist messaging has contributed powerfully to the sense of a single, global terrorist campaign on the part of otherwise    separate groups with disparate interests. As we have seen from Al-Qaeda’s recent investment in their Inspire magazine - in English and aimed at Western audiences - propaganda invoking violence and teaching bomb making techniques is disseminated professionally and interactively. It is up to governments worldwide to limit terrorists' ability to distribute propaganda and to facilitate challenge, not just by government-not always or necessarily the most effective actor anyway-but from all parts of society.</p> <h3>Research into targets and techniques</h3> <p>The internet is an unparalleled research tool. It can be used to show how to commit acts of violence, and where to attack.  Training material pertaining to techniques and potential targets is readily available and more is shared in extremist forums everyday. This not only provides advice and guidance, but also sanctifies a course of violent action. Let me make clear: though attribution and pursuit is often difficult, those who use the internet as a means for attack planning in any of its forms will not be exempt from challenge by law enforcement agencies in this country.</p> <h3>Radicalisation and recruitment</h3> <p>Terrorists use the internet to sustain the process of radicalisation once begun, using communication targeted at vulnerable people.  Such communications strengthen indoctrination, exploit grievances, generalise from the experience of disaffected people and affirm the rightness of their convictions by repeating falsehoods. Our commitments to free speech are clear. But those responsible for the radicalisation and recruitment of vulnerable individuals will be opposed by civil society and, where they infringe our liberal laws, will be pursued by our law enforcement agencies.</p> <p>Exposure to radical or extremist material on the Internet will not necessarily by itself cause a person to be radicalised. In most cases personal interaction is a component part of drawing individuals into violent extremist networks. But this is not invariably the case and recent cases have caused us to look again at this assumption.</p> <h3>Future trends</h3> <p>You will be aware of the case of Roshonara Choudhry, the 21 year old student who was jailed for life for attempting to kill MP Stephen Timms as revenge for his support for the Iraq war.  What is unusual about this case is that she appears to have acted alone without links to any extremist groups. It has been suggested that she ‘self-radicalised’ after watching hours of extremist videos.  We do not know if this is an indication of future trends or an exception to the rule but we must remain alert to it.</p> <p>Other cases such as Fort Hood, Detroit and Sweden are also lone-wolf examples where the internet played a supporting role.  Lone-wolf attacks, such as these, are encouraged by Al Qaeda and its affiliates. </p> <p>Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine gives advice on how to plan independent terrorist attacks and it encourages separation from violent jihadist groups in order to decrease the chances of detection. This points to a possible future increase in smaller scale attacks which are, however, exceptionally difficult to predict or disrupt and which can destabilise public confidence in precisely the way their perpetrators intended.</p> <h3>Cyber-attack</h3> <p>There is also a risk, likely to grow over time and which we monitor closely, that terrorists will develop serious cyber-attack capabilities: by this I mean the ability to commit acts of terror by hacking into critical infrastructures and online systems.</p> <p>In some form, a cyber-attack attempted by terrorists, if not inevitable, is of so great a likelihood that we bear it in mind in developing operational capabilities.  Therefore, our commitment to defend against cyber-attacks includes both an increase in capability provided by the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme as well a full range of ongoing counter-terrorism activities.</p> <h3>Our approach</h3> <p>The UK Government understands the evolving threat posed by extremists’ use of the internet, and the importance of taking a holistic approach. </p> <p>We need to ensure:</p> <ul> <li>that we can gather evidence for prosecution from terrorist use of the internet</li> <li>that terrorists find it hard to exploit the internet for radicalisation and recruitment</li> <li>that terrorist propaganda and narrative is countered online</li> <li>terrorists find it hard to conduct cyber-attacks</li> </ul> <h3>Delivery</h3> <p>Our approach engages government, international partners, parts of the private sector and academia, and calls on communities and civil society to challenge terrorist content on the internet. To deliver this approach effectively, we need to work in partnership together.</p> <h3>Law enforcement agencies</h3> <p>The British Police are in the front line in protecting the public from terrorism. They pursue and prosecute unlawful use of the internet whether terrorist, financial or other and we intend to strengthen their capability to do so.  As part of their work they have launched the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit: a central unit to which the public are able to refer websites that are hosting terrorist material. The unit is still in its infancy but by enforcing legislation within the Terrorist Act 2006, forging relationships with the internet industry and working with the public, the CTIRU has achieved the removal of terrorist material from a number of websites. We hope to see the amount of material removed grow in the coming months as we promote the unit and the referral tool.</p> <p>We assess that there is very little harmful extremist material routinely hosted within the UK.  But we want to make sure this gets to zero - and stays there.  I know many nations represented here share the same objective and I hope we can work together to obtain the cooperation of ISPs which host extremist material to decline to do so.  We find that ISPs respond to complaints from their customers more willingly than to complaints from governments.  I hope this conference will discuss this issue.</p> <h3>Domestic and international digital engagement</h3> <p>We work to support moderate voices online and encourage presences online of influential moderate viewpoints both here and abroad. The Foreign Office’s Digital Diplomacy team and officials at Posts, work through a range of digital media to promote British foreign policy and understanding of life in the UK, engaging openly and seeking to address misunderstandings. </p> <p>Again this might be a topic for further discussion. I am sure that we can learn from each others' experience of arguments that carry weight and those which are counterproductive.</p> <h3>International</h3> <p>The internet is a global phenomenon that demands an international response, and therefore our work with international partners forms an integral part of our strategy. In 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously adopted the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It united all 192 Member States with a resolve to combat the scourge of terrorism.  Earlier this month, the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force convened a conference in partnership with Naïf Arab University for Security Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which focused on how the internet can be used to counter the appeal of extremist violence. It provided an excellent avenue for international collaboration and has resulted in several firm proposals for new initiatives.</p> <p>International co-operation is crucial in the fight against terrorism and we welcome UN activity in this field. There is much to be learnt from other countries’ approaches to the removal of extremist content, building capacity for civic challenge, and rebutting distorted violent ideologies. The EU is an example of a group of nations and peoples which can bring together political, financial, judicial, police and diplomatic means, all of which have a role to play in the fight against terrorism. </p> <p>For example, the Dutch government has adopted a new code of conduct for the removal of extremist content. Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have extensive counter-ideological programmes.</p> <p>In Singapore, a group of volunteer religious scholars, the Religious Rehabilitation Group, have launched a website which acts as a repository for arguments that rebut violent extremist teachings and beliefs. Similarly the Malaysian Prime Minister recently called for a 'global movement of moderates' from all faiths to marginalise extremists from all religions.</p> <p>A key challenge governments face is whether to intervene to remove extremist content, or leave it uncensored to protect freedom of speech laws.  In some countries, domestic legislation not only inhibits take downs but protects those who are hosting the relevant sites.  Other countries are committed to the use of the Internet for the pursuit and monitoring of terrorist activity, rather than preventative approaches.</p> <p>UK support for Freedom of Opinion and Expression is based on the international standard of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And by ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UK has accepted – and will champion – international legal obligations to promote and protect the right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression. But we will also champion the responsibilities outlined in that Covenant. </p> <p>It is in the light of differing national approaches to some of the key issues involved, that in the UK, as I mentioned, we are beginning to find that action by the general public is an important and in many ways more powerful component in action to express society's disapproval of extremism and violence, than that of government.</p> <h3>Private sector</h3> <p>Working with the private sector is also an important element of our approach. I think it is fair to say that overall industry has demonstrated consistently its sense of corporate and social responsibility. For example, Google, present today, has recently introduced a new referral flag on YouTube for content which promotes terrorism. We welcome such action and will work closely with all industry partners in support of similar initiatives going forward.</p> <p>In this area, we will continue to engage with, and draw on the expertise of industry associations (such as the Internet Service Providers Association who are present today), internet service providers, accreditation bodies, content providers and filtering companies.</p> <h3>Academia, Think Tanks, NGOs</h3> <p>There are experts here today from academia, NGOs and Think Tanks, who have studied how the internet and associated social media have transformed how we interact as individuals and communities. Their expertise and research is exceptionally helpful in understanding the challenge we face.</p> <p>We welcome the increasing interest in researching the social, technological, and demographic evolution of the internet and its use by violent extremists. We cannot afford to act on the basis of assumption and assertion.</p> <h3>Counter-messaging</h3> <p>Finally, let me reiterate that we will not let terrorist use of the internet go unchallenged.  The coalition government in this country is committed to leading a strategy designed to promote the much greater integration of and participation in our society of minority groups and new immigrants.  People want and need a sense of common identity and the values it stands for.  There must be positive reasons for supporting democracy.  That said there is only so much government can do.<br>The response to radicalisation, whatever the medium has to come from the whole of society, the more people understand and oppose violent narratives, the harder it will be for terrorists to appeal with a consistent message across the internet.</p> <p>And the influence of offline drivers to radicalisation must not be forgotten. What our policies must do is support and amplify moderate local voices to rebut and discredit violent extremist ideology. The internet as a channel is ideal for grassroots initiatives that facilitate individual activism. The UK government is committed to capitalising on this and supporting civic challenge.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>In conclusion, the diversity of the threat we face means our approaches to online terrorism also need to be multifaceted in nature. Within this conference, my challenge to you is:</p> <ul> <li>How do we increase our understanding of the threats and challenges posed by violent online jihad</li> <li>And based on this understanding, what can we as an international community do, in all of the areas I have mentioned, to stop terrorists abusing the internet?</li> </ul> <p>The second bit is the difficult part.  But we are all in need of effective, affordable and practical approaches.  I look forward to hearing in due course the outcome of your deliberations.</p> 2011-03-23 17:09:23 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/online-jihad Baroness Neville-Jones Tackling online jihad: Understanding the issues and how to respond Monday, 31 Jan 2011 Home Office Wilton Park
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">I am grateful to professor John Grieve and Neil Stewart Associates for inviting me to speak today.</p> <p>I would like to start with an apology. I accepted this invitation from Neil Stewarts Associates to speak some time ago, and the timing seemed to be rather fortuitous. I’d hoped that we would have published our new strategy on organised crime and set out more detail about the NCA which we’re going to set up and legislate for, so that this would be a good time to both talk about that new strategy and to answer questions about it. As things turn out, while publication is imminent it has not happened today and as you know we must publish these things first to parliament and in the proper manner. And so, what I’m going to say I’m afraid is necessarily high-level, but I still wanted to come along to hear what you have to say and engage in this debate. That is because Serious Organised Crime is a growing concern in this country, and one which this Government is committed to tackling.</p> <p>I want to try and explain why what we are proposing to do really is different to the way this threat was tackled in the past – I do believe we have an important and coherent agenda for a new approach to tackling serious and organised crime.</p> <p>I see from the attendee list for today’s event that many of the key figures in the fight against organised crime are present, and I’m very pleased therefore to be discussing these issues with you.</p> <h3>National threats</h3> <p>The security of our country remains the first duty of government.  And one of the first actions as a government was to establish a new national security council, chaired by the prime minister. It looks at the big threats to our country and assesses our response. This is a government therefore that is focusing its attention where it should properly be. </p> <p>Last October we published a national security strategy and a wide ranging strategic defence and security Review.  Taken together they set out what we consider the current and future threats to the security of this country to be – and how we should respond to them. </p> <p>As in other areas, there are tough choices to be made given the budget deficit we inherited. I think it’s important we do have a collective recognition of that.  Those choices must therefore be informed by a hard headed analysis of risks and prioritisation.               </p> <p>In relation to terrorism, with very significant government investment we have seen the development of a strong, increasingly integrated, national police counter terrorism network – working effectively with the security service in combating the continuing threat.</p> <p>By comparison, though, our response to organised crime has lagged behind this threat.  Sir Paul Stephenson highlighted this in his powerful police foundation speech last year and the government has responded accordingly.</p> <h3>Threat from organised crime</h3> <p>I’m conscious that I’m speaking to a knowledgeable audience. You are only too aware of the corrosive impact that organised crime has on individuals, communities, businesses and our economy.</p> <p>But it is worth pausing to consider and note the scale of that threat.  We estimate that organised crime is costing this country between £20 and £40 bn a year in social and economic costs – it means that it is costing almost as much as paying the interest on our current debt.</p> <p>The national security strategy highlighted a significant increase in organised crime as a key risk to our national security.  It also highlighted cyber crime and the security of our borders as significant concerns – both of which have an organised crime dimension.</p> <p>But unlike some other national security issues, we are not talking here about some distant threat.  You know this only too well.  We are talking about daily instances of criminality; about vulnerable people being victimised; about communities being cowed; and law abiding citizens losing out because money is fraudulently going into the pockets of criminals rather than supporting vital public services.</p> <h3>Current response</h3> <p>Thanks to the work being driven by many of you here – and I would like to pay particular tribute to Jon Murphy’s leadership in this area – there have been genuine successes against organised crime targets.  We know more about the nature of the problem now and who is involved in committing these crimes.</p> <p>The latest law enforcement estimate is that there are about 38,000 people involved in organised crime impacting on the UK, involving around 6,000 groups.</p> <p>But for all the good work being done by law enforcement agencies and their partners, there is a harsh reality which is this: too many of these criminals have shown themselves to be out of law enforcement’s reach.  There are – to borrow a related phrase from a different era – too many ‘untouchable’ criminals.</p> <p>Law enforcement has not been properly supported by national Government.  HMIC have said that that our approach has been blighted by a 'lack of unifying direction'.</p> <p>I have spoken before about the paradox of policing in recent years.  That is that central government spent too much time interfering in matters which should properly be determined locally, yet paid insufficient attention to national issues, national threats and areas where policing needed to be co-ordinated more strongly on a national basis.  Organised crime is a prime example of this.</p> <p>So our determination is to reverse this position.  The challenge is how to improve our overall response when set against the fiscal position that this country has inherited, and over which we have no choice.</p> <h3>New approach</h3> <p>I have already talked a little about the overall grip that we are showing on national security issues through the national security council.</p> <p>We published, earlier this year, a new approach to fighting crime.  The key elements of this are:</p> <ul> <li>First, replacing bureaucratic accountability with local democratic accountability – the election of police and crime commissioners being a manifestation of this. Bernard Hogan-Howe was right to note that despite the recent vote in the house of lords, the government does expect that police and crime commissioners will be introduced across the whole of England and Wales, with the first elections taking place in May next year. That is because this policy was written into the coalition agreement. It is therefore right to expect that this policy will be properly scrutinised and that the issue of checks and balances will be properly addressed. Nevertheless we do intend to go ahead with it and we expect the commons to reinstate the policy. I want to talk a bit more in due course on the significance of this policy proposal.</li> <li>The second element in our new approach to fighting crime was that of increased transparency. The third element is engaged and active communities. And we see a link between these last two with the launch of the police.uk street-level crime mapping website, which has seen an astonishing 400m + hits since it was launched. This demonstrated the public’s concern about crime in their neighbourhood, and not just low-level volume crime: we know that neighbourhoods are also affected by serious organised crime and its impact.</li> <li>We also set out how we intend to return discretion to professionals and how we want to drive efficiency across the criminal justice system.</li> <li>We talked about a focus on preventing crime happening in the first place.</li> <li>And we referred to the new focus on organised crime.</li> </ul> <p>Now these issues are all interlinked. I will say a little more about the organised crime aspect in a second.  But our focus on improving our response to that criminality must be seen in a broader context.</p> <p>So let me highlight a couple of points:</p> <h3>Value for money</h3> <p>Reducing the budget deficit remains a priority. As I said repeatedly at the police federation conference it is inescapable. The fight against organised crime is subject to the same need to maximise efficiencies as other areas of law enforcement.</p> <p>Nevertheless I was able recently to announce that we are providing £3m in 2011/12 to support improvements in the national coordination of organised crime policing.  We are also providing £19m in 2011/12 and £18m in 2012/13 to provide specific support for regional organised crime policing capabilities, including regional asset recovery teams, and I am pleased that this announcement has been welcomed by ACPO.</p> <p>The local/national balance and our overall police reform programme<br>There is a view, I know, that police and crime commissioners will focus only on very local issues, on volume crime, to the detriment of threats which may extend to the national level. Some suggest that they will not focus on issues such as serious and organised crime.</p> <p>I simply don’t accept this analysis. police and crime commissioners will be responsible for ensuring the effective delivery of the full range of policing services.</p> <p>We have an important principle in this country, which is that the chief constables are responsible for the totality of policing in the own force areas. That is the principle of the vertical integration of police forces, and those who hold chief constables to account are therefore responsible (in the case of current police authorities and in future police and crime commissioners) for holding that totality of policing to account.</p> <p>To move away from that principle would be to suggest that there would be somehow a split in both the operation of our police forces and the way they were held to account. I do not detect an appetite either within the profession or indeed in any political debate for that. So let us hold on to that golden thread and recognise that there serious and organised crime runs right down to the neighbourhood policing agenda, just as in our response to terrorism.</p> <p>And I think we also have to accept that there is be an alternative model which some suggest would give a bigger focus on serious and organised crime, namely the creation of large regional forces. I accept that there are some who perfectly legitimately advocate that as a solution to dealing with these issues. But I simply need to occupy the space of real politick and repeat gently but firmly that there is no possibility of such a policy going through the house of commons; the last government had to abandon it in the face of opposition, and that is because there is no public support for it.</p> <p>Therefore what we have to do, given an acceptance that there are going to be 43 forces in England, is to consider how we ensure that there is a proper focus on national threats (including the issue of serious and organise crime), given that we have that number of forces which are vertically integrated with chief constables responsible for the totality of policing in their areas.</p> <p>And what I want to point out is that we have written into the bill that is currently before parliament some very significant changes that will assist in relation to the proper co-ordination of policing in this area.</p> <p>First of all the bill contains a new provision – a strategic policing requirement which requires the home secretary to set out what, in her view, are the national threats, and the appropriate policing requirements to counter those threats. This is an important element of our overall approach to policing. Organised crime will feature as one such national threat.</p> <p>We are working constructively now with ACPO and our other partners on the detail of the strategic policing requirement.  I want to get this right – and be very clear about the practical implications of it for chief officers and for police and crime commissioners.</p> <p>There will be strong duties on local forces to have regard to the strategic policing requirement – it encapsulates exactly the reversal of the current position, so that in this area there will be stronger local co-ordination because there is a national threat.</p> <p>But let me be clear about this – the SPR is new but it deals with an existing problem. It is not being introduced because we believe a problem will be created by the introduction of police and crime commissioners.  The failure to “close the gap” was caused by the existing model of policing governance.<br>The SPR is an important part of the package of policing reforms that we are introducing, and to characterise those reforms as simply being the introduction of local democratic accountability is to get only half of the point.</p> <p>The second important duty that we’re placing upon the local policing bodies is strong duties to collaborate. I recently set out in a speech up in Ryton why we think it is important to drive the agenda of collaboration, not just so as to drive stronger value for money in policing but also so to achieve greater operational effectiveness.</p> <p>This is an important necessity, given that we are not going to move towards the creation of strategic police forces. It is something which the inspectorate has identified needs to happen at a far greater pace.</p> <p>So two statutory requirements are being placed upon local policing bodies: to collaborate and to have the regard to the strategic policing requirement. In these lies the answers to those who believe that in future there will be an excessive focus on the local and on volume crime – there will not, there will be a proper balance, and it is right that there should be.</p> <h3>A new focus on organised crime</h3> <p>Let me also say a little more about two elements of how our new focus on organised crime will manifest itself – firstly through a new strategic approach; and secondly through a new operational body – the national crime agency.</p> <h3>Organised Crime Strategy</h3> <p>We have signalled that we will publish as I mentioned a new strategy on organised crime. There have, I know, been consistent calls for government to set out a clear approach.</p> <p>We will set the unifying direction that HMIC have called for.  In doing so, we want to galvanise the work of all those with a responsibility to combat organised crime.  It is a big community – a range of government departments; a range of law enforcement agencies; their criminal justice partners; our security and intelligence agencies; local partners; business and the private sector.  And the public have a role too.</p> <p>We want, I think, to emulate what CONTEST has done for our response to international terrorism – though without the level of new funding which that strategy originally enjoyed.  But that strategy is an interesting benchmark.</p> <p>Alongside an emphasis on hard-edged enforcement, we want to put an emphasis in the strategy on prevention and self protection work.  This is about increasing the risks to criminals and the likelihood of them getting caught; while at the same time reducing vulnerabilities and criminal opportunities.</p> <p>We will want to talk about the importance of intelligence to our response; about ways to improve our operational capabilities; and how we can best develop our international response to what is a global threat.  The strategy needs to work from the local to the global level.  The links are clear.  Our national security depends on having safe and secure neighbourhoods.</p> <p>I see the need for a strong communications effort in all this – to reach out in public messaging terms about the nature of the organised crime threat, and what we are collectively doing about it.</p> <p>The strategy reflects, again, this government putting its focus and energy where it properly should be.</p> <h3>National Crime Agency</h3> <p>The strategy is inextricably linked to the establishment of the new national crime agency, the creation of which we signalled last year.  As I mentioned we will shortly publish details about how we see the new agency operating.  But let me say a few things now.</p> <p>As we’ve said – the NCA will spearhead our response to organised crime, will encompass work against child exploitation and improve the security of our borders.  It will harness and exploit the intelligence, analytical and enforcement capabilities and reach of SOCA and other agencies, as well as incorporating those capabilities which rest elsewhere at a national level.  It will build and maintain a comprehensive picture of the threats, harms and risks to the UK from organised criminals and be responsible for ensuring that those criminals are subject to a prioritised level of operational response.</p> <p>The NCA will be an integral part of the UK law enforcement landscape.  It will be led by a senior chief constable and have strong, two-way links with local police forces and other law enforcement agencies. </p> <p>Accountable to the home secretary, and underpinned by the strategic policing requirement which I have mentioned, the NCA will reinforce the golden thread of policing. It will work with police and crime commissioners, chief constables, devolved administrations and others to connect activity from the local to the international – in country, at the border, and overseas.</p> <p>There are improvements we can make before the NCA comes fully into being.  I support the work which law enforcement leaders are driving through the organised crime partnership board to improve our knowledge and mapping of the threat; and the coordination of the law enforcement response to it. </p> <p>These are critical building blocks as we establish the NCA.  And I want to reiterate that in developing both the organised crime strategy and our proposals for the national crime agency we have been in the closest consultation with ACPO and other relevant bodies. This is to ensure that we set out these very significant proposals on a properly grounded basis where we have involved right at the beginning of these ideas the most senior practitioners involved in law enforcement in the country.</p> <p> I also mentioned that the proposals for the NCA follow the call by the commissioner of the metropolitan police for a approach to dealing with serious and organised crime that is significantly different. This is because it involves a national agency actually having a tasking responsibility in relation to serious and organised crime, something that we have not seen so far.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>As I‘ve said – more detail on the issues I’ve covered today will be forthcoming very soon.  So this is just a flavour.  But I wanted to reiterate that as a government, we are committed to fulfilling our national responsibilities to keep this country – and our communities – safe and secure. To fight crime, and that means serious and organised crime too.</p> <p>Organised criminals – as you well know – are agile and adaptable.  Our collective challenge is to match that.  There should be no criminal untouchables.</p> <p>   </p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/herbert-speech-asocf Nick Herbert Nick Herberts speech to the annual serious organised crime forum Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011 Home Office professor John Grieve and Neil Stewart Associates for
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Lynne Feathersone at the Endangered Species International Summit at Royal Festival Hall in central London on 4 March 2011. This version is as written, not as spoken.</p> <p>'Thank you, Susie for not only the kind introduction but for the inspiring leadership and immense contribution you have made to the debate. I am hugely honoured to be invited to speak. This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.</p> <p>Anyone who's had even a passing interest in what I’ve been saying will know body confidence is an issue I am very passionate about.</p> <p>It’s an area I championed with my colleague Jo Swinson while I was Liberal Democrat Shadow Spokesperson for Equality, throughout all the five years or so I was in opposition and even during my election campaign before I became an MP.</p> <p>So I can't tell you how excited I am that, after all that talking, I am now finally doing.</p> <p>I want to use today as an opportunity to explain what I see as the scope of the problem around body image and some of the practical steps the government has taken so far to make body confidence a reality.</p> <h3>Concerned for a long time</h3> <p>I have for a long time been concerned about the way our young people have come to see themselves.</p> <p>The numbers who feel negatively about the way they look is reaching epidemic proportions.</p> <p>A recent survey carried out by Girlguiding last year showed:</p> <ul> <li>47 per cent of schools girls believe that the pressure to look attractive is the most negative part of being female</li> <li>half consider having surgery to change the way they look</li> <li>and 75 per cent said that they went on strict diets to be attractive to others</li> </ul> <p>I worry that these feelings of inadequacy are contributing to low-self esteem, depression, anxiety and eating disorders amongst our young people.</p> <h3>Public health concern</h3> <p>The seriousness of poor body image as both a social and public health concern is something I want to really be clear about. Indeed, the government has embedded the Body Confidence work in both our recently published Mental Health Strategy and the White Paper on Public Health.</p> <p>What we are talking about here isn’t just a simple case of young people worrying about the clothes they wear. It's not even about a few here and there complaining about the size of their thighs. </p> <p>It is about reports that girls as young as six are worrying about how many calories are in their lunch box.</p> <p>It is about teenage girls dieting in a desperate attempt to try and look like the pictures of emaciated models and celebrities we see splashed across magazines – pictures which have been digitally altered to make these women appear thinner than they could actually ever be. </p> <p>It's about young women being so convinced their bodies are inadequate they are resorting to extraordinary lengths to transform them. Like the recent tragic case of the young British woman, just twenty years old who passed away after undergoing backstreet cosmetic surgery in America.</p> <p>Not even young men are immune to these body fears. Increasingly more and more are feeling the pressure to look like the aesthetic of the perfectly muscled and toned male, in some cases leading to misuse of steroids.</p> <p>The pressure to look 'perfect' is becoming part of our human condition. It's everywhere. It affects everyone. And it can consume a life.</p> <p>Digital manipulation is even now no longer just confined to television and magazines. Through a few points and clicks on their home computers, people are now using technology such as photoshop to alter their family photos.</p> <p>And what does this mean for the next generation? Well I am a true believer that every single young person has something great to offer our society – something far, far greater than their physical appearance.</p> <p>Particularly for young women, advances in gender rights have meant they now have limitless career possibilities – they can dream about their futures in ways most of us in this room could not.</p> <h3>Reaching full potential</h3> <p>But my biggest fear is how many of them will ever be able to reach their full potential, if they are this unhappy in their own skin, or think their body is their greatest asset in life.</p> <p>And even if they do, they will still feel an underlying inadequacy, or lack of confidence, seeded in their young years by the relentless pressure to be thin and beautiful.</p> <p>The government's work to promote body confidence is really about saying 'enough is enough.'</p> <p>Of course there is no single wham bam answer. It's about working in the right direction.</p> <p>The aim of the work is three-fold.</p> <p>Firstly, I want to use it as a vehicle to raise awareness about body image.</p> <p>All of us need to start talking more openly and publicly about what we know has been a problem for several decades now.</p> <p>Secondly, I want to make sure we start supporting young people to healthier and happy futures where a wider spectrum of body shapes is represented.<br>That doesn’t mean waging a war on skinny people.</p> <p>Nor does it mean making the curvaceous Christina Hendricks a new fantasy figure for girls, as some suggested I said!</p> <p>It means widening the definition of beauty to include all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities.</p> <p>And thirdly, but most significant of all, I want young people to recognise that their value is worth so much more than just their physical appearance. What about intelligence? What about talent? What about being kind or humorous?</p> <p>There is no question achieving these aims will be challenging – further complicated by the fact that this is a problem which is not the fault of any one group or industry.</p> <p>The pressure really is coming from all directions.</p> <p>It can be triggered from something as simple as watching Mum standing in front of the mirror complaining about her body. Parents need to understand the influence they wield from the earliest of years.</p> <p>Even my email inbox isn't immune. It’s continuously filled with invitations to enlarge this, to extend that or to try the latest remedy to lose weight!</p> <p>And so while it might be tempting to try and invent some miracle piece of legislation or regulation to make this go away, that really isn’t the answer.</p> <p>The scale of the problem is just all too encompassing; it’s too much part of our fabric of life for quick heavy handed solutions.</p> <p>All of us need to work together to fight this:  government, health professionals, fashion, beauty, the media industry, the voluntary sector and so on. if we are to achieve the long term cultural change we need.</p> <p>That is why last year I convened an advisory group encompassing representatives from all these different sectors – to ensure a more joined up and coordinated push at tackling low levels of body confidence.</p> <p>The idea of the group, of which Susie is a member, is to form a kind of loose collective whereby we all continue in our own spheres to push forward the work, while committing to meeting regularly to report back on our actions and successes – and move forward the agenda.</p> <p>Other members of the group include: All Walks, YMCA, Girl Guiding, Mumsnet, the Family and Parenting Institute, the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, Anybody.org, Race on the Agenda, the Institute of Education, the National Children’s Bureau, BEAT, Sport England and Unilever.</p> <p>I want to thank them for all their contributions so far and recognise those members of the Group here today. </p> <p>As part of that work, I am delighted to welcome the production of a new media literacy tool that will address the body confidence issue from the not for profit organisation Media Smart. </p> <h3>New resource for children</h3> <p>This new resource will encourage children to think critically about the body images they see in the media, and help them to understand that altering techniques are used to enhance appeal.</p> <p>The demand for something like this is really out there. Many teachers have written to me personally, expressing a real interest in incorporating body image issues in their school curriculum. They just don’t know how to go about doing it. </p> <p>So while we are not putting any obligation on schools to use the resource, I am confident if it there, ready and available to use, we will start to see real movement on this – I hope with the potential to reach thousands and thousands of young people on a subject they are interested in.</p> <p>Aside from education, the other key area of our work will be focused on encouraging change within industry and popular culture.</p> <p>The good news is there is already momentum within the industry on the issue.</p> <p>Debenhams has not only banned airbrushing ads, but they have revealed the tricks of the trade by releasing a ‘before and after’ airbrushed image from its latest swimwear campaign;</p> <p>And Dove beauty products are leading the way by making body confidence part of their brand through thought-provoking ads, confidence-building programmes and messaging that embraces all definitions of beauty.</p> <p>These are but a few of the fantastic examples of what can be achieved when industry decides to take a stand.</p> <p>Our work will be focused on supporting more industry professionals to move beyond the ‘business as usual’ approach to fully embracing the body confidence work.</p> <p>Over the next few months I will be announcing initiatives to help push forward this objective.</p> <p>But I can tell you, to kick start the process, I will be very shortly meeting with the industry body responsible for toiletries and beauty products - to see what can be done to echo the values behind the Dove brand on a much wider level.</p> <p>Now, I am fully aware there are plenty of people out who think I am embarking on the impossible.</p> <p>But I truly believe change is possible.</p> <p>Already, the body confidence work is gaining real momentum. Over the last few months it has received vast amounts of coverage in the press – some of it negative, some of it positive – but the fact is people are talking!</p> <p>We know the resonance this has out there. Any parent knows the anguish, knows the agony of seeing their children count the calories in everything they eat or at the other end of it comfort eat because they have such an unhealthy relationship with food. Of hearing their daughters cry about the way the look or cover themselves because they believe their arms are too big or their tummy is too rounded to show.</p> <p>The challenge for us now is to make sure we maximise the tide and turn what is an acknowledgement of a problem into real, concerted action.</p> <p>That will require the efforts of all organisations from government, through to schools, through to big industry.</p> <p>But it' not just the 'big guns' who have a role to play.</p> <p>I am a great believer in people power. And nowhere am I more a believer than when it comes to body confidence.</p> <p>The truth of the matter is that our television programmes, our magazines, our adverts and so on are producing what they think you want to see, and what they think will make you buy their products.</p> <h3>Make your voice known</h3> <p>But if each and every member of the public, who felt strongly about this issue, was to make their voices known, the possibilities for change would be enormous.</p> <p>And I want to give you one significant example of how you might do this.</p> <p>In the past we have seen the Advertising Standards Authority or ASA take action on adverts where they have proven to be misleading.</p> <p>We saw this last year, when they banned an advert for Olay anti-wrinkle products featuring Twiggy, in response to almost 1,000 complaints received as part of the Real Women campaign.</p> <p>The ASA upheld the complaint that the advert was misleading because viewers were led to believe that Twiggy’s appearance was achieved using the product and not through digital alteration.</p> <p>The ASA have recently added a new social responsibility clause to their codes of practice which will now mean they will also have to consider complaints about adverts being socially irresponsible.</p> <p>And it could take is just one single complaint for an ad like this to be removed, they tell me.</p> <p>While I am in no way advocating that when you leave here you should pick up your phones and wage a crusade against the Advertising Industry.</p> <p>What I am saying is that when you see an advert which is clearly misguiding or socially irresponsible, not just to say to yourself ‘this is wrong’ but to actually do something about it and make a complaint.</p> <p>Let me finish by saying thank you. Thank you once again to Susie who has played such a significant role in promoting body confidence.  And thank you to everyone who has made it here this evening.</p> <p>There is no doubt in my mind that if each and everyone of us take responsibility for tackling body issues, and work together on this, we will, eventually, start to see change.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/body-confidence unknown Body confidence Friday, 04 Mar 2011 Home Office Endangered Species International Summit at Royal Festival Hall in central London
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Speech given by Lynne Featherstone on body image on 29th February 2012</p> <p>Welcome everyone.</p> <p>I am absolutely delighted to be here at CSW 2012 to co-host, with our Thai and Danish allies, this exciting event on body image and the media. This is such an important topic and today is the first time it’s been discussed at CSW.</p> <p>The increasing focus on body image is an issue I feel very passionately about and judging from the numbers in this room there are a lot of people who care too. This is an issue that affects every household in the UK. We received overwhelming interest and enthusiasm about this event. And the fact that we’re talking about it at the global level is evidence of its relevance to women and girls around the world.</p> <h3>So why are we here today?</h3> <p>Combating poverty, starvation, violence against women and girls, female genital mutilation, forced and early marriage and maternal mortality are, of course, at the top of the international agenda. And rightly so.</p> <p>But we are also faced with a crisis where surprisingly high levels of women in the global south as well as the north feel compelled to conform to a distorted vision of beauty. This results in low levels of self esteem, lack of self worth, anxiety, depression and in extreme cases, high levels of eating disorders and greater demand for cosmetic surgery, which as we know, can go horribly wrong.</p> <p>There is a clear need for governments, the private sector and civil society, to come together to challenge the concept of a singular body image for women and girls – and increasingly for boys - that everyone is bombarded with through the media. The idea that a women’s physical appearance is the prime indicator of a woman’s worth, is something that desperately needs addressing.</p> <p>We are all too familiar with that 'perfect image'. You know the one – young, white, skinny, with a perfect air-brushed face and a perfect photo-shopped body. We need to ask ourselves: How has this unrealistic notion of perfection become so normalised? And how can we take action so people have the tools to push back.</p> <p>Popular culture is multi-faceted and it would be naive to assume that it is purely the media driving this. But we are focusing on the media today because it is so relevant to all our lives and it is such a powerful medium to solidify cultural norms and practices.</p> <p>The media constantly bombards people, but women and girls especially, with unrealistic images. They set an impossible standard, and place immense pressure on everyone, but women and girls in particular, to try and conform to a body type, shape, and even colour, that are completely unobtainable. These images have the potential to hugely damage self esteem, crush confidence, and adversely affect health.</p> <p>We need to challenge this culture of conformity and widen the definition of beauty to include all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities. And to help people to recognise that their value goes beyond just their physical appearance.</p> <p>As the UK minister for equalities, I have launched a national government campaign to tackle these issues. The body confidence campaign aims to achieve three things.</p> <p>Firstly we want to see a wider spectrum of body shapes represented in popular culture, including all ages, shapes, sizes and colours. We are working collaboratively with industry and have formed productive partnerships with a range of sectors including beauty, advertising, fashion, fitness, sport and the media.</p> <p>Secondly, we want to make sure people, particularly children, have a better understanding of what they are seeing because what they are seeing isn’t reality. To do that, we must give individuals the tools to critically assess what they see.</p> <p>And thirdly, we want people to recognise that qualities such as intelligence, personality, character and individuality, are equally expressive of a different sort of beauty.</p> <p>I have brought together a team of experts from a range of industries to advise the UK government on the body confidence campaign. We have adopted a partnership approach, and work to identify voluntary solutions in order to overcome these challenges together. For example, a group of three experts from fashion have set up a centre of excellence at Edinburgh fashion school to cut clothes for different shapes and sizes.</p> <p>Building resilience in people, especially children, is crucial to challenge these images. So we worked with media smart, a not-for-profit media literacy organisation, funded by the advertising industry.  They have developed a teaching pack for primary schools specifically on body image and the media. Kids look at images of celebrities before and after photoshopping and they are asked to bring photos of people they admire. They all bring photos of their parents, who are all shapes and sizes. Through this teaching pack, children understand they don’t need to conform to try and look a certain way, just because of the media messaging they receive.</p> <p>When we launched the teaching pack in September last year, it received huge coverage in the media not only in the UK, it went right across the world to Columbia, Australia, and Taiwan. We are also planning to launch a similar pack for parents in a few weeks time. These are free resources and available globally so I encourage you to download these from the Home Office website and spread the word when you get home. Alternatively, think about how you can develop a similar resource in your own countries.</p> <p>This is an issue that affects girls at a younger and younger age, with children of five worrying about dieting and it is paramount that we work together to take action and support each other in every way we can. Boys are also increasingly on the agenda, taking steroids to conform to an impossible body image.  The global is now the local, and I am opening the door to any country that would like to share resources and ideas on this issue to get in touch with my officials.  We have to push back for the sake of our children.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/lynne-featherston-body-image Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone speech on body image Friday, 02 Mar 2012 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">The minister delivered this speech on October 13, 2010 to the British Retail Consortium Annual Retail Crime and Loss Prevention Conference.</p> <p>As the Minister for Crime Prevention – including business crime - I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to speak to you today and want to thank the British Retail Consortium for inviting me. I want to pay tribute to the British Retail Consortium for its work in raising awareness of the problem of crimes against business and to thank you for your efforts to tackle it. I am sure you agree with me that the BRC is a powerful voice for a very important sector. And it’s a good opportunity for me to continue a debate and discussion which Philip Hagon, Stephen Robertson and others have been having for a little while about retail crime.</p> <p>Little more than twelve months ago the Retail Crime Commission reported to my Party in Opposition with recommendations on actions that might be considered. Whilst not being a member of the Commission, I sat in on a number of the evidence sessions and gained a clear impression of the challenges faced by shops and other retail businesses. Whilst the Commission’s Report was not formal policy, it did provide an important marker on some of the issues requiring attention.</p> <p>One of the recommendations was that combating retail crime should be considered as a priority for the Home Office and that a named Minister be responsible. Little did I know that I would be standing before you a year later!</p> <p>But I am here as a Home Office Minister and I can say that I do take crimes against business – crimes against industry very seriously. I’m clear that shops are the lifeblood of our communities and our neighbourhoods.  In a way, I think ‘retail’ is too limiting a description of what you do.  Shops keep our town centres alive and are often the lynchpin of our neighbourhoods, providing a place where communities meet and make connections with each other.  When I see a vibrant row of shops, I know it’s a sign of a vibrant, healthy neighbourhood.  And your contribution to our national economy is vital.</p> <p>The retail sector generates 8 per cent of our GDP, over a third of all consumer spending goes through retailers and employs 10 per cent of the entire UK workforce. It is so important that you should be free to trade without fear of crime and disorder, to get on with the important business of retailing, free from shoplifting, anti-social behaviour and violence. </p> <p>That is why I’d like to like to focus on these three things this afternoon:</p> <ul> <li>the government’s approach to reforming the Criminal Justice System and tackling crime</li> <li>what this means for the retail sector</li> <li>what I hope we can achieve together</li> </ul> <h3>Cutting crime</h3> <p>We all know that crime is too high, and the harm this does to our communities. No one knows that better than you. Shoplifting damages your profits. Anti-social behaviour and violence damage your employees. And all of this damages our neighbourhoods. This is why we have put cutting crime at the centre of our ambition in the Home Office.</p> <h3>Tough economic times</h3> <p>Our country has the worst budget deficit of any major economy. Our public finances are in the biggest mess any of us have seen in our lifetimes.  So it is now more important than ever to make sure the retail sector is free to make its full contribution to the economy. It also means that government is going to have to take tough action to put things right. As we approach the outcome of the spending review there is a lot of discussion about what this will mean for funding. But we are clear that this does not just mean spending restraint, it is also about making sure that there is a new approach to crime; one that makes the best use of scarce resources and puts power back in the hands of people who have been denied it for too long.</p> <h3>Our reforms</h3> <p>I know from your point of view that you believe there is a lot to put right. The Retail Crime Commission gave a valuable insight into the kinds of problems faced by retailers. One of the strongest themes that came through from the report was that you felt that your concerns - and the crimes committed against you and your staff - were not being taken seriously enough.</p> <p>This is exactly what our reforms are designed to address.</p> <p>The first change is that we will make the police more accountable to the people they serve. For too long the police have been disconnected from the communities they serve, tied down by bureaucracy, and answerable to distant politicians instead of to local people and businesses. We want to get rid of the inefficient and ineffective process of bureaucratic accountability and replace it with direct, democratic accountability. We will put power back into the hands of the people. To do this, we will introduce directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners – a single, named individual democratically accountable to their communities.</p> <p>This will be real accountability, provided not by invisible police authorities, not by ministers hundreds of miles away in London, but by the people themselves. Your commissioner will be somebody you’ve heard of; somebody you’ve voted for; somebody you can hold to account; somebody you can get rid of if they don’t cut crime. It may even be you.</p> <p>I know you are anxious to find out how it will work in practice and what it will mean for business. We are currently reviewing over 900 responses received to the Policing in the 21st Century consultation document, and we will publish our response in due course. In the meantime I want to assure you that the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners forms will offer greater opportunity for businesses both to influence local policing, and to make their contribution to making these new accountability arrangements work.</p> <p>We look forward to having more detailed conversations with you about how we make that happen.</p> <p>Our second reform is our commitment to greater transparency across all public services. Giving people information to hold their local police to account is critical.  We will put in place maps in January 2011 that will show crime and ASB data at a level that allows the public to see what is happening on their streets – including the shopping areas and retail districts. This will give you the information you need to hold the policing teams in your area, and in the future the Police and Crime Commissioner, to account.</p> <p>Third, we are getting rid of the bureaucracy and the red tape that for too long have tied up the police, while at the same time making sure that police and partners have access to the information they need to do the job well. Police officers should spend more time out on the streets to detect and deter crime. And by spending more time in their communities they will be better able to respond to the needs of those communities. By freeing them up from the paperwork and bureaucracy to trust their professionalism and their judgement to deal with the crimes they are confronted with in an effective way. Including issues like violence against shop staff. The government is determined to tackle violence whenever and wherever it occurs. </p> <p>Just like the rest of the population, retail staff deserve to work in an environment that is as safe and secure as possible. There are clear sentencing guidelines which state that where the victim of a violent assault is engaged in providing a service to the public this is an aggravating factor and must be taken into account when determining the sentence for an offence. This applies whether or not the victim is a public servant. I have been a strong supporter of the USDAW Freedom From Fear campaign highlighting that threats, intimidation or violence against people simply trying to do a day’s work is utterly unacceptable. The Home Office has also been working with the Health and Safety Executive on improving advice to business.</p> <p>But I am sure that there is more work that can be done and I look forward to discussing this issue further when the Home Retail Crime Steering Group meets in a few weeks time. Equally, I know many of you have concerns that in dealing with shoplifting there have been too many cases of persistent offenders getting multiple PNDs. I am absolutely clear that the use of PNDs for shoplifting is restricted to first time offenders only and guidance from the Ministry of Justice makes this clear. But I also know that we need to examine other options for dealing with offenders. And my colleagues at the Ministry of Justice are considering these issues carefully as part of their review of sentencing.</p> <p>The government has also announced the creation of a new National Crime Agency. This will lead the fight against organised crime, protect our borders and provide services best delivered at national level. This powerful new body will harness and exploit the intelligence, analytical and enforcement capabilities of the existing Serious Organised Crime Agency and better connect these capabilities to those within the police service, HM Revenue and Customs, the UK Border Agency and a range of other criminal justice partners. It will have an important role in combating online and computer enabled crime.</p> <p>I recognise the threat that this poses for the expansion of on line trading, as retailers and other business are reluctant to trade for fear they will be the victim of this type of crime. We are committed to developing an e-crime strategy to prevent and reduce this distressing crime.</p> <h3>What you can do</h3> <p>But I recognise that not all of the problems will be solved by government or the police in isolation. Whilst Police and Crime Commissioners and the establishment of the new National Crime Agency will make a difference, they cannot cut crime alone. It is shared responsibility and we need to work together to tackle it. Retailers are already doing a lot to reduce crime and we want to work with you to build on this.</p> <p>I know of some excellent examples, which show the really creative ways retailers can work with police to cut crime not only in their own shops, but in ways that benefit the surrounding neighbourhood. For instance, over 30 branches of Sainsburys have opened a police station within them. This supports neighbourhood policing in the area, and brings benefits to the shops and the surrounding community.  Staff in Co-Op shops help the police to spend more time on the beat by providing "tea stops", so officers can take their breaks in stores, acting as a deterrent to criminals.</p> <p>It’s not just the big companies who are standing up and making a contribution. Take, for example, the husband and wife team in Devon, who won this year’s Convenience Store magazine’s Zero Tolerance Award. These shopkeepers demonstrated immense courage and determination in helping their community rise against criminality and take a stand against intimidation, starting a successful neighbourhood campaign.</p> <p>These are just a handful of examples, but they show the kind of difference that can be made when retailers take the initiative and work with the police and others to tackle crime, for their benefit and for the good of their communities. I see it as an important part of corporate social responsibility.</p> <p>I also welcome the establishment and continued development of Business Crime Reduction Partnerships, Business Improvement Districts and more localised shop watch schemes.<br>Meeting the needs of their members and promoting joint-working on the high street in a very practical and direct way. I want to examine ways in which they can be encouraged.</p> <h3>Designing out crime</h3> <p>In these days of rapid technological innovation, designing out crime is an area that I believe has huge potential to prevent crime by denying criminals the opportunity to commit crime in the first place.  This is another way in which business has a really valuable contribution to cutting crime.  We have already seen major breakthroughs thanks to improved technology which is helping to tackle the theft of mobile phones and cars. The recent launch of the Mobile Phone Recyclers’ Code of Practice is an excellent example of what a collaborative approach can achieve, using better technology. Over 100,000 stolen handsets a year were being traded, often unwittingly, by recyclers every year fuelling the market for stolen phones. The mobile phone recyclers worked with Government and the Police to draw up a code of practice so that recyclers make the necessary checks when they purchase handsets, and to inform them more easily if a handset is stolen.</p> <p>The code created is now self-regulating and is going a long way to reducing the market for stolen mobile phones. This shows how not only local action, but strategic partnerships brokered at the national level with the private sector can make a real difference to cutting crime. I want to work with you more closely over time across the range of issues that concern you to make sure that government is not getting in the way, but facilitating these solutions.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>The conference themes today show how important tackling crime is to you. From shoplifting to fraud. From online threats in the virtual world to threats against staff in the real world.  I am confident that the steps we are now taking will make a material difference. Freeing up the police, providing greater accountability and restoring real power to communities - including the businesses within those communities.</p> <p>But to quote what is now becoming a well worn phrase we are all in this together.</p> <p>And at a time of significant financial challenge we will need to work even more closely together. But if we do so, I believe that we can deliver greater improvements in preventing, detecting and deterring business and retail crime. And in so doing creating the safer communities for the public we both serve. I’m looking forward to working with you to make this a reality.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/james-brokenshire-speech-crime James Brokenshire James Brokenshire's speech on crime and retail crime Thursday, 14 Oct 2010 Home Office British Retail Consortium Annual Retail Crime and Loss Prevention Conference
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Home Secretary Theresa May at the Association of Chief Police Officers annual conference. The speech is checked against delivery.</p> <p>Thank you for your introduction, Sir Hugh, and your remarks. And thank you to all the Chief Officers here for what you are doing to lead change in policing.</p> <p>Last week I spoke at the police federation conference. I was determined to go and make my case for reform in policing. I talked about the unpopular things, like Winsor, cuts and pensions. And I also talked about what we are doing to help hard-working police officers – cutting bureaucracy, returning discretion, restoring trust.</p> <p>Today, I want to talk more about the positive agenda the Government has for police reform.</p> <p>Our programme is coherent and comprehensive - from reforming local accountability to strengthening national structures; from dealing with so-called low-level crime to tackling the most serious; from reducing bureaucracy to enhancing professionalism – and all with the clear aim of helping the police to fight crime.</p> <p>Those who want to improve policing have nothing to fear from our changes – indeed, they should be entirely welcome. You are leading change in policing and in a way that builds on the best traditions of British policing.</p> <h3>Cutting Crime at the Same Time as Cutting Budgets</h3> <p>The context for our police reform programme is the most challenging financial environment for a generation.</p> <p>As I said to the federation last week, the overwhelming need to deal with our deficit has led to some very difficult decisions about cuts and savings, not just for the government but also for you.</p> <p>You have responded admirably to the need to reduce your budgets at the same time as maintaining the service to the public. Thank you for all the work you are doing.</p> <p>The latest figures show that police recorded crime is down by three per cent, while officer numbers have fallen by four per cent.</p> <p>That suggests that the best forces are protecting the frontline services that are most effective at fighting crime. We all knew there were savings to be made in the back office and support functions - you are proving it.</p> <p>There’s no room for complacency of course – and there is still too much variation between the forces that are doing the most and those that are not doing enough – but I know you and your teams get the message – the core mission of the police is cutting crime. That is the priority; that is the focus; that is the aim.</p> <p>There will, of course, be tough decisions ahead if we are to see through the savings that the country needs. Some of them might be controversial, like the Surrey and West Midlands Police business partnering scheme.</p> <p>Some of you might be criticised for thinking about new ways to save money on back office spending so you can prioritise the frontline, but that criticism will never come from me. If you are trying to cut crime and protect the public, at the same time as you make savings, then I will always support you. Because in these tough times, the most forward thinking chiefs know that the only way to continue cutting crime is by real and serious reform, transformational change; not just blind cuts, but new ways of working.</p> <p>I will support you in making the changes that are necessary, but if you continue to cut crime, then, more importantly, so too will the public.</p> <h3>Local Accountability</h3> <p>Securing public support has always been vital to the British model of policing by consent.</p> <p>But for too long in policing, there has been no way for the public to actually say what they want from their police force.</p> <p>We are putting that right.</p> <p>On 15th November, the public will go to polling stations in every police force area in England and Wales, outside of London, and take part in the most significant democratic reform of policing in our lifetime.</p> <p>So six months from today the first ever elected police and crime commissioners will take office, having been elected a week earlier.</p> <p>They will have a mandate from the public to set the force’s policing priorities, to hold their force to account for delivery of those priorities, and to drive improvements in crime fighting.</p> <p>They will be accountable directly to the communities they serve, rather than to the politicians or bureaucrats sitting in Whitehall.</p> <p>But strong and effective policing leadership will continue to be your responsibility and operational decisions will continue to be taken by police officers and police officers alone.</p> <p>And let’s remember that we have followed through on our deal to chief constables to free you from the old bureaucratic accountability to Whitehall, scrapping the targets, getting rid of the ring-fencing, freeing your hand.</p> <p>I know that change of this magnitude can be challenging. It is essential that it is handled properly. That’s why we have been working closely with you to develop the policing protocol order that sets out how the new policing governance arrangements will work; the role and responsibilities of PCCs, chief constables, and police and crime panels; and how they are expected to work together to cut crime.</p> <p>And I’m delighted that you have asked prospective PCC candidates to attend your conference this year so you can begin discussing how you will work together if they are selected and then elected in November. It is right that prospective candidates hear from you – the experts – about the priorities and challenges in modern policing, and that you understand from them the issues that they believe are important.</p> <p>In the new policing landscape, the relationship between senior officers and PCCs will be key to the successful implementation of the reforms and to strengthening policing for local communities. And so it is vital that all candidates – and the public – have as much information as possible about local policing to help them make informed decisions.</p> <h3>ASB</h3> <p>Police and crime commissioners will be responsible for holding their force to account for the totality of policing in their area. That means from the force’s response to the threat of terrorism and organised crime, to the anti-social behaviour that still makes too many lives a misery.</p> <p>Earlier today I launched our white paper on anti-social behaviour. The new approach empowers local communities, places victims’ needs at its heart and puts more trust in the professionals than ever before. And so it perfectly complements our approach to wider local policing.</p> <p>A lot of what’s called anti-social behaviour, of course, is actually crime – it should be taken seriously and it should be dealt with. Yet more than three million incidents of anti-social behaviour are still being reported to the police each and every year, with many more doubtless going unreported.</p> <p>It’s clear the old top-down approach to the problem hasn’t worked – it was too bureaucratic, too complex and too time consuming.</p> <p>So we will make powers simpler, quicker, easier to enforce, more flexible and more effective. We are reducing the number of tools and powers by over two thirds - from 19 to 6.</p> <p>Victims will see swift action taken as the new powers will make it easier and faster for the police and local agencies to stop anti-social behaviour. For example, the new injunction can be obtained in days or even hours and on a civil standard of proof.</p> <p>The police and local agencies will also be freed to use informal measures to take immediate action to nip problems in the bud, rather than being bound by central-targets and control.</p> <p>And crucially the new streamlined powers will allow the police and local agencies to stop ASB and seek to change behaviour, one of the key failings of the ASBO.</p> <p>Victims who still feel they are being ignored or sidelined will have the right to force action through the community trigger. We will pilot the trigger in three local areas - Manchester, Brighton and Hove, and West Lindsey from 1st June.</p> <p>The steps we’ve already taken with some of your forces can also help, like the improved call handling pilots we ran with eight forces to prioritise repeat and vulnerable victims and to focus on the harm caused to them, rather than just ticking a box on a form.</p> <p>And HMIC are driving the message home, with inspections highlighting the need for your forces to focus on the impact on the victim and not on how the crime is categorized.</p> <p>Now, let me be absolutely clear about this, our new approach will not dump all society’s problems on the police.</p> <p>We are challenging local agencies to do more to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour in the first place, lowering the burden on the police. And our new powers are available to a range of agencies and explicitly include actions to change an offender’s behaviour and stop future incidents, again, reducing the amount of anti-social behaviour you have to deal with.</p> <p>But that doesn’t mean you won’t still have an important and often central role. Police and crime commissioners can really help the police.</p> <p>They will have a democratic mandate to drive local action, collaboration and partnership working.</p> <p>So PCCs will work with local partners such as probation, social landlords, health, education and local voluntary organisations to fulfil their commitments to not only fight crime and antisocial behaviour, but to prevent it.</p> <p>And to make this a reality, we have established reciprocal duties for PCCs and their community safety and criminal justice partners to work together to cut crime.</p> <h3>National Structures</h3> <p>As well as helping forces to tackle the most local of crimes; PCCs will also know they have to work with you in responding to national and international crime.</p> <p>Last year we published a shadow strategic policing requirement, which sets out for the first time those national threats that cross force boundaries and which chief constables and police and crime commissioners will be required to tackle together.</p> <p>The SPR is designed to help you. It makes clear to PCCs that they can’t only focus on local concerns. It sets out the need for you and your forces to be able to work together, as well as with other partners, to tackle threats from riots to floods; terrorism to organised crime.</p> <p>And on serious and organised crime, border security, economic and cyber crime, and the protection of children and vulnerable people, your forces will soon benefit from the creation of the national crime agency, our major reform to national level law enforcement.</p> <p>The vision for the NCA comes from policing. The driving force behind its creation is police officers. It will be designed and led by someone steeped in policing. And its role will be a police role - crime fighting.</p> <p>Last year, I appointed chief constable Keith Bristow to be the agency’s first director general. Since then Keith has made tremendous progress in designing and beginning to build the NCA.</p> <p>And earlier this month, we introduced into parliament the crime and courts bill, which will give the NCA a statutory basis, and which keeps us on track for the NCA to be fully operational by the end of 2013.</p> <p>The crime and courts bill provides the three key components that will make the NCA effective.</p> <p>First, the NCA must produce, own and coordinate the national intelligence picture for serious, organised and complex crime. So the bill includes provisions to allow the NCA to share information with police and law enforcement agencies and places a strengthened duty on the police to share information with the NCA.</p> <p>In fact, part of the physical basis for the NCA’s new intelligence hub is already up and running in the shape of the organised crime coordination centre. I know this is something you have supported and I am grateful for the role played by chief constables Jon Murphy and Mick Creedon in particular.</p> <p>Second, it is essential that the NCA has the ability to coordinate the whole law enforcement response to serious and organised crime. Normally, the NCA’s ownership of the intelligence picture and its relationships with the police and other agencies will be sufficient to get the job done. But the bill also includes a robust legal basis for the NCA to task and coordinate the collective law enforcement response.</p> <p>These provisions will cut both ways. So the NCA and law enforcement agencies will have a clear duty to cooperate. NCA officers and assets will be able to operate under the direction and control of a police force. And importantly, there will also be a power - to be only used as a last resort - for the DG to direct police forces to undertake a specific activity, subject to strict safeguards and under the force’s own direction and control.</p> <p>This tasking provision shows that we are serious that the NCA should provide national leadership in the fight against serious, organised and complex crime, even though we hope it need not be used.</p> <p>It will be the NCA director general’s responsibility to ensure the national crime agency works in partnership with forces, and it will be your responsibility to ensure that your force plays its part. Police and crime commissioners will hold you to account for ensuring that the threats outlined in the strategic policing requirement are properly resourced and effectively tackled. The tasking power is the last resort if that cooperation fails.</p> <p>Third, the NCA must be an operationally effective agency in its own right, with its own intelligence gathering and investigative skills; sophisticated technical capabilities; and a presence internationally, at the border and in cyber space.</p> <p>So the NCA will inherit the operational staff and equipment of its predecessors such as SOCA and CEOP and, indeed, the bill will explicitly place child protection at the heart of the NCA’s work. I expect the NCA to have around 4,000 staff dedicated to fighting serious, organised and complex crime.</p> <p>NCA officers will have the triple powers of the police, customs and immigration to ensure they have all the tools they need.</p> <p>And, in a clear break from the past, the bill will give the NCA director general operational powers, signalling his role as an operational crime-fighter in his own right.</p> <p>To ensure a constant robust response to serious crime, the bill will bring NCA officers into line with police officers by restricting the right to strike of NCA officers holding operational powers.</p> <p>And the bill also provides for the NCA to build on the model that has worked effectively for the police special constabulary by harnessing the specialist skills found across our society. So the NCA will be able to recruit its own Specials - just as all of your police forces do – to bring in certain highly-specialised skills which are not widely available elsewhere such as forensic accountancy and cyber expertise.</p> <p>I have been clear that the structures for counter-terrorism policing will not be reviewed until after the olympics and after the NCA has been established. But the Bill contains provisions to enable any future decision on counter-terrorism functions, subject to further parliamentary approval. I must stress that this does not in any way mean that decisions have already been taken. It is simply a prudent legal provision should we decide to review CT policing in future.</p> <h3>Professionalism - PPB</h3> <p>So we are reforming accountability structures locally and operational structures nationally.</p> <p>But there is another major strand to our reforms programme. And that is to enhance the professionalism of individual police officers.</p> <p>And that is why we are creating a new police professional body.</p> <p>Now, I know there was some criticism about the idea of a police professional body at the fed conference.</p> <p>But I am clear that these concerns are based on myth and misconception.</p> <p>Let me take on some of those myths.</p> <p>When established, the police professional body won’t charge officers a membership fee or make them pay a subscription.</p> <p>It won’t make officers pay for their training.</p> <p>It won’t charge officers fees to sit exams.</p> <p>And it won’t issue any licence to practice policing.</p> <p>What we will do is establish a police professional body provide that can provide genuine help and assistance to individual police officers and staff throughout their career.</p> <p>The police professional body will set standards of entry to those who want to become an officer.</p> <p>It will be a source of knowledge, standards and best practice to help officers be confident and capable of thinking for themselves, taking important decisions and using their discretion.</p> <p>It will run or set standards for specialist skills training such as investigation, intelligence or firearms.</p> <p>It will provide careers advice for those who want to move through the ranks and will set standards for promotion and progression.</p> <p>It will help you make sure the training you buy from outside the service is up to scratch.</p> <p>And it will put in place talent development programmes to help the best reach the top.</p> <p>Importantly, the professional body will be tasked with promoting, not only professional skills, but also professional ethics. It will ensure that honesty and integrity are central to all of the training and learning that police officers and staff undertake.</p> <p>So those are the benefits to individual officers and staff of the new police professional body. And chiefs will continue to have an important role in making sure guidance, policy and standards set by the professional body are feasible and affordable, through ACPO’s chiefs’ council, and through the PPB’s professional committee.</p> <p>Those of you who are business area leads – and who do such important national work - will have the opportunity to sit as part of that professional committee, further reinforcing the place of chief constables at the heart of national policing practice and priorities.</p> <p>But I am clear that the PPB will be a body for the whole service, and, to reflect that, the governance arrangements will include PCCs and independents, as well as police representatives.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>I am a reforming home secretary with an ambitious programme of change. Change is often difficult and it’s often controversial. But our changes will significantly improve policing for the future.</p> <p>More say for the public.</p> <p>More effective powers to fight local crime.</p> <p>Better structures for dealing with serious, organised and complex crime.</p> <p>And with individual officers with greater professional skills, trust and the discretion to get the job done.</p> <p>That is a future that should be exciting for the police and worrying for the criminals.</p> <p>Together, we can secure policing’s future.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/theresa-may-22-may-2012 Theresa May Making the case for police reform Tuesday, 22 May 2012 Home Office Association of Chief Police Officers annual conference
<!-- begin image attachments --> <div class="fragImagePosLeft" style="width:250px;"> <img src="/images/main/changing-faces" alt="Changing faces"><p>Left to right: Simon Weston OBE, Changing Faces Patron, James Partridge, Founder and Chief Executive of Changing Faces, Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities, Rory Bremner, Changing Faces Patron and Tony Hobson, Chairman of the Trustees</p> </div> <!-- end attachments --> <p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone at a 20th anniversary reception for charity Changing Faces. The speech is checked against delivery.</p> <p>I’m delighted to be here to support Changing Faces in celebrating 20 years of pioneering services, and campaigning on such an important issue that is often not given the attention it deserves.</p> <p>The world is a different place than it was in 1992, when Changing Faces first came into being. I would like to say it has become more accepting and understanding of human diversity, but in some ways I feel like we’re going backwards.</p> <h3>Unlocking potential</h3> <p>One of my aims as Minister for Equalities is to unlock the potential of every person in the country and remove the barriers to people’s personal, social and economic participation.</p> <p>And one of the most destructive prejudices that still remains, is around physical appearance. Many people in this room know only too well the damage that can be caused by this prejudice and the challenges that need to be overcome to break down that prejudice.</p> <p>I started the body confidence campaign in government, because I believe that people should be valued for who they are, not what they look like.</p> <p>We want people to understand human beauty as something we can all share in and enjoy, that beauty is about individual spirit and personality more than any fixed ideal of physical characteristics.</p> <h3>Teen pressure</h3> <p>Yet the last twenty years has seen our society moving in the wrong direction – valuing aesthetic qualities over all others like never before. Apparently it is now quite common for teenagers to photo-shop themselves in pictures before putting them on facebook.</p> <p>How sad that these young people want to project an image to the world of a perfect face and body, instead of just piling into a photo booth – in the time honoured way – to capture a moment in which they and their friends are smiling and laughing and having fun.</p> <h3>Government campaign</h3> <p>So as part of the Government’s body confidence campaign, we are working with industry bodies, such as advertising and the media, to diversify the images we see around us to include all shapes and sizes, ages and ethnicities. We also want images to be more realistic rather than being air-brushed to an impossible degree.</p> <p>We are working with educational organisations to give people the tools they need to challenge these images and understand the impact they can have on self-esteem. We launched a media literacy teaching pack for primary schools, in conjunction with Media Smart, and are soon launching a similar pack to help parents discuss this issue with their children.</p> <p>Although it may seem churlish to compare anxious teenagers worrying that they don’t look like Cheryl Cole, to the challenges faced by people with disfigurements, I believe that this pressure stems from the same place and we need to tackle the root cause of our looks-obsessed society.</p> <p>And one of the most important ways of doing this is to raise awareness and generate debate. We need to keep up the pressure on this issue, which I know Changing Faces continues to do. </p> <p>Prejudice on the basis of people’s looks has deep roots in our culture, and too often it goes unchallenged and unremarked.  We want to change that, so that people understand that when we indulge in that prejudice we are also attacking ourselves and undermining our ability to live comfortably in our own skins.</p> <h3>Changing lives</h3> <p>Changing Faces is at the forefront of that same movement, and is doing so much to change lives and change minds. </p> <p>The emotional and practice advice and support they provide is a vital service which I’m sure many people here have used. They also provide important training to education and health professionals. And the campaigns Changing Faces run to raise awareness truly are cutting edge.</p> <p>I am particularly excited about the ‘face equality in film’ campaign which I think is such an effective way to challenge people’s individual prejudices and assumptions about the characters they see in films. I am honoured to be here today to support you in that work.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/changing-faces Lynne Featherstone Changing lives and changing minds Friday, 18 May 2012 Home Office right: Simon Weston OBE, Changing Faces Patron, James Partridge, Founder and Chief Executive of Changing Faces, Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities, Rory Bremner, Changing Faces Patron and Tony Hobson, Chairman of the Trustees
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Home Secretary speech to Police Federation Conference 2012 in Bournemouth</p> <h3>Fallen Officers</h3> <p>Each May this Police Federation gathers and pays its respects to the police men and women of England and Wales who fell in the year before.</p> <p>Their loss is indeed the greatest reminder of what we all owe to police officers. Their memory reminds us of what police officers can sacrifice. So let us remember:</p> <p>PC Ian Swaddling;<br>PC Scott Eastwood-Smith;<br>PC Perviz Ahmed;<br>PC Anthony Wright;<br>PC Ramin Tolouie;<br>PC Mark Goodlad;<br>DC Andrew Stokes;<br>DC Karen Paterson;<br>Inspector Preston Gurr;</p> <p>And of course we also remember PC David Rathband. I had the great privilege of meeting David Rathband. He was a fine and brave police officer. He dedicated his professional life to the service of the public. And, following the cowardly attack on him, he dedicated himself to helping other emergency service personnel injured in the line of duty.</p> <p>The Blue Lamp Foundation, the charity that David Rathband founded, is a fitting tribute to his life and to his work; and it provides a legacy of which I hope he would be proud.</p> <h3>Riots</h3> <p>Coming together each May also gives us the chance to look back at the events of the last year.</p> <p>Last summer, we saw the best of Britain, as the country celebrated the Royal Wedding, and the worst of Britain, when we saw rioting on the streets of our towns and cities.</p> <p>During those riots, police officers braved the bricks, the petrol bombs and even the bullets. Police officers did their duty despite the danger.</p> <p>I know that many of you sacrificed a great deal. You worked double shifts. You travelled many miles. Your leave was cancelled. Some of you slept on police station floors.  And more than 300 of you were injured.</p> <p>So I pay tribute to every officer who served last summer.</p> <h3>Cuts</h3> <p>There is so much to be proud of in British policing.</p> <p>But that doesn’t mean that everything in policing is perfect. And it doesn’t mean that there is no need for reform.</p> <p>Paul, you’ve just told us that there is a great deal that you don’t like about the Government’s policing policies.</p> <p>But let’s be clear: broadly, what we’re talking about comes down to money – on pensions, pay and budgets.</p> <p>Let’s remember why we’re having to take tough decisions about money.</p> <p>We have just been through the worst financial crisis in living memory.</p> <p>We had the largest budget deficit in our peacetime history.</p> <p>We are still spending £130 million every day just paying the interest on our debts. Not paying off our debts, just paying the interest on the debts. That’s more than we spend on the police, the courts, prisons and probation combined.</p> <p>And we are still spending, each day, more than we earn in tax. That means we have to borrow to make up the shortfall.</p> <p>So we have taken the difficult but necessary decision to face up to our debts, deal with our deficit, and get our spending under control.</p> <p>It’s been tough. It has led to many difficult decisions. And it has meant that policing has had to take its share of cuts. And for the good of our country, we have to see it through.</p> <p>The cuts will be challenging, they will involve hard choices, but they are manageable and they are affordable.</p> <p>I know the Fed often say we’re singling out the police. But that simply isn’t true.</p> <p>Prisons and probation are facing cuts just like policing.</p> <p>The education budget is often cited, but pupil numbers are rising by over 30,000 per year.</p> <p>You talk about the NHS budget, but health inflation is high and demand is rising.</p> <p>You often say defence is protected but let’s remember we’re fighting a war; the MOD is still paying the bills for old contracts; and the forces have already had to make 7,000 soldiers, sailors and RAF personnel redundant.</p> <p>So let’s stop pretending the police are being picked on. Every part of the public sector is having to take its share of the pain.</p> <h3>Winsor</h3> <p>I’ve always been clear with you that the police will have to make their share of the cuts.</p> <p>And although there is a great deal we can do through things like greater efficiency, shared procurement and force collaboration, I’ve always been clear that pay will have to form part of the savings. When three quarters of police spending is on pay, we have no other choice. The only alternative is more police job losses.</p> <p>That’s why - across the whole public sector - we’ve had to freeze pay for two years.</p> <p>It’s why we’ve said pay rises should average 1 per cent after that.</p> <p>And it’s also why we’re having to reform police pay and conditions.</p> <p>But the Winsor reforms are about more than just making savings.</p> <p>The police pay system was designed over 30 years ago, in the 1970s and it is now hopelessly out of date.</p> <p>The current system rewards time spent in the job. It doesn’t properly reward the hardest working officers, the talented constables, the skilled sergeants, the real crime fighters.</p> <p>We need a police pay system that encourages frontline service; that values specialist skills; respects the office of constable and recognises the demands placed on you and your families.</p> <p>In the longer term, Winsor has proposed regular fitness testing; new entry requirements so forces can hire the most talented recruits; shorter pay scales so the best can progress quickly; and direct entry so experienced individuals can bring skills and experience into the senior ranks from outside. These are reforms that hard working police officers should welcome.</p> <p>Winsor noted that there are other professions – notably soldiers and prison officers – who earn considerably less than police officers, who don’t earn overtime, who can be made redundant and yet still do not have the right to strike.</p> <p>I know that many Fed members don’t like the Winsor Report – change is never easy, especially when it involves pay. But these reforms are in the long-term interests of policing, and that is something everybody in this hall cares about.</p> <p>I know, too, that many Fed reps are talking about the right to strike. But I must be clear with you: the right to strike is not on the table. Keeping our communities safe is simply too important.</p> <p>I know I’m a Home Secretary who hasn’t been able to bring the Federation lots of good news: times are tough and I’ve had to take difficult decisions, particularly on pay.</p> <p>But I’ve always believed it’s important to tell it as it is, not how we’d like it to be.</p> <p>Two years ago, I told you I’d honour the three-year pay deal we’d inherited, and I did.</p> <p>Last year, when the Police Arbitration Tribunal considered the Winsor report part one, you urged me to accept the Tribunal’s recommendations quickly and in full, and I did.</p> <p>The Tribunal’s decision meant that the youngest officers would be protected from the increment freeze, officers would still receive time and a third for casual overtime, and a new £50 overnight allowance would be introduced for officers on mutual aid away from home.</p> <p>That wasn’t the package I proposed, but I didn’t argue, I considered it carefully, and I honoured the Tribunal’s decision.</p> <p>So let’s be clear about what the Winsor proposals actually mean: total savings of less than two per cent of the police officer pay bill; skills, hard-work and frontline officers rewarded; a new unsocial hours allowance; faster progression through the pay scales; and every single penny of savings ploughed back into policing.</p> <p>You will remain the best paid of all the emergency services - and that is what you deserve to be.</p> <h3>Police Pensions</h3> <p>On pensions, as well as on pay, I have always been clear with you that we will have to take difficult decisions.</p> <p>People are living longer and payouts for public service pensions are costing taxpayers more and more.</p> <p>That would be unsustainable even without the deficit we have.</p> <p>So, again, we took the difficult, the unpopular, but the necessary decision to reform pensions for all public service workers.</p> <p>We have now put forward a package for police pensions that is considerably better than pensions in the private sector and that compares very favourably with pensions in the public service.</p> <p>Like workers across the public service, it does mean that we are asking you to pay more for your future pension.</p> <p>But you will still receive a guaranteed pension which is index-linked and inflation-proofed.</p> <p>The pension you have built up will be protected, as I’ve already promised.</p> <p>In future, you will be able to continue to build up your benefits more quickly than most other public servants.</p> <p>I’ve already said that we will protect the pensions of officers within ten years of pension age. I’m consulting the Federation and others in the Police Negotiating Board on how to make these changes work in the best interests of officers.</p> <p>Every officer aged 45 or over will see no change to their pension whatsoever. And there will be no change for any officer aged 40 or over and less than ten years from full pension who is in the old scheme. Protected officers in that scheme will also continue to receive the double accrual rate you were expecting after 20 years’ service. That is better protection than has been offered for any other public servants’ pension scheme - including fire-fighters. </p> <p>And, recognising the unique demands you face, I fought hard to have your pension age considered separately from other public servants. So your pension age will remain significantly lower than for other public servants – 60 for police officers, as opposed to 65 rising to 68 for most other public sector workers.</p> <p>Police officers make an incredible contribution to our society. It is right that you should receive a competitive and attractive pension package and it is right that your pension age should be lower. But because police officers work for fewer years and have more generous pension arrangements than almost any other public servants, that means the taxpayer contributes more to your pension than most others, and it means you have to contribute more too.</p> <h3>Improving policing</h3> <p>So, yes, we have to take difficult decisions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change policing for the better and help you to do your job.</p> <p>So yes we’re setting up a Police Professional Body - led by a police officer and designed for police officers - to ensure you get the highest quality training and to further enhance your skills.</p> <p>We’re introducing a National Crime Agency to get a better grip on serious crime, defend our borders, tackle economic and cyber crime, and protect children and vulnerable people.</p> <p>We’re bringing in new Police and Crime Commissioners to give the public the policing they want. And that, I believe, is the kind of policing you want. Less direction from the bureaucrats in Whitehall; more from the people in the street. Less time in the station, more on the beat. Less form filling, more crime fighting.</p> <p>And we’re going to help police officers who’ve served the public and have been injured. So I will give half a million pounds of Home Office funding to St. Andrews Police Treatment Centre in North Yorkshire to improve their facilities. I have also offered funding to the Police Rehabilitation Centre at Flint House in Oxfordshire.</p> <p>Both of these tremendous centres provide intensive rehabilitation, physiotherapy and convalescent care for sick and injured officers, helping thousands get back to health and back to duty every year.</p> <p>This funding will help them provide the very best facilities to give sick and injured officers the chance to return to the job they love.</p> <h3>Reducing bureaucracy</h3> <p>I spend a lot of time talking to police officers who love their job. But those officers tell me they still do too much paperwork and not enough police work.</p> <p>The officers who make an arrest but then have to spend the rest of the day filling out forms.</p> <p>The officers who have to escort mental health patients to hospital and wait there for hours.</p> <p>The officers who have to go to Court, wait around to be called and then hear the case has been adjourned.</p> <p>We need to put this right.</p> <p>Each and every one of you joined the force to serve the public. I know you want to spend more time crime fighting and less time form writing. I know you want to be trusted more and told what to do less. I know you want more discretion to do what your professional judgement tells you is right.</p> <p>We’ve already made changes that, if fully implemented in every force, could save up to 4.5 million police hours every year. That’s the equivalent of getting over 2,100 police officers back on the streets.</p> <p>Now, I know the pace of change in some forces still isn’t as quick as you or I would like, and we still need senior officers to do more. But I’m sticking to the deal I offered you when I first spoke here two years ago: less paperwork in exchange for more public accountability. Fewer targets, rules and regulations; greater freedom, discretion and trust.</p> <p>Some forces are really rising to the challenge. Two weeks ago I was in Hampshire where I met officers who are using new ‘Toughbooks’ to do their paperwork while they’re out in their response vehicles. Documents are stored electronically, which means there’s no need to fill in multiple forms or waste time photocopying as cases go through the criminal justice system. Hampshire officers told me they can stay out on patrol for longer, spending less time in the station and more time on the streets keeping people safe.</p> <p>But officers in all forces should now have started to see the impact of our reforms in their day-to-day work.</p> <p>This year, most of you should have had a simpler, quicker and more focused performance and development review.</p> <p>You should all now be following more common sense health and safety guidance.</p> <p>For most of you, the stop and account form should be a thing of the past.</p> <p>Some of you will be involved in the pilots aimed at freeing up your time to help vulnerable victims of domestic violence and missing persons.</p> <p>You might have used the new video links system so you don’t have to waste time waiting at court.</p> <p>Many of you have had the chance to use your discretion on charging decisions, and we are currently exploring how we can extend that to include shoplifting.</p> <p>And you should also by now be using electronic systems to manage cases with the CPS, rather than all the photocopying, typing and taking papers to court.</p> <p>But I want us to keep going further. We’ve already legislated to allow police officers to make the decision to offer a conditional caution. This means, for the first time, you will be able to decide to impose conditions on an offender to get them to change their behaviour.</p> <p>And now I want to do more. The police can already prosecute – without the Crown Prosecution Service - simple traffic offences, like speeding, driving without insurance, or failing to produce a driving licence.</p> <p>But at the moment, not all forces are making the most of that freedom.  And if a defendant doesn’t enter a plea or doesn’t turn up in court, you have to hand over all the paperwork and evidence that you’ve built up to the Crown Prosecution Service. All your hard work is duplicated, all your decisions are reviewed and you have to wait for another court date, which can take months.</p> <p>That is a system that works in nobody’s interest. Wasting police time is supposed to be a criminal offence – but it’s what’s happening every single day.</p> <p>So I want to give the police responsibility for prosecuting more of these cases.</p> <p>I have agreed with your forces that they will make full use of your existing powers across the whole country.</p> <p>And today I can announce that I will extend your freedom to prosecute cases, starting with traffic offences where the defendant doesn’t enter a plea or doesn’t turn up in court. </p> <p>Together, these changes should allow the police to prosecute up to half a million cases every year. That’s around half of all cases currently heard in Magistrates courts.</p> <p>And I don’t want to stop there. So I can also announce that, as part of wider criminal justice reform, the Government will allow the police to prosecute a wider range of low-level offences. I will announce the details of how we will introduce this change and what offences it will apply to by the end of the summer.</p> <p>Less bureaucracy, greater police discretion, faster justice.</p> <p>I also want to help you by dealing with the problems that cause crime in the first place.</p> <p>That’s why, for example, we’re going to deal with the binge drinking that fuels around fifty per cent of all violent crime. You shouldn’t have to spend your Friday and Saturday evenings dealing with drunken yobs. By making sure alcohol can only be sold at a sensible price, and by giving local agencies the power to tackle problem pubs and off-licences, we can cut crime and reduce your workload.</p> <p>We’re also getting other agencies to do more to prevent young people getting caught up in drugs.</p> <p>And we’re going to finally sort out the enormous amount of police time spent on dealing with mental health patients.</p> <p>Just last week the custody sergeant in my local police station in Maidenhead told me of the problems she faced in dealing with mentally ill people.</p> <p>A police station shouldn’t be the section 136 “place of safety” for mentally ill people, tying up police resources, stopping you locking up criminals. And you shouldn’t have to escort mildly disruptive patients to hospital, wasting your time when you could be on the streets.</p> <p>So I have secured the Health Secretary’s commitment to divert more mentally ill offenders away from the criminal justice system. That will include introducing mental health liaison and diversion services at every police station that needs them.</p> <p>And we have also agreed to consider the transfer of commissioning of all police health services to the NHS as soon as possible. That means health professionals will look after mentally ill offenders and victims, not the police – because that is their job, not yours.</p> <p>I don’t want police officers doing other people’s jobs - the police are crime-fighters and that is the job I want them doing.</p> <p>And on that subject, let me say something else: it is because the police are crime-fighters that we will never privatise policing.</p> <p>Police forces already use the private sector to make your jobs easier - they can bring in expertise and new technology to support you; they can provide staff for control rooms and custody centres, freeing warranted officers for frontline roles.</p> <p>But the crime fighters will remain police officers, patrolling will not be privatised and policing will remain a public service, accountable to the people and carried out by consent.</p> <p>It will only ever be police officers who make arrests; it will only ever be police officers who lead investigations; and it will only ever be police officers who direct policing operations.</p> <p>The office of constable is the bedrock of British policing. And that is something that we will never change.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>But policing does need change.</p> <p>I know that change can be difficult, unsettling, sometimes even painful.</p> <p>But it’s my job to tell it like it is, not how we’d like it to be.</p> <p>It’s my job to do what’s right for policing and right for the country.</p> <p>And it’s my job to reform policing so it is fit to face the future.</p> <p>Less paper-work; more police-work.</p> <p>More power for the public; less power for the bureaucrats.</p> <p>And freeing the finest police officers in the world to fight crime.</p> <p>That is my vision for policing; and that is what I am determined to deliver.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/home-sec-police-fed2012 Home Secretary Home Secretary speech at Police Federation conference 2012 Wednesday, 16 May 2012 Home Office Police Federation Conference 2012
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Home Secretary Theresa May at the launch of the new annual index of female charity leaders on Thursday 10 May</p> <p>It is a real pleasure to be here tonight amongst so many dynamic and high achieving women and men on their way to the very top of their fields.</p> <p>I particularly want to thank our hosts Nomura, who consistently demonstrate such commitment to equality and diversity, and I’m pleased to hear that you are never satisfied. </p> <p>And I'm really pleased that they've been able to bring together the stars of the corporate world and the voluntary sector, both of whom do such important work for our economy and our society.</p> <p>Why Having More Women On Boards Is Important</p> <p>The UK, European and World economies continue to face significant challenges. In these tough times, governments, businesses and charities are looking for every available advantage.</p> <p> <br>So it is no wonder that more and more of our top companies and our best charities are recognising the fresh perspectives, innovative ideas and outstanding experience that women leaders can bring.</p> <p>Those companies and charities understand that they can’t afford to ignore the skills and talent of half the population.</p> <p>They know that a board that better reflects its customers, clients and supporters is better able to understand their needs.</p> <p>And they’ve seen the research which shows that more diverse boards produce better results - with higher sales, higher returns on invested capital and higher returns on equity.</p> <p>So our best companies, and our top charities, see that this is not just an issue of fairness or equality, this is an issue of economic strength.</p> <p>Business led strategy</p> <p>I believe it is essential that we get more businesses and charities to realise the benefits of having more women in their leadership teams.<br>That is the way we will bring about real and lasting change.</p> <p>And that's why I fully agreed with Lord Davies' report, which proposed a business led strategy for increasing the number of women in the boardroom. And I'm delighted that Amanda McKenzie, who plays such an active role in Lord Davies' steering group, is here this evening.</p> <p>Before Lord Davies started his work, only 12.5% of all FTSE 100 board members were women.</p> <p>One year on we have seen the biggest ever increase in the number of women in the boardroom – it now stands at 15.8%, and the number of all male boards in the FTSE 100 has dropped from 21 to 9. If we maintain this momentum, by 2015 we will have surpassed even Lord Davies' target of 25% of women on the boards of our top companies.  That would be a fantastic achievement. But it will only happen if we keep up the commitment.</p> <p>Think, Act, Report</p> <p>So if we want even more women to reach board level – particularly as executives - then we need business to look again at the pathways to the top. </p> <p>Lord Davies's report recognised that business taking action - and being open about doing so - can help deal with important problems like retaining talented female staff.</p> <p>That action might be to build a pipeline of women to board level. Or it might be to put in place an internal development programme to bring through talented women.</p> <p>And at the first meeting of the new Women’s Business Council, which the government has set up and which I attended last week, the Chair of the council, Ruby McGregor Smith, set out that one of the key themes they will be exploring is how to improve the talent pipeline for women – from our schools and colleges, to our Universities, into our companies, and right up to boardroom level.</p> <p>Being open about the action companies are taking can really help to drive change by showing the public, your customers and your staff what you're doing. That’s why we’ve made transparency a central part of our new initiative to tackle the barriers for women in the workplace, called ‘Think, Act, Report’.</p> <p>Many of you are already “thinking, acting and reporting”.  I want to thank you for supporting this initiative. </p> <p>For those that have not yet taken up the approach I would urge you to do so. Companies like Tesco, GlaxoSmithKline and National Grid have already taken the lead and demonstrated what is possible in the retail, pharmaceutical and energy sectors - I challenge you all to follow suit.</p> <p>Talent outside the corporate mainstream</p> <p>But recognising the skills and talents of everyone with the potential to reach the top isn’t just something businesses should be doing.</p> <p>Lord Davies recognised this in his report on women on boards, when he talked about looking for talented women from outside the corporate mainstream.  </p> <p>So I am pleased to be here tonight to launch “Women Count”, the female charity index, which gives a valuable insight into the women in senior roles in voluntary sector organisations.</p> <p>It is clear that the number of women in senior positions in this sector is higher than that in the corporate world. But we can and must go further.</p> <p>I hope that this valuable report will have the same sort of catalytic effect on the number of women reaching senior roles in the voluntary sector that Lord Davies’s work has had on the corporate world.</p> <p>And, as I said earlier, transparency itself can be an important driver of change. And so by increasing transparency, this report can help bring about change for the better in the voluntary sector.</p> <p>But “Women Count” also shows that there are a large number of talented women outside the corporate world who are running big organisations, making serious decisions and managing many employees. </p> <p>Many of those high-performing women are well-qualified to take up corporate board positions, as either executives or non-executives. </p> <p>And they could also take up important positions in the public sector, helping the Government to meet our aspiration that fifty per cent of new appointees to the boards of public bodies should be women.</p> <p> <br>So “Women Count” is an important step in identifying board level talent that is vital for our economic success in the public sector, corporate boards or on the boards of voluntary organisations. </p> <p>And by highlighting the fantastic work women are doing in this vital area of our society, the “Women Count” report helps to show once again how important, influential and impressive top women can be.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>We now have a strong commitment from the public sector, the corporate world and the voluntary sector to increase the number of women on boards.</p> <p>When the key decisions makers better reflect our society, we maximise our chances for future growth, wellbeing and prosperity.  And that is what we all want to see.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/index-of-female-charity-leaders Theresa May Index of female charity leaders Friday, 11 May 2012 Home Office launch of the new annual index of female charity leaders
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Speech given by Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May on 20 April 2012.</p> <p>I'm delighted to be back at Stonewall's Workplace Conference.</p> <p>It's wonderful to, again, see so many of our biggest businesses, our foremost public sector employers and our best charities represented here today.</p> <p>I think, the mere fact that so many major employers now want to attend a conference like this, shows just how far we, as a society, have come.</p> <p>When employers like you show they care about equality at work, then we know it has become a mainstream issue.</p> <p>I have been clear that I believe the equalities agenda should be about fairness. That means equal treatment and equal opportunity. And perhaps nowhere is the fundamental right to be treated fairly and to be given the same opportunities as everyone else more important than in the workplace.</p> <h2>Progress</h2> <p>In my speech to this conference last year, I asked you to judge us on what we do to help advance LGB&amp;T equality. I hope that our actions have shown just how strong our commitment is in this area. I believe we have done a great deal to help advance LGB&amp;T equality, although, of course, there is still more to do. </p> <h3>Equal Civil Marriage</h3> <p>Undoubtedly the step which has made the most headlines is our consultation on allowing same-sex couples to enter into a civil marriage.</p> <p>I firmly believe that marriage should be for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. Society is stronger when people enter into a stable relationship; when they commit to each other; when they make binding vows to love, honour and cherish one another.</p> <p>Marriage binds us together, it brings stability, it makes us stronger.</p> <p>So I don't believe the state should stop people getting married unless there are very good reasons – and being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender aren’t good enough reasons.</p> <p>If we believe commitment, fidelity and marriage are positive things – as I strongly do - then we should not restrict them, we should let them flourish.</p> <p>Our consultation on extending the right to civil marriage to all closes on 14 June and a Government response will be published in the autumn.  It's fair to say we've had quite a few responses already, but if you have not already done so, then I would encourage you all to take the time to complete the online response form on the Home Office website.</p> <h3>LGB&amp;T Action Plan</h3> <p>Our equal civil marriage plans have been the biggest talking point. But we have made important progress in other areas as well.</p> <p>Just over one year ago we published the first ever cross-government action plan on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality.</p> <p>This document outlined an ambitious range of actions we will take from tackling homophobic bullying in schools, and improving our response rate to hate crime, to promoting LGB&amp;T rights abroad. </p> <p>We can be proud that other countries have praised the steps we have taken and are using our action plan as a model for their own action in this area. And I'm also pleased to see that the UK is now recognised as the leader in Europe on LGB&amp;T equality and rights by the International Lesbian and Gay Association.  Only a few weeks ago, my ministerial colleague Lynne Featherstone hosted a landmark conference on LGB&amp;T rights in Strasbourg as part of our Chairmanship of the Council of Europe. </p> <p>But equality is no longer just about Government action.</p> <p>It was not that many years ago that someone could be sacked just because of their sexual orientation.</p> <p>And it was right that successive governments took action to outlaw old injustices like this.</p> <p>But we now have some of the longest standing, most comprehensive and broadest based equality laws in the world. And yet outdated attitudes and hidden prejudices persist.</p> <p>New laws alone won't stop homophobic discrimination and harassment in the workplace – it is already illegal.</p> <p>New regulations aren't going to stop prejudiced employers using any excuse possible to avoid hiring a gay member of staff.</p> <p>To tackle today’s problems we need a new set of solutions. That can mean government leading the way – encouraging, arguing, bringing groups together. But fundamentally we need individuals, communities, charities and employers to act.</p> <h3>Sport</h3> <p>You can see the success of our new approach in one of the last bastions of prejudice – sport.</p> <p>Last year we launched our Charter for Action to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport – on or off the field.</p> <p>At the launch of the Charter in March the Football Association, the Rugby Football Union, the England and Wales Cricket Board and others all signed up.</p> <p>And since then we’ve seen the initiative go from strength to strength, as more and more organisations and individuals have signed the Charter.</p> <p>In June, the Prime Minister hosted a reception to support and promote the Charter, where he was joined by sports stars and celebrities committed to tackling homophobia and transphobia, including tennis legend Billie Jean King and rugby's Gareth Thomas and Ben Cohen.</p> <p>And now - one year on – I’m pleased to say that the Charter has over 3,500 signatories, including all professional football clubs, all Rugby Football League super league teams and the vast majority of national sports governing bodies.</p> <p>With the once in a lifetime spectacle of the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to Britain, I want 2012 to be the year when the tide was finally turned on homophobia in sport.</p> <h3>Stonewall Workplace Equality Index</h3> <p>But action in the workplace is just as vital as action on the sports field. And in this area, all of you here are leading the way.</p> <p>Many of you and your employers will have been recognised for your leadership in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index.</p> <p>I am delighted that the Home Office has retained its high ranking in this year's Index. Although we’re no longer the number one ranked overall, we can still say we’re the top public sector employer for LGB people.</p> <p>And I'm sure Ernst and Young, this year’s number one ranked employer, would say that the reason they have overtaken us is because of the sterling efforts of Ernst and Young to raise their game even further, and not because the Home Office has been slipping (!).</p> <p>It's tremendous to see such a wide range of organisations making Stonewall’s list of the top 100 this year.</p> <p>We've got lawyers, consultants, NHS trusts, banks, government departments, local councils, universities, charities, technology firms, sporting organisations and many, many others.</p> <p>As Home Secretary, as well as Minister for Women and Equalities, I'm particularly pleased to see so many police forces on the list.</p> <p>As recently as 2007, officers from Hampshire Constabulary were banned from wearing their uniform at Pride events.</p> <p>Now, Hampshire is ranked at fourteenth on Stonewall's list.</p> <p>That shows that very great progress can be made in a very short space of time.</p> <p>In total there are eleven police forces in the top 100, plus the Security Service, MI5, and the Home Office.</p> <h3>The Business Case for Equality</h3> <p>The reasons police forces are going to such great lengths to improve their diversity is because they cannot do their job without it.</p> <p>When the 19th Century Conservative Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel founded the modern police service he said 'the police are the public and the public are the police' – that founding principle of policing means that diversity in British policing is an essential part of any force, not just a 'nice to have'.</p> <p>Community consent can only come when the police understand – and reflect – the diverse communities they serve. The police need to secure the trust and cooperation of communities to gain valuable intelligence that can help bring criminals to justice.</p> <p>So this is not about political correctness; it's about the fundamental business of policing.</p> <p>And exactly the same is true in the actual business world as well.</p> <p> <br>Our top companies understand that. They know that a company whose workforce better reflects their customers is better able to understand what their customers want and need. And that means greater sales and greater profits.</p> <p>I know one of the themes of this conference is the business case for equality. I am clear that equality matters economically, as well as morally.</p> <p>It matters because for you, as employers, a more diverse workforce can bring business benefits.</p> <p>And for us, in government, making sure people are treated fairly and given equal opportunities is central to our goal of building a strong, modern economy that benefits from the talents of all of its members. </p> <p>In these tough times, we must make the most of the drive, the talent, the experience and the ability of every member of our society.</p> <p>We know that workplaces that are more inclusive are also more productive. That’s because they draw on the talents of all their members.</p> <p>I’m not going to enter the debate about what percentage of the population is lesbian, gay or bisexual. But we can say with confidence that most large businesses will have LGB staff, LGB clients or LGB customers.</p> <p>The LGB market is estimated to be worth around £70 billion a year. And nearly half of straight consumers and two thirds of LGB consumers say they would be less likely to buy products from firms that are judged to hold negative views of LGB&amp;T people.</p> <p>That's a pretty strong business case for equality.</p> <p>And in fairness, many employers in both the public and the private sector are already leading the way in advancing LGB and T equality in their workplaces.</p> <p>Morgan Stanley, for example, is taking a range of innovative steps to make their business more inclusive.</p> <p>They've instigated a reverse mentoring scheme, where LGB junior staff coach their non-LGB senior colleagues. </p> <p>They've found this can help the development of both senior managers and the more junior members of staff. It can also help raise awareness of specific LGB issues among senior member of the firm and of the overall experience of being an LGB employee at Morgan Stanley. That is an investment in the future that will pay dividends for years to come.</p> <h3>Mainstreaming Equality</h3> <p>But despite progress by employers like those represented here today, some LGB&amp;T people still face discrimination at work.</p> <p>1 in 5 LGB people think they have been harassed at work because of their sexual orientation. And 1 in 25 think they have been sacked because of their sexual orientation.</p> <p>I am clear that if we are to eliminate this persistent prejudice then we need to do much more to mainstream equality.</p> <p>I don’t want equality to just be considered a niche subject, which only certain specific groups care about.</p> <p>I want to change people’s perception of what we are trying to achieve on equality so that people think equality doesn't just matter if you're lesbian, gay or bisexual; if you’re a woman; or if you’re old or disabled – but so people begin to say that equality matters to everyone.</p> <p>And that means making equality a normal part of everyday life.</p> <p> <br>One example of the steps we are taking to support workplaces to be more inclusive  is the 'Think, Act, Report' Framework, a voluntary initiative to encourage all employers to help women overcome barriers in the workplace.</p> <p>Developed with leading business organisations - such as the CBI, Tesco, Unilever, and BT - companies choose to take part, choose the measures that are right for them, and choose how they report their action. And I would encourage all of you to sign up if you have not already done so.</p> <p>Another real, practical example of how we can start mainstreaming equality is Stonewall’s new guidance 'Sexual Orientation: The Equality Act Made Simple'.</p> <p>The Equality Act was important; it helped to consolidate and simplify Britain's equality laws. That's why we implemented more than 90 per cent of the Act after we came to power and we intend to implement more key provisions in due course.</p> <p>But if people don’t understand what rights the Act gives them, then they can't exercise them. And if employers don't know what their obligations are, then they can't fulfil them.</p> <p>Stonewall's guidance can help everyone to understand the act and what they need to do about it.</p> <p>Some might think that writing a guidance document isn't that important. But actually initiatives like this are vital if we are to mainstream equality and if we are to make equality relevant to everybody.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>I believe everyone in this country has the right to be treated fairly.</p> <p>And I believe everyone in this country has the right to equal opportunities.</p> <p>That is why I believe equality matters.</p> <p>So it is our task to end discrimination wherever we find it and to extend opportunities wherever we can.</p> <p>That might be through government action, like our proposals for equal civil marriage.</p> <p>It might be through encouraging role models to stand up and be counted, like our charter to end homophobia in sport.</p> <p>Or it might be through the action and commitment of each and every employer in this room who is striving to make their workplaces better and more inclusive places to be.</p> <p>If we are to truly bring equality into the mainstream then all employers need to follow your lead.</p> <p>And that is what I will be working to achieve.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/stonewall-workplace-conference Lynne Featherstone Home Secretary Stonewall speech Friday, 20 Apr 2012 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Speech given by Home Secretary Theresa May on 19 April 2012. Checked against delivery.</p> <p>Yesterday, Mr Speaker, the European Court of Human Rights informed the Government that late on Tuesday evening, Abu Qatada applied for a referral of the judgment in his case to the Court’s Grand Chamber.  He did so on the grounds that he would be at risk of torture if he returned to Jordan.  The British courts and the European Court itself have already found that, because of the assurances we have received from the Jordanian Government, there is no such risk.</p> <p>The Government is clear that Abu Qatada has no right to refer the case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, since the three-month deadline to do so lapsed at midnight on Monday. </p> <p>Article 43 of the European Convention on Human Rights explains that a request for referral to the Grand Chamber must be made 'within a period of three months from the date of the judgement of the Chamber'.  The letter that communicated the European Court’s judgement, dated 17 January, confirmed this, saying 'any request for the referral of this judgement to the Grand Chamber must be duly reasoned and reach the Registry within three months of today’s date.'  Therefore the deadline was midnight, Monday 16 April.</p> <h3>European Court</h3> <p>Because the European Court has no automatic mechanism to rule out an application for a referral based on the deadline, Abu Qatada’s application will be considered by a panel of five judges from the Grand Chamber.  They will take into account the deadline, as set out in Article 43 of the Convention, as part of their consideration.  The Government has written to the European Court to make clear our case that the application should be rejected because it is out of time. </p> <p>Instead, the Government believes that the case should be heard in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission court, as I outlined in the House of Commons on Tuesday.  Until the panel of the Grand Chamber makes its decision, however, a Rule 39 injunction preventing the deportation of Abu Qatada remains in place.  This means that the deportation process and any potential SIAC appeal is put on hold, but we will resume the process as soon as the injunction is lifted.  In the meantime, we will continue to build our case, based on the assurances and information we have received from the Jordanian Government.  Qatada remains in detention, and the Government will resist vigorously any application he might make to be released on bail.</p> <p>As I said in the House of Commons on Tuesday, despite the progress we have made, the process of deporting Abu Qatada is likely to take many months.  The fact that he is trying to delay that process by applying for a referral to the Grand Chamber after the deadline had passed and after he’d heard our case in SIAC is evidence of the strength of our arguments, the weakness of his, and the likelihood of our eventual success in removing him from Britain for good.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/Abu-Qatada-speech Theresa May Home Secretary speech about Abu Qatada Thursday, 19 Apr 2012 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Mr Speaker, with permission I would like to make a statement on the deportation of the Jordanian terror suspect, Abu Qatada.</p> <p>I can tell the House that today, officers from the UK Border Agency arrested and detained Abu Qatada and served notice that we are resuming his deportation.</p> <p>The assurances and information that the Government has secured from Jordan mean that we can undertake deportation in full compliance with the law and with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.</p> <p>Deportation might still take time – the proper processes must be followed and the rule of law must take precedence – but today Qatada has been arrested and the deportation process is underway.</p> <h2>Background</h2> <p>Let me remind the House briefly of where we are. For more than ten years, successive governments have sought to deport Qatada to Jordan, because of the serious risk he poses to our national security. He has a longstanding association with Al Qaeda, he has been linked to several terrorist plots, and he has been found guilty in absentia in Jordan of terrorist offences.</p> <p>Despite the judgement of British courts that Qatada should be deported, and despite accepting that our diplomatic assurances from Jordan mean that he would not be mistreated upon his return, in January the European Court of Human Rights ruled against his deportation. It did so on unprecedented grounds – that evidence obtained from the torture of others might be used against him in future legal proceedings in Jordan.</p> <p>As I have said to the House before, the Government disagrees vehemently with this ruling: Qatada does not belong in Britain; he belongs in Jordan – where he deserves to face justice.</p> <h3>Further Information from Jordan</h3> <p>We have since been working closely with our Jordanian counterparts to get the certainty we need that Qatada will face a fair trial upon his return. I want to thank Jordanian ministers for their constructive and helpful approach.</p> <p>Since January, the Prime Minister has discussed Qatada’s deportation with King Abdullah. I have been to Jordan and held meetings with the King, the Prime Minister and several other ministers. My Honourable Friend the Minister for Crime and Security has travelled to Jordan. And there have been several official delegations to follow up on ministerial negotiations. These discussions are ongoing.</p> <p>The result is that we now have the material we need to satisfy the courts and to resume deportation. I can give the House a brief description of the key facts that mean Qatada will get a fair trial.<br><br>The state security court, which will hear Qatada’s case, is not a quasi-military court – as Strasbourg suggested – but a key part of the Jordanian legal system that considers a wide range of criminal cases. Qatada’s case will be heard in public with civilian judges.</p> <p>Upon his return to Jordan, Qatada’s conviction in absentia will be quashed immediately. He will be detained, in a normal civilian detention centre where he will have access to independent defence lawyers. In court, he will be able to summon defence witnesses in his support.</p> <p>Those accused alongside Qatada when he was found guilty in Jordan – whose evidence is at the heart of the European Court’s ruling – can give evidence, but what they say in court will have no effect upon the pardons they have already been granted.</p> <p>We can therefore have confidence that they would give truthful testimony. Furthermore, Qatada will be able to challenge their original statements. Indeed, one of the more significant recent developments is the change to the Jordanian Constitution last autumn that includes an explicit ban on the use of torture evidence.</p> <h4>Concerns</h4> <p>I believe continuing with deportation against Qatada on the basis of these facts will provide us with the quickest route to removing this man from our country. I know that many Honourable Members are frustrated by Strasbourg’s ruling and by the time it is taking to deport him. I share their frustration entirely. And I know that a number of Honourable Members have some specific concerns, which I want to address head on.</p> <p>First, why we cannot just ignore Strasbourg and put Qatada on a plane. In reality we simply could not do this. As ministers, we would not just be breaking the law ourselves but we would be asking government lawyers, officials, the police, law enforcement officers and airline companies to break the law too.</p> <p>As soon as we issued a deportation notice to Qatada, his lawyers would win an immediate injunction preventing us from removing him. And even then, if somehow we succeeded in deporting him against the wishes of the courts, we could be ordered to bring him back to Britain and perhaps even pay out compensation. Instead, our approach will bring an enduring solution. The truth is that of all people and institutions, the government must obey the law, and that means, as long as we remain a signatory to the European Convention, we have to abide by Strasbourg’s rulings.</p> <p>Second, why we cannot deport Qatada when other countries have recently deported foreign nationals. The truth is, while all legal systems and all cases are different, no Council of Europe member state now ignores Rule 39 injunctions, which Strasbourg issues to prevent deportations.</p> <p>The recent cases of the foreign nationals deported from France did not involve an appeal to the European Court at all. And Italy has confirmed that it will no longer deport foreign nationals in defiance of Rule 39 injunctions. But I can tell the House that I am keen to learn from the experience of other countries in Europe. So we will be examining the processes and procedures used in France, Italy and elsewhere to see if our own legislation might be changed to enable us to deport dangerous foreign nationals faster.</p> <p>In the longer term, we need to stop the abuse of human rights law. The Brighton Conference, which begins tomorrow, will examine how to reform the European Court. We are changing the Immigration Rules to prevent the abuse of a ‘right to a family life’. And, of course, we need a British Bill of Rights.<br>Deportation will come as soon as possible but could still take time.</p> <p>Mr. Speaker, continuing deportation now, on the basis of the work we have done with the Jordanians, is the quickest and safest means we currently have of removing Qatada from Britain. But Honourable Members must be aware, this does not necessarily mean he will be on a plane to Jordan within days. There is still a potential avenue of appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission court, and beyond.</p> <p>That appeal process could take many months, but it would be based on narrow grounds and, with the assurances we have received, we can have confidence in our eventual success. I believe that Abu Qatada should remain in custody throughout.</p> <h4>Referral to the Grand Chamber</h4> <p>The other option available to us – referring the case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court – could take even longer and would risk reopening our wider policy of seeking assurances about the treatment of terror suspects in their home countries. This policy was upheld by the European Court’s judgement in January, and it is crucial if we want to be able to deport terror suspects to countries where the courts have concerns about their treatment. There are fifteen other such cases currently pending. I can therefore confirm that the Government has not referred the Qatada case to the Grand Chamber.</p> <h4>Conclusion</h4> <p>Mr Speaker, British courts have found that Qatada is a dangerous man, he is a risk to our national security, and he should be deported to Jordan. We have now obtained from the Jordanian Government the material we need to comply with the ruling of the European Court. I believe the assurances and the information we have gathered will mean that we can soon put Qatada on a plane and get him out of our country for good.</p> <p>And so I commend this statement to the House.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/Abu-Qatada Theresa May Oral Statement by Home Secretary Theresa May on Abu Qatada, 17 April Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012 Home Office make a statement
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Speech given by Lynne Featherstone on 27 March 2012, on combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation</p> <p>I am delighted to be here and I’m honoured to be hosting this conference as part of the UK’s chairmanship of the committee of ministers. I am heartened that so many of you, from across Europe, could be here today. I would like to thank the council of Europe for all their help in making today possible. It is only when we join hands that progress will be made.</p> <p>Not so long ago, it would have been unthinkable to have so many representatives from different countries and organisations gathered in one room to talk about human rights protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGB&amp;T) people. Clearly, something has changed.</p> <p>Today, I’d like to talk about the progress we have made towards LGB&amp;T equality both in the UK and in Europe, and what our next steps might be.</p> <h3>Progress towards LGB&amp;T equality in the UK</h3> <p>Great progress has been made towards LGB&amp;T equality in recent years, not only in the UK but across Europe too. In the UK, not so long ago, LGB&amp;T people faced repeated discrimination and even violence, simply because of who they were. In Britain, as recently as 1967, people like the pioneer of computer sciences, Alan Turing, could still be prosecuted for homosexual acts between consenting adults.</p> <p>Turing was forced to accept chemical castration as an alternative to prison - a disgraceful way to treat one of our greatest scientists.</p> <p>Now, we can be proud in the UK that same-sex couples can have their union legally recognised. And we have just started a consultation asking how we can recognise same-sex civil marriage. Last year the UK government published two action plans, one on LGB&amp;T equality and a separate one addressing the specific challenges transgender people face. These action plans recognise that LGB&amp;T people want to play a part in our society and enjoy the same rights and freedoms as every other citizen. These documents include firm commitments to tear down the barriers to inequality and improve the lives of LGB&amp;T people in all aspects of their lives. The plans outline actions on tackling bullying in school, discrimination at work, improving access to healthcare and adopting a robust response to hate crime - areas where we know we still need to do more.</p> <h3>Progress towards LGB&amp;T equality in Europe</h3> <p>And at European level we are excited about progress. </p> <p>While we are all, of course, bound by the European convention on human rights, friends across Europe are working hard to make the principles of these conventions a reality for LGB&amp;T people.</p> <p>In 2010, the committee of ministers adopted its recommendation on combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The recommendation is a major step forward. It provides a comprehensive framework for progressing LGB&amp;T equality right across Europe.</p> <p>And we warmly welcome commissioner Hammerberg’s recommendations and report, published last June, which will also assist member states in taking action to combat violence and discrimination in this area. </p> <p>But despite this progress, and despite the fact that homosexuality has now been decriminalised in all member states of the council of Europe, LGB&amp;T people and their defenders can still face deeply rooted prejudices, hostility and widespread discrimination in Europe.</p> <p>They can face physical violence and verbal abuse.</p> <p>They can face restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.</p> <p>They can face violations of the right to respect for private and family life.</p> <p>And they can face violations of rights to education, work and health.</p> <p>As a consequence, too many LGB&amp;T people across Europe still live in fear and have to conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity.</p> <p>We need to stand in their shoes and just imagine what life would be like if we could not be open about who we are in society with our friends and with our family, without being terrified of being subjected to victimisation or violence.</p> <h3>Taking action</h3> <p>It is vitally important that we all ensure that tackling violence and discrimination against LGB&amp;T people remains at the top of our human rights agenda. Every country in Europe needs to act as a leader, a catalyst and an advocate for change.</p> <p>The council of Europe recommendation was a significant step forward. But this is just the beginning of the journey, not the end. It is now vital to build on the momentum created within the council of Europe, and to work together to implement the recommendation.</p> <p>I know some of us are at different points of the journey and that LGB&amp;T equality will not happen overnight. My message to all of you is this. It’s only by working together, by building new relationships and by opening a dialogue that we can learn from each other and make LGB&amp;T equality a reality.</p> <p>Many member states are already showing great leadership in advancing LGB&amp;T rights. Last week, the government of Montenegro hosted an event on advancing LGB&amp;T equality in the Balkan states. I applaud the government of Montenegro for hosting this event and for its leadership in the region. I am honoured that the deputy prime minister of Montenegro is here with us today and I am looking forward to hearing about the conference’s success during the panel discussions.</p> <p>The UK is committed to playing its part. I am proud that LGB&amp;T equality is one of our chairmanship’s priorities. I am also delighted to announce today that the UK will be joining forces with other member states to fund the new LGB&amp;T unit within the council of Europe secretariat. This will go a long way to supporting the unit in its crucial role in strengthening LGB&amp;T rights across Europe.</p> <p>I’d like to thank the unit’s staff, who are here with us today, for helping organise this event.</p> <p>We now need to make sure the Unit is well equipped to deliver on its promise.  It’s absolutely crucial that, as best we can, we stand behind the unit and support its work.</p> <h3>Conclusions</h3> <p>Today’s event is a blueprint for future action to progress LGB&amp;T equality across Europe. It provides an excellent opportunity to consider the challenges that LGB&amp;T people face and learn from each other’s successes and challenges. I look forward to hearing about your experiences and explore how we can work together to further advance LGB&amp;T equality. I hope it will be just the first of many such debates.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/lynne-f-combat-discrimination Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone 'combating discrimination' speech Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Immigration minister Damian Green gave this speech to the Royal United Services Institute on 14 March 2012. This speech has been checked against delivery.</p> <p>Thank you for inviting me here to speak today. The topics for today's discussion are always hot ones, and are also hugely topical.  Work carried out at the border, and sometimes not carried out when it should be, has recently been the subject of public, press and Parliamentary scrutiny.</p> <p>The Border matters to this government – it is not only the point at which we can check people's nationality and immigration status, it is also a critical point of intervention for crime and security purposes, for the protection of revenue and for safe and efficient international trade and travel.</p> <p>A safe and secure border means not just better immigration control, but safer streets and more secure citizens. There can be no compromises on border security. In a dangerous world, our border is one of our main protections.</p> <p>I want to cover three things today.  First, I want to set out the scale of the challenge we face in transforming the border.  Second, I want to  deal with the problems there have been – most notably those  uncovered by the independent chief inspector of the UK Border Agency, John Vine, which highlighted the failings of the previous Border Force.  It is only by understanding those problems can we fix them.  Third, I want to set out the radical changes this government is making to improve border security.  The  creation of a separate Border Force accountable to ministers; the establishment of the UK’s first Border Policing Command (within the UK’s first National Crime Agency); and real focus on progress on technology to prevent threats getting to the UK border in the first place.</p> <h3>The Scale of the Challenge</h3> <p>But first we should be clear on the nature of the challenge. Securing our border is a vital task, but it is not an easy or straightforward one. </p> <p>In 2011, 2.6 million visa applications were made to the UK and there were around 200 million passenger journeys across our borders – both those coming to and leaving the UK.  London remains one of the most important centres for international aviation in the world. In 2010, in excess of 500 million tonnes of freight passed through our seaports alone.  This is a huge volume of people and cargo passing through our ports and airports and it will continue to grow. But with growth in passenger and freight volumes comes the potential increase for abuse.</p> <p> <br>Add to that the physical challenge of securing our borders:  the UK is an island with over three and a half thousand airfields; we have thousands of miles of often remote coastline; and we share a land border with another country –Ireland – with which we have created a Common Travel Area. We have direct international rail services with the EU Schengen zone that are only going to increase in number and complexity.  We are a major hub for global trade, fast parcel services and for shipping.</p> <p>Securing a border like this is a major challenge.  It requires fit-for-purpose organisations with a real focus upon law enforcement and security to watch over the border and provide assurance to the public that the checks they expect to be in place are being done. It needs better analysis and intelligence so we can target interventions properly. And it needs to harness technology to ensure that we know who and what is coming as early as possible and can enable low risk flows to cross the border quickly and securely. </p> <h4> <br>Problems of the past</h4> <p>Unfortunately, the legacy given to this government left a lot to be desired in this regard.  Perhaps the most high-profile problems were in the former Border Force, as John Vine has shown. We inherited a Border Force that failed to conduct all the checks it should have done – mothballing expensive new technologies and cutting corners to manage queues or other pressures.  A Border Force where communications between staff and managers were unclear; and where our policy towards key checks was ambiguous or non-existent. This was completely unacceptable. </p> <p>That's why, when we discovered that there had been an unauthorised suspension of passenger checks at some ports last summer, action had to be taken. And action was taken.</p> <p>The Home Secretary ordered an independent investigation in to exactly what happened, conducted by the Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency.  An investigation that uncovered serious, systemic problems in how the previous Border Force operated.  Much bigger problems than anyone could have imagined.  Problems kept hidden from ministers in successive Governments.</p> <p>John Vine recommended a number of changes: making explicit the degree of operational autonomy the UK Border Agency has; developing a new framework of border security checks, with clarity about the minimum standard of checks and the circumstances where checks can be suspended;  developing a new operational policy for fingerprint verification of visa nationals;  overhauling record keeping and establishing a rigorous management assurance process for border checks. We've accepted all the recommendations resulting from that report. And we’re wasting no time in implementing those changes.</p> <p>We must be clear about the scale of the change that will now take place. It is because of the action of this government  that this summer will be the first summer that the Border Force has ever carried out the full range of checks and used all the technology available.  As it always should have done, and as we all believed it was doing. This is a massive improvement in our security and in an Olympic year one that is more important than ever before.</p> <h4>The future</h4> <p>We have also looked at the structures that control and secure our border, and taken some tough but important decisions.</p> <p>Firstly, on 1 March we reconstituted the Border Force as a separate operational command within the Home Office with direct ministerial oversight, separating border control functions from the wider immigration functions of the UKBA.</p> <p>The new Border Force, led by Chief Constable Brian Moore, is responsible for entry controls and customs functions at the border, including our juxtaposed controls in France and Belgium.  Brian’s role is to bring a genuine law enforcement culture to the Border Force for the first time.  Making sure the organisation understands fully its role beyond just immigration control, vital though that is.</p> <p>The first step in the process to ensuring the Border Force becomes a fully effective law enforcement organisation is to introduce a new operating mandate for the controls it operates at the border.</p> <p>The mandate will make sure that we have more control over operations at the border by clearly setting out the correct level of checks for every type of passenger and all types of goods that cross the UK  border.  In both directions.  The mandate will also make clear that officers in the new Border Force have discretion – as law enforcement officers – to go further in checking higher risk cargoes and passengers</p> <p>Splitting out the Border Force into its own operational command will also bring benefit to the UK Border Agency, and provide greater focus to support the transformation of a complex but critically important business.  It will allow the UK Border Agency to concentrate on other crucial areas: immigration casework and the removal of those who have no right to stay here, such as illegal migrants, Foreign National Offenders and failed asylum seekers. </p> <p> <br>And critically, the UKBA will continue to be responsible for the visa and airline liaison operations overseas – playing a vital upstream role in securing our border. Last year the UK Border Agency refused over 330,000 visa applications. Using biometrics and intelligence our visa regime provides a first line of defence in protecting the UK from threats to national security from those individuals who seek to harm the UK by travelling here. We will continue to work with carriers to ensure that only correctly documented passengers are brought to the UK.</p> <h4>National Crime Agency</h4> <p>The Border Force will not operate in isolation.  Key to its success will be close and coordinated working with the National Crime Agency and its Border Policing Command, the second big change we are making to improve border security.</p> <p>As you will know, the Home Secretary last year announced the establishment of the National Crime Agency.  I am excited by the plans that are being rapidly developed by Keith Bristow, the Director General of the NCA, to deliver the step change in the UK’s response to serious, organised and complex criminality in the UK and at our border. </p> <p>And so as an integral part of the NCA, and at the heart of the work we are doing to transform our border security, the Border Policing Command will have a unique ability to task out operations across the multiple chains of command that exist at the border, delivering key interventions against agreed priorities.</p> <p>It will go further, developing intelligence and analysis to create a single picture of the threat to border security and help to deliver a seamless and appropriate operational response.</p> <p>I am eager to see a change in the way we operate at the border and am confident that the forthcoming appointment of the Head of the Border Policing Command, will deliver early results prior to the establishment of the NCA in 2013.</p> <h4>Increasing Capability</h4> <p>Thirdly, we are changing our approach to border strategy. Maintaining a secure border is about detection, interruption, disruption and prevention as far upstream in the process as possible. It is about making sure that we are in the right place, at the right time, with the right information to stop the source of the threat before it even reaches our shores. That's where e-Borders comes in.</p> <p> <br>We have re-vamped our e-Borders programme to enable us to move the collection of passenger data forward. This has allowed us to make progress on e-Borders coverage that had stalled under the previous government.  In fact, by April this year we will have advanced sight of details of every passenger on non-EEA flights travelling to the UK. This 100 per cent coverage puts us in a significantly better position than we were in we came to power.  Combined with our strict visa regime it means that all non-EEA passengers arriving from outside Europe will have been checked once, and many twice, while they are still thousands of miles from our passport controls. That means better protection than ever before and a stronger border.</p> <p>Over the coming years we will work hard with European partners, carriers and trade groups to further extend e-Borders coverage to provide a genuinely secure, fluid and complete e-border for the United Kingdom.</p> <p>When we combine the data gathered by e-Borders with other initiatives like automated entry gates and the more consistent use of biometrics, we can more effectively identify and target those individuals who seek to cause harm to the UK, before their arrival.  We will be able to more easily detect and identify those who have abused, or seek to abuse the immigration system.  We will strengthen the border’s role in disrupting serious crime and terrorism.  And we will use data and analysis to help us to manage the end to end border control process in a more focussed, intelligent and efficient way.</p> <p>Finally, e-Borders will also help to enable this government to fulfil its commitment to reintroduce exit checks – ensuring that we can take action on those who are fleeing justice, or travelling to commit crimes.</p> <p>At the same time we are investing in key relationships to secure our physical border. At the heart of this is our unique position with Ireland. The shared border resulting in the Common Travel Area requires a strong working relationship with our Irish counterparts, at both operational and government level. To cement this relationship, I recently signed a joint Ministerial statement with the Irish Justice Minister. The statement laid out our plans for further work together to strengthen the external CTA border. One example of this is the sharing of biometric and biographic data for overseas visa applicants in high risk locations.</p> <p>Looking forward, the Government will work with our other international partners, carriers and law enforcement bodies to strengthen the use of data and technology to respond to future changes. Foremost in our minds will be securing the Channel Tunnel once new international rail operators arrive in 2015; and ensuring that data on both passengers and cargo is gathered and analysed coherently.</p> <h4>Conclusion</h4> <p>As we are only a few months away I should mention the Olympics – the first biometric games.  London 2012 – both the Olympic and Paralympic games - will be the biggest sporting event in our history.  It will provide a unique challenge given the numbers that will pass through our borders both to participate in, and observe, the games.  It is our job to make sure that they do so in safety.</p> <p>In summary this government  understands the vulnerabilities and opportunities we face and is not afraid to take the tough and decisive action required to create - from an unsatisfactory legacy - the fit-for-purpose border the UK demands.  This is a government that understands the need to join together the right technology with the right policy, the right international framework with the right operations on the ground, the right data with the right analytical capability.  It is all these elements together that truly strengthenborder security.  We are a government that recognises the importance of border security to tackling crime, stopping illegal immigration and preventing terrorism.</p> <p>We are transforming our border because for too long it was not secure enough. We now know the extent of the problems and have a clear strategy to fix them. We have new organisations focussing relentlessly on law enforcement, new technology to allow us to stop the wrong people before they arrive, and new clear instructions about how to run the border day-to-day. This basic essential duty of Government is now being carried more effectively than ever before. </p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/Damian-Green-RUSI-speech Damian Green Damian Green - Transforming Our Border Friday, 16 Mar 2012 Home Office Royal United Services Institute
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Lynne Featherstone gave a speech at the Association of Chief Police Officer's conference in Birmingham on Wednesday 14 March. This speech is checked against delivery.</p> <p>'I want to start by saying thank you, for inviting me here to launch the Government’s new Hate Crime Action Plan – ‘Challenge it, report it, stop it’.</p> <p>'But action plans mean nothing without people to put them into effect. That’s why it’s such a pleasure to see a room full of people who are committed to making change happen on the ground – whether that’s by supporting victims, dealing with offenders or challenging the underlying attitudes that allow hatred to fester.</p> <h2>Hate Crime</h2> <p>'Hate is the most appalling of human emotions: it is destructive, it is ignorant, and it is abhorrent.</p> <p>'Last year I attended a candlelit vigil in Trafalgar Square in memory of Ian Baynham, who was kicked to death in 2009 because of hostility to the fact that he was gay.</p> <p>'I was shocked by the length of the roll call of others who had been killed. We owe it to every other victim, to keep challenging the idiotic, backwards attitudes that keep hate crime alive. I cannot, literally cannot, understand how any human being can hurt another simply because they are threatened by difference.</p> <p>'As individuals, and as a community, we should be embracing each other’s differences, not persecuting each other for them.<br>To abuse or attack someone because of who they are is inexcusable, it denies the most basic of rights – to live life as who you are.</p> <p>'At its core hate crime undermines the very principles of freedom, equality and inclusion that define modern Britain. And whilst all crime damages society, hate crimes have an impact beyond the individual crime itself, dividing communities and creating fear and suspicion.</p> <h3> <br>Progress since Macpherson</h3> <p> <br>'I think we have come a long way in the years since the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence. His death, brutal and senseless as it was, was a catalyst for change – not just in Government and law enforcement, but in public attitudes too.</p> <p>'I must say that much of this change has been brought around by the tireless work of committed individuals, some of whom are here today.</p> <p>'You will hear later from Professor John Grieve who delivered significant advances across the police service following the publication of the Macpherson report in 1999. John’s commitment to the issue remains, and he now chairs the Independent Hate Crime Advisory Group which brings community representatives into the heart of Government, to inform our activity and act as a critical friend.</p> <p>'Whilst the work of the Group is crucial, it would be unjust not to single out the unwavering commitment of Stephen’s family, in particular Doreen and Neville Lawrence.</p> <p>'Despite the extraordinary pain they suffered, their steely determination to bring about justice and ensure that other victims are better supported is remarkable. I am so pleased that Neville Lawrence will address you today and I hope that his words will inspire you to continue your work to fight this devastating crime.</p> <p>That work has seen significant progress.</p> <ul> <li>Victims of hate crime now have greater legal protection, with enhanced sentencing powers available to the courts to reflect the seriousness of such offences.</li> <li>The police, criminal justice agencies, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations have all worked together to improve their understanding and their response to hate crime. The fact that you are all here today is a powerful testament to that.</li> </ul> <h4> <br>Moving Forwards</h4> <p> <br>'But whilst I am delighted that the UK is now recognised as a world leader in this field, we must not think that progress means the problem has been solved. Far from it.</p> <p>'More than 48,000 hate crimes were reported to the police in England Wales and Northern Ireland in 2010. That is far, far, too many.</p> <p>'Too many people abused or spat at in the street. Too many people attacked. Too many people intimidated by vile threats online. And too many people killed.</p> <p>'We owe it to these victims to keep challenging the despicable, bigoted attitudes that keep hate crime alive.</p> <h4>More than just five strands</h4> <p>'Before I talk to you about the Government’s approach, I wanted to mention that our five strands of monitored hate crime, race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity or perceived disability, are not a complete list.</p> <p>'A tragic example of the importance of this is the murder in 2007 of Sophie Lancaster, who was attacked alongside her boyfriend Robert because the offenders took issue with their appearance.</p> <p>'The sentencing Judge correctly referred to the case as a hate crime and in doing so highlighted the importance of ensuring that all victims of crimes motivated by prejudice receive the justice they deserve. It is essential that the lessons learnt on monitored hate crime apply to any local or emerging hostility that concerns our communities.</p> <p>'The work that Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie’s mum, has done to challenge the bigotry that fuels such attacks is hugely welcomed. I have great admiration for Sylvia, another member of our Group, who will be outlining her work later today.</p> <h4> <br>Government approach</h4> <p>'As I hope I have made clear - the Government is absolutely committed to tackling hate crime, and to protecting and supporting victims.</p> <p>'As a first step, we made a clear commitment in our Programme for Government to improve the way that hate crimes – including those against disabled and transgender victims - are recorded. We are delivering on that commitment, and police recorded hate crimes will be published as national statistics for the first time this summer, giving the public a clearer picture of where the problems are and the true size of the problem.</p> <p>'But we also believe that the lead for tackling hate crime has to come from you, not from bureaucrats in Whitehall. It is the people who know the victims, who know the offenders, who understand the issues in the communities where hate crime is happening who have the power to generate change – I want the local response to hate crime to reflect local priorities and local experience, not just a Minister’s priorities.</p> <p>'So we have ditched the old approach of top-down micromanagement and performance targets. And from November, elected Police and Crime Commissioners will give victims and the public a powerful new voice at local level.</p> <p>'The Action Plan I am launching today is not about telling you how to do your job. Or telling you what matters to people in the communities you serve.</p> <p>'Instead, it focuses on what Government can do to support you, and on those things that only Government can do:<br>Setting a strategic direction <br>Making information available</p> <ul> <li>Sharing new ideas and best practice<br>And, where necessary, passing legislation</li> </ul> <p>'The plan is based on three core principles, which I think get to the heart of the problem.</p> <p>'It sets out how we will work to prevent hate crime happening in the first place, by challenging the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred, and encouraging early intervention to reduce the risk of incidents escalating.</p> <p>'It sets out how we will work to increase reporting of hate crime, by building victims’ confidence to come forward, and ensuring that the right support is available at national and local level when they do.</p> <p>'It also sets out how we will work across the Criminal Justice System to improve the operational response to hate crime - supporting a more effective end-to-end process, with agencies identifying hate crimes early, managing cases jointly and dealing with offenders robustly.</p> <p>'Let me tell you a bit more about each of these.</p> <p>'First, prevention.</p> <p>'Prevention matters because in the long-term, the answer to hate crime lies in challenging the attitudes and behaviours that drive it. And in intervening early before verbal abuse turns into physical attack.</p> <p>'We all have a personal responsibility to stand up and challenge prejudice and hatred. But the Government has a particular responsibility to lead by example and take opportunities to celebrate diversity and highlight the positive contribution that everyone makes to our society.</p> <p>'So the Action Plan brings together preventative work by a number of Government departments, including:</p> <ul> <li>Working with the voluntary sector to make resources available to help teachers tackle bullying motivated by prejudice</li> <li>Publishing new analysis of hate crime victimisation from the British Crime Survey</li> <li>Using the Olympics and Paralympics to change perceptions of disabled people and how diversity matters throughout the Olympics</li> <li>And publishing the Government’s response to the appalling abuse at Winterbourne View, which will set out measures to better protect people with learning difficulties in the care system</li> </ul> <p> <br>'However, when crimes do take place, we need to ensure that victims feel able to report and that they are supported in doing so.</p> <p>'Victims matter because hate crime is still hugely under-reported, particularly for those who feel isolated, including disabled and transgender people, Roma, Gypsy and Traveller communities and new migrants.<br></p> <p>'And one of the most common reasons for people not coming forward is because they don’t think they will be taken seriously, or that the authorities will be able to protect them from further abuse.</p> <p>'To combat this, the Action Plan includes:</p> <ul> <li>Work to engage communities at risk of hate crime to raise their awareness of the law and how  the law can protect them and how it can be used</li> <li>Work with the voluntary sector to identify and share best practice on third-party reporting centres because often individuals don’t feel they can come forward</li> <li>The development of the True Vision website, which allows victims to report hate crimes online and access a range of other organisations and support</li> <li>And work to ensure that PCC-led commissioning of local victims’ services takes proper account of the needs of hate crime victims, which will be hugely important in the coming years</li> </ul> <p>'But improving the operational response to hate crime matters too. We have one of the world’s most comprehensive legislative frameworks for protecting victims of hate crime, and punishing offenders.</p> <p>'But it is only as effective as the system around it. That is, it works best when the Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the National Offender Management Service, local partners and voluntary organisations are all joining forces to bring offenders to justice</p> <p>'We want a Criminal Justice System that is joined-up in its approach to hate crime, where our shared ambitions are matched by practice on the ground, and reflected in better outcomes for victims.</p> <p>'From the moment a crime is reported to the police, we must ensure that hate crime cases are carefully managed through all the stages of the process by professionals who understand the issues and keep victims informed as to what is happening.</p> <p>'And I call on the courts to use the enhanced sentencing powers currently at their disposal. At the same time, the Government will keep the law under review, taking action where necessary to increase the protection it offers victims.</p> <p>'To make that vision a reality, the Action Plan brings together commitments from across the Criminal Justice System, including:<br></p> <ul> <li>Publishing the new Hate Crime Manual for police officers</li> <li>Amending the 2003 Criminal Justice Act so that murders motivated by hatred of disabled or transgender people have a sentence starting point of 30 years</li> <li>Considering the evidence for further changes to the law on aggravated offences and on incitement to hatred</li> <li>And publishing a hate crime framework for prisons and probation that helps staff manage the risks posed by hate crime offenders.</li> </ul> <h4> <br>Conclusion</h4> <p>'None of this is to overlook the vital work you are already doing to tackle hate crime on our streets and in our neighbourhoods. Across the country, more victims are coming forward, which is the result of your efforts.</p> <p>'But I want this Action Plan to be seen as a powerful statement of the Government’s intent – working together, we can beat hate crime, and we won’t stop until we’ve done it.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/hate-crime-speech Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone speech on hate crime Wednesday, 14 Mar 2012 Home Office Association of Chief Police Officer's conference in Birmingham
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Baroness Neville-Jones, minister for security, gave this speech at a RUSI conference on 25 November, 2010. This version is as written, not as delivered.</p> <p>Good morning. I would like to thank RUSI for bringing us together today. I am delighted to be here and it’s good to be joined by an audience with such a wide range of expertise.</p> <p>There are 610 days to go until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. I hope you feel as much excitement about that number as I do. Just 610 days until the UK welcomes the world and shows the best of itself in celebration of sport, culture, community and friendship.</p> <h3>The Games</h3> <p>Just the numbers that make up the Olympic and Paralympic Games are impressive:</p> <ul> <li>More than 14,000 athletes from 205 countries</li> <li>More than 10 million tickets</li> <li>24,000 accredited members of the media</li> </ul> <p>I read recently that among the many things LOCOG will need are:</p> <ul> <li>800 basketballs</li> <li>6000 paper archery targets</li> <li>258 head protectors for tae-kwon-do.</li> <li>By the sound of it, they will also need a very big shopping trolley</li> </ul> <p>The 17 days of the Olympics and the 12 days of the Paralympics, and all the events that will go on around them, require a level of logistical planning and co-ordination not seen here before. The UK hosts many major events every year – our reputation for this is well-established – but the 2012 Games will surpass anything even we have done before.</p> <p>2012 will also be Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, itself a cause for national pride and celebration. Britain will be open for business as usual with regular events such as the Notting Hill Carnival and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships all taking place as normal... although I did have a word with the Palace, and they agreed to have the Royal Wedding next year rather than in 2012!</p> <h3>The security landscape</h3> <p>As the Minister responsible for Olympic safety and security, I would like to say a few words about our preparation for a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games.  But before I do, I think it is worth considering the overall security landscape that the Olympic programme is operating within.   <br>No-one can forget the terrible events in London the day after we won the right to host the Games in 2012. As a nation, we continue to face a threat level of SEVERE.  We expect this threat to remain come the summer of 2012, and the events in Mumbai, Lahore, Detroit and of course in this country last month are a sobering reminder that the threat continues to evolve.</p> <p>But we have responded to this threat head-on.  I believe the United Kingdom has the finest police, security and intelligence agencies in the world, and I express my gratitude and admiration towards them. It is our duty to support them, and this Government’s highest priority is the security of this country.</p> <p>The Prime Minister set up the National Security Council, which met within hours of us taking office and has met weekly since. And we immediately began drawing up a National Security Strategy and undertook a Strategic Defence and Security Review. Together, these underpin the Government’s strategic decisions about our security, setting out what we will achieve and how we will do it. They direct national security policy, capabilities and resources for the next five years.</p> <h3>Strategy</h3> <p>Our priority is to keep the UK, its citizens and visitors here safe. That is recognised in the first objective of the National Security Strategy: to ensure a secure and resilient UK. The Games - an iconic, global event where audience figures reach the billions - are a major milestone within the scope of this strategy. They should be a peaceful celebration of sporting achievement and cultural celebration; they are not a security event. Nevertheless, this Government will be judged by their success; the UK’s reputation is riding on it, and they must be enjoyed safely and securely.</p> <p>We are not daunted by this task. We have considerable experience of securing large events, and existing people and processes are very capable. Our approach is brought together in one overarching Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy to which all partners are working.</p> <p>The principal tenet of this strategy is that planning and spending are driven by risk analysis and intelligence. I cannot overstate the importance of this point. Every decision taken about the safety and security of the Games is based on risk mitigation, underpinned by a comprehensive process for assessing this risk.</p> <p>This process – the Olympic Safety and Security Strategic Risk Assessment – is based on the methodology of the National Risk Assessment. It involves expertise from a wide range of Government departments and agencies.</p> <p>We are today publishing an unclassified version of this Risk Assessment. As you would expect we will not divulge the details of these risks; to do so would be obviously counter-productive. But what we can do is open up the methodology behind our decision-making.</p> <p>The Risk Assessment informs strategic level decision making by identifying and prioritising risks and the work required to mitigate them or the potential consequences. The Assessment is refreshed regularly and we have a process to swiftly assess any new threat or hazard that may require immediate action, whether that is to change our current work or commission new activity. This flexibility is crucial.</p> <p>Illustrative of our approach is the way we are assessing individual venues. The Games will take place nationwide in more than 30 venues, and there are dozens of non-competition venues to consider as well. Each of these has been subject to a risk assessment that looks at factors such as the number of people who will attend, whether VIPs are likely to be there, how long events will last, whether it is a temporary or existing venue, and a host of other features. This informs the decisions we need to take about security to ensure each venue has a proportionate level of protection. And we must balance this against the need for visitors and spectators to be safe and secure without feeling like security is detracting from their experience.</p> <h3>Audit and Review</h3> <p>As the Government that will be in place when the 2012 Games take place, it has been essential that we assure ourselves that planning for Games safety and security is on track and will deliver the right outcomes. One of my first tasks was to instigate an Audit and Review of the Olympic Safety and Security Programme, which took place over the summer. I will take a few moments to share the findings of this with you now.</p> <p>The principles of the multi-agency Olympic Safety and Security Strategy were validated; planning should continue to be based on them. These include the risk-based method that I have talked about. Our planning takes into account not only the need to manage the threats posed by serious and organized criminals, volume crime, natural hazards and public order.  Risks can also arise from areas other than terrorism.</p> <p>The work the government are doing with our parties involved in the organization of the games dopes not of course focus only on the Games themselves.  We have to ensure that high levels of protective security are in place in the construction phase and in the run up to the Games.  That means being confident about eliminating the potential vulnerabilities such as those posed by void spaces in the pipework of buildings- to give you an example of the detail involved. We must not build in risk.  On the contrary, we aim to design it out. Security has been consciously built into the design of the Olympic venues and their buildings and the techniques involved will themselves be a valuable legacy from the Games.</p> <p>A close watch is kept now on the credentials of the work force and those having access to the sites.   It has not been possible and will not be possible for anyone without accreditation, which itself involves a checking process – to gain access to the Olympics sites at any stage. Physical security protection has is also being planned for all the entry routes and the connecting transport arrangements. We are well aware that security has to be seamless and end to end. A specific Olympic intelligence capability is already in place in advance of the Games which will grow with time, allowing us to identify the threats and dangers now, plan operational responses and give us the capacity for disruption.</p> <p>An extensive and detailed plan is being put in place for the policing of the Games.  This has to involve not only how the Games will be policed over the many days of the Olympics and the Paralympics, but the training that has to underpin this capability and the logistical arrangements that will support daily deployments and the proper integration of policing with the intelligence flow. You will hear more today from both Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison and Commander Bob Broadhurst on the policing demand profile, VIP protection- and many other aspects. I am not going to steal their thunder. Suffice it for me to say that the police in this country are well experienced in the area of policing large events.  In this case it is the sheer scale and length of time over which the Games takes place which constitutes the exceptional challenge.  Our approach has been to combine well established techniques – the Olympics are not a moment for experiments in novelty- combined with what we have learnt about risk management over the last decade and what technology can offer us, especially in the way in which we integrate all aspects of the security effort.</p> <p> <br>So far there have been three of the five anticipated versions of the overall Concept of Operations to which those involved have access and which lays out in detail how the strategy is to be delivered, setting desired outcomes against which policing and security generally is planned.<br>The arrivals to the Games, those people we will welcome from abroad to this country have also to be planned for: for the sake of their safety and ours. The process of entry clearance and accreditation will be well ahead of time to ensure efficiency of delivery as well as national security.  UKBA will do as much of this as is possible before members of the Games family reach our shores.</p> <p> <br>At the other end of the scale are the Community aspects in this country. We want as many people as possible to have a sense of positive involvement in the Games.  The good will of the inhabitants of the boroughs in which the main venue is located is important in its own right.  It is also a security asset. This applies across the country.</p> <p> <br>We are planning for a faultless Games.  Obviously. But we must also plan for emergencies. Lessons learned from recent emergencies are obviously relevant. We have taken on board the need for the blue light services to be able to work together and for them to have reliable and uninterrupted communications. The capability of the Airwave network is being expanded and strengthened - to cite but one example of measures being put in place. Planning here of course links into broader national security risk management.</p> <p> <br>Having conducted the Audit and Review, a number of recommendations emerged for further work which have been agreed and which will take their place on the critical path which has been established between now and Games’ end.  Among other things, we shall focus on getting the level of security right at the so called “parallel events” – those activities running alongside the official Games which will add so much to peoples’ pleasure. These can be expected all over the country and especially in London.  They can take the form of Big Screen events. Street parties, local festivals- and so on.  Variety will be a characteristic. The locations will be various too. Some temporary, some permanent and they will be attended by audiences ranging from the hundreds to the thousands. Making sure that these occasions, which should be fun, are also not vulnerable is also at the forefront of our planning.<br>We can expect a high level of interest in our security arrangements from all involved organizations and many participating countries. I spoke to the International Olympic Committee at their recent meeting in London and we will liaise in detail with the security authorities of participants to ensure understanding of and confidence in our safety and security arrangements.</p> <p> <br>None of these complex arrangements can be relied upon to work as designed unless we have out command, control and coordination right. To this end a rigorous testing and exercising programme is about to start involving all levels of management and responsible parts of government- right to the top.<br>We have already held a number of successful exercises, most notably Exercise Citius Torch in July which brought together around 200 of those who will perform key roles in the Games. To build on the success of this and other exercises, a National Olympic Exercise Programme will be developed.  This programme will design and run exercises to test our procedures in a range of scenarios including counter terrorism and more conventional crisis management.</p> <p> <br>We also need to do more on cyber. Cyber threats may come from a number of sources. Currently the most likely threat is cyber-enabled ticketing fraud and work is already underway to protect against this, such as LOCOG’s education activity and the activity of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Podium. The Office of Cyber Security is developing an action plan to make sure that the activity already going on, particularly at a national level, is effectively co-ordinated and focused to make sure the Games, whilst obviously an attractive target, are not an easy target.</p> <p>And this does not apply just to cyber threats. Organised crime and fraud that targets the Games will not be tolerated, and the ODA, LOCOG, police service and the Government are working together to clamp down on any such activity. We will take this position at Games-time as well: there is no place at the Games for ticket touting, theft or any other type of crime.</p> <p>My Audit and Review was not intended to set the Olympic safety and security budget; but it has directly informed the work to establish this budget as part of the cross-Government Spending Review. Olympic safety and security is a priority for the Home Office; work to set the right budget for it continues.<br>Let me be clear; whilst, like almost every area of public spending, I am in no doubt that efficiency savings can and should be made in our security plans, we will not countenance unacceptable levels of risk and this will be reflected in the funding. We will share the revised budget figure with you in the next few weeks.</p> <h3>Summing up</h3> <p>So there is much to do, although we have a very good platform to continue progressing. The next six months will be crucial as our plans mature and begin transitioning into operations.  Further challenges between now and July 2012 will inevitably arise and we will therefore continue to constantly monitor the security landscape.</p> <p>One of the key areas for the Home Office in the next 12 months is the assurance of security plans. The questions we will be asking – of ourselves and of our partners – are:</p> <ul> <li> <font size="2">Will existing or new capabilities meet the risk?</font> </li> <li> <font size="2">Will the operational plans work?</font> </li> <li> <font size="2">Is the security plan compatible with the broader operation of the Games?</font> </li> </ul> <p>We must ensure the answer to those questions is ‘yes’. As well as our own assurance work, we will look to those working with us – including an independent scrutiny panel chaired by Sir David Omand which provides an objective critique of our plans – to make sure our work will deliver what we need it to. Ministerial attention is also at a high level – the Home Affairs Olympics and Paralympics Cabinet sub-committee which is overseeing security arrangements for the Games meets at least monthly and both the Home Secretary and myself sit on this.</p> <p>I visited the Olympic Park recently to see for myself the way our plans are already being put into operation, integrated with those of the Olympic Delivery Authority and LOCOG. The ‘Secured By Design’ principles that are being implemented are ground-breaking, creating an environment that has safety and security built in. The level of integration and partnership working between the key agencies of Government, police and private sector is both impressive and inspiring; these relationships will be the cornerstone of success at Games-time. </p> <p>I am heartened that no-one involved underestimates the task ahead and that there is an effective partnership in place to deal with it. I have every confidence that come September 2012 we will realise our shared vision of an inspirational, safe and inclusive Olympic and Paralympic Games. </p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/safe-and-secure Baroness Neville-Jones Working towards a safe and secure games Thursday, 25 Nov 2010 Home Office a RUSI conference
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was delivered by minister for women and equalities, Theresa May, on 17 November in central London. Political content has been removed and the text here is as written, not as delivered.</p> <p>I am delighted to be here today at the Coin Street Community Centre to talk about a subject which is close to my heart.</p> <p>Equality is not an aside for me; it is not an after-thought or a secondary consideration. It is at the heart of what this coalition government is about.</p> <p>We have more women MPs than ever before. We have more black and ethnic minority MPs than ever before. We have the first Muslim woman to serve in the Cabinet. We have more openly gay MPs than ever before.</p> <p>And importantly every single one of them is there because of their talent and ability.</p> <p>The pace of change wasn’t always as fast as I might like, and there is certainly a long way still to go. But I think that everyone in Britain can be proud that we now have the most diverse parliament in our history.</p> <h3> <br>What We Mean By Equality</h3> <p>For this government the equalities agenda is about fairness: that is, equal treatment and equal opportunity.</p> <p>It is not right or fair when people are discriminated against because of who they are or what they believe.</p> <p>And it is not right or fair when the opportunities open to people are not based on their ambition, ability or hard work, but on who their parents are or where they live.</p> <p>But even as we increase equality of opportunity, some people will always do better than others.</p> <p>And, certainly, I do not believe in a world where everybody gets the same out of life, regardless of what they put in.</p> <p>That is why no government should try to ensure equal outcomes for everyone.</p> <p>But we do need to recognise that in trying to ensure equality of opportunity – the “gap” still matters.</p> <p>Those growing up in households which have fallen too far behind have fewer opportunities available to them and they are less able to take the opportunities that are available. We see it with families of three generations who have no qualifications and no job.</p> <p>But you do not improve the lives of those at the bottom by limiting the ambitions and opportunities of others. Instead, we need to design intelligent policies that give those at the bottom real opportunities to make a better life for themselves.</p> <p>Achieving equality of treatment and equality of opportunity are aims that the vast majority of people would regard as sensible and noble goals for government policy.</p> <p>But in recent years, equality has become a dirty word because it meant something different. It came to be associated with the worst forms of pointless political correctness and social engineering.</p> <p>I want to turn around the equalities agenda and I want to change people’s perception of what the government is trying to achieve on equality.</p> <p>I want us to move away from the identity politics of the past – where government thought it knew all about you because you ticked a box on a form or fitted into a certain category – and instead start to recognise that we are a nation of 62 million individuals. And that means demonstrating that equality is for everyone by making it a part of everyday life.</p> <p>And I want us to move away from the arrogant notion from government that it knows best. Government can act as a leader, a convenor and an advocate for change. But on its own it will only ever make limited progress. We need to work with people, communities and businesses to empower them to enact change.</p> <p>Only if we do that; only if we work with the grain of human nature, not against it, will we achieve the fairer, more equal and more prosperous society that we all want to see.</p> <h3>Why Equality matters</h3> <p>We can all agree on our ultimate aim of a better society. But I want to explain why equality of opportunity and equal treatment will help us to achieve that better society.</p> <p>I think there are three main reasons: moral, social and economic.</p> <p>Morally, everyone would agree that people have a right to be treated equally and to live their lives free from discrimination. Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of discrimination knows how painful, hurtful and damaging it can be and why we should seek to eliminate it from our society. And anyone who has ever witnessed discrimination would want to stamp it out.</p> <p>So equality is not just important to us as individuals. It is also essential to our wellbeing as a society. Strong communities are ones where everyone feels like they have got a voice and can make a difference.</p> <p>And those people within communities who are allowed to fall too far behind are more likely to get caught up in social problems like crime, addiction and unemployment.</p> <p>That brings me on to the third reason why equality matters. Economically, equality of opportunity is vital to our prosperity. It is central to building a strong, modern economy that benefits from the talents of all of its members. </p> <p>The National Audit Office recently estimated that the overall cost to the economy from the failure to fully use the talents of ethnic minorities could be nearly seven billion pounds. Better use of women’s skills could be worth fifteen to twenty three billion pounds each year. We can no longer afford to keep missing out on the economic benefits that greater equality could bring.</p> <p>So equality is not an add on or an optional extra that we should only care about when money is plentiful – it matters morally, it is important to our well-being as a society and it is crucial to our economy.</p> <h3>UK Has Come a Long Way</h3> <p>As we look at ensuring equality of treatment and enhancing equality of opportunity, it is important to acknowledge that we have come a long way.</p> <p>As recently as 1967, people like the war hero Alan Turing were prosecuted for homosexual acts between consenting adults. As recently as 1968 it was legal to refuse housing, employment or public services to people because of their ethnic background. And as recently as 1975 it was legal to pay women less than men for exactly the same work.</p> <p>These examples of discrimination needed to be dealt with. And they needed to be dealt with using the full force of Paliamentary law.</p> <p>And I am not going to pretend that the last government did nothing. Civil Partnership legislation, for example, marked a great advance for gay rights in this country.</p> <h3> <br>The Old Approach</h3> <p>But these old injustices have been outlawed and we now have some of the most comprehensive equality laws in the world. And yet inequality persists.</p> <p>Decades after equal pay laws were passed the full time gender pay gap for women stands at over twelve percent, increasing to twenty two percent if part-time employees are included.</p> <p>Despite new legislation on hate crime, many gay people still suffer from intolerance.</p> <p>Despite legislation like the Disability Discrimination Act, around a third of disabled people still experience difficulties in accessing goods or services.</p> <p>And despite some of the longest standing and broadest based race equality laws in Europe, some ethnic minorities still suffer inequalities in education, employment and health – estimates suggest that at least 4 in 10 black men could be on the National DNA Database.</p> <p>The answer isn’t just more laws, regulations and targets – it’s time for a more intelligent approach.</p> <p>Just look at the socio-economic duty. It was meant to force public authorities to take into account inequality of outcome when making decisions about their policies.<br> <br>In reality, it would have been just another bureaucratic box to be ticked. It would have meant more time filling in forms and less time focusing on policies that will make a real difference to people’s life chances.<br> <br>But at its worst, it could have meant public spending permanently skewed towards certain parts of the country. Valued public services meant to benefit everyone in the community closed down in some areas and reopened in others.  Council services like bin collections and bus routes designed not on the basis of practical need but on this one politically-motivated target. </p> <p>You can’t solve a problem as complex as inequality in one legal clause.<br> <br>You can’t make people’s lives better by simply passing a law saying that they should be made better. That was as ridiculous as it was simplistic and that is why I am announcing today that we are scrapping the socio-economic duty for good.</p> <p>We shouldn’t just compensate people for the barriers to opportunity that they face, we should take action to tear down those barriers altogether.</p> <p>And let me take this opportunity to make one thing clear: fairness includes dealing responsibly with the deficit. It is not “unfair” to tackle the record deficit. What is unfair is leaving our children to pay off the debts.</p> <p>We must take and we have taken account of how the cuts will affect different parts of society. I know that women rely on public services more than men and I know that more women work in the public sector than men.</p> <p>But that does not mean we should not deal with the deficit.</p> <p>If we ignore the situation now, if we allow even more debt to rack up, then we would have to make deeper cuts to public spending in the future and we would face more public sector job losses.</p> <p>But as we deal with the record deficit, we have chosen to do so in a way that protects the most vulnerable, whether they are men, women or children.</p> <p>So we will increase child tax credits for the poorest families, protecting against rises in child poverty.</p> <p>We will increase spending on the NHS in real terms every year.</p> <p>We will lift 880 thousand of the lowest paid workers out of income tax altogether.</p> <p>And we will protect the lowest paid public sector workers, the majority of whom are women, from the public sector pay freeze.</p> <p>And let me also say that I reject the fundamentally flawed idea that tackling the deficit will unfairly hit the single homogeneous group labelled “women”.</p> <p>There are over 31 million women in the UK - each of them is an individual and each of them will be affected differently by the changes we are making. Consider the woman who runs a small business and who will benefit from our corporation tax changes. Consider the woman who is an employer and who can keep all of her staff because we scrapped the proposed increase in employer national insurance contributions. Consider the woman on the minimum wage who we will take out of tax completely.</p> <h3>A new way of looking at the problem</h3> <p>Part of the problem with this old approach to equalities was that it categorised millions of people according to what box they ticked on a form. It stopped treating people like individuals and instead viewed them as part of some amorphous herd.</p> <p>The idea that as a person you are defined solely by your gender, by your race or by your religion is as patronising as it is absurd.</p> <p>Of course I recognise that people can face discrimination because of who they are and disadvantage because of where they’re from. And we will still need specific action to deal with specific problems.</p> <p>But we need to move beyond defining people simply by their membership of a particular group.</p> <p>People are individuals.</p> <p>Recognition of this simple fact allows us to start looking at the problem differently and, importantly, to start looking at the solutions differently.</p> <h3>A new approach</h3> <p>We need our equalities policy to work with the grain of human nature, not against it.</p> <p>That means government no longer dictating how people should behave.</p> <p>Instead we need to put in place an architecture to support business and wider society to do the right thing.</p> <p>We will take a new approach to tackling the causes of inequality. We will use targeted action to deal with its consequences. And we will ensure accountability by shining the light of transparency on organisations, allowing their performance to be challenged and acting as a driver for change.</p> <h3>Causes</h3> <p>Of course, money still matters. Nobody is pretending that it doesn’t. But how you spend that money is just as important as how much you spend.</p> <p>To make a difference, spending needs to be directed at key interventions that will really help to alter someone’s life chances. </p> <p>So despite the difficult decisions we have had to make to deal with the deficit, we have prioritised spending on early interventions and on schools.</p> <p>Over the course of the spending review we will spend over £7billion on a new fairness premium. That will give all disadvantaged two year olds an entitlement to 15 hours a week of pre-school education. It also includes a £2.5billion per year pupil premium to support disadvantaged children. These measures, combined with our plans for extra health visitors and a more focused sure start, will give children the best possible start in life.</p> <p>So money is important. But there are causes of inequality that cannot simply be solved by spending more and more money. Cultures, attitudes and behaviours can all create barriers to equal opportunities that government alone cannot solve. So government needs to create a framework within which individuals, communities and businesses can bring about change.</p> <p>Take flexible working. Introducing the right to request flexible working for some was a positive step. But by limiting that right to parents and carers, it perpetuated the idea that flexible working is some form of special treatment.<br> <br>We will extend the right to request to all, helping to shift behaviour away from the traditional nine to five model of work that can act as a barrier to so many people and that often doesn’t make sense for many modern businesses. Crucially, rather than dictating what employers and employees should do, our approach will provide them with the choice to do what is best for them.</p> <p>And some of our best companies are already taking up the baton – Tesco is now offering its 340 thousand employees the chance to do more hours that fit in around their other commitments. And some of Britain’s most innovative and successful small and medium sized enterprises are showing that flexible working is good for their businesses as well – companies like the StopGap Group and Metal Assemblies.<br> <br>Our new system of flexible parental leave will also provide a framework in which parents are able to make the right choices for their family. The current division of maternity and paternity leave limits choice. But it is also a state-endorsed perpetuation of the stereotype that women should take on the lion’s share of caring responsibilities when a couple starts a family.</p> <p>And we have consulted on removing the default retirement age, giving employees and employers the option to decide what works for them.<br> <br>So our approach is not about government dictating what people and businesses should do – it’s about giving people and businesses the chance to choose what is right for them. The current framework is not fair, and that’s why we’re changing it.</p> <h3>Consequences</h3> <p>But the sad reality is that whilst we take action to deal with the causes of inequality, too many people are living with its day to day consequences.</p> <p>There are areas where direct government action can make a difference.</p> <p>The DNA database currently treats thousands of innocent citizens like criminals. And this can have a disproportionate effect on some of those already at risk of feeling alienated from the state – like young black men who have been repeatedly stopped and searched and even arrested without ever being found guilty of a crime.</p> <p>So we will introduce a new system for holding people’s DNA – destroying the records of the innocent whilst putting all those who have committed a crime on to the database.</p> <p>We can also ensure that we take tough action against those who carry out discrimination and hatred.</p> <p>So we will give schools the power to take tough action to tackle bullying, including homophobic and transphobic bullying. And we are conducting research on how to prevent and respond to bullying of disabled children and children with Special Educational Needs.</p> <p>And we also need to correct historical injustices. So I am pleased to announce today that we will introduce measures in the freedom bill so that it is possible for those with old convictions for consensual gay sex to apply for their record to be deleted from the police national computer so that they no longer have to declare them and they won’t show up on criminal record checks.<br> <br>Accountability and Transparency<br> <br>To drive change across all of these areas, we need to make organisations more transparent and more accountable.</p> <p>Last month we stopped pay secrecy clauses being used to hide unfair behaviour in paying men and women differently – that enhanced transparency.</p> <p>We reshaped plans for the public sector Equality Duty so it now focuses on providing information to enable citizens to hold public bodies to account – that enhanced transparency.</p> <p>And across government when we published details of salaries, of contracts awarded and of organisational structures – that enhanced transparency. We want the private and voluntary sectors to follow our lead.</p> <p>As we enhance transparency, we shine a light on the behaviour of government and businesses. That empowers people to hold organisations to account for their behaviour. And that in turn encourages organisations to change their behaviour.</p> <p>But we want to go further. We will empower local community groups, faith groups, charities and other civic organisations to become more involved in delivering public services. These groups are often better at drawing in under-represented people than government, opening up delivery of public services to a broader range of participants.</p> <p>Services which are designed by the people who use them are more appropriate for individuals, more responsive to their needs and more effective in delivering the outcomes we want.</p> <p>From December 2010 we will be testing the Right to Control in five initial Trailblazer areas.</p> <p>The Right is based on the principle that disabled people are the experts in their own lives and are best placed to decide what support they need and how it should be delivered.</p> <p>Disabled people taking part will have a legal right to be told how much support they are eligible to receive, to decide and agree the outcomes they want to achieve and will have choice and control over how they receive support.</p> <p>And we need to also ensure that local government, central government and Parliament are truly representative of the communities they serve. So we are providing extra support to tackle the particular obstacles faced by disabled people who want to become MPs, councillors or other elected officials and we are establishing internships in all government departments for young people from ethnic minority backgrounds.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>As a nation we have come a long way, but there is much still to do.</p> <p>The reality remains that too many people face barriers to their full potential because of where they come from or who they are, irrespective of their talents and efforts. </p> <p>To fix these problems we need a new approach, which reflects our modern society.</p> <p>An approach that does not pigeon hole vast swathes of the population, but that treats them as the individuals they are.</p> <p> <br>An approach that deals with the causes of inequality as well as its consequences. And an approach which really brings about changes in behaviour, increases individual choice and enhances transparency. </p> <p>We in government will play our part. We will build a framework for equalities within which community groups, charities, businesses and individuals can bring about change.</p> <p>But it doesn’t just take a Minister and a law to change Britain and to build a fairer society.</p> <p>In the end, it will take all of us working together to build the strong, modern and fair Britain that we all want to see.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/equality-vision Theresa May Equality strategy speech Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 Home Office central London
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was delivered by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, on 5 November 2010. The speech is checked against delivery (content considered political has been removed).</p> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>Thank you Natalie (Natalie Evans, deputy director at Policy Exchange) for that introduction. And thank you to Policy Exchange for so generously hosting this event.</p> <p>I wanted to talk today about one of the most important issues facing our country.</p> <p>Historically migration has enriched our culture and strengthened our economy. Well-managed migration can benefit the UK, economically, socially and culturally.</p> <p>And in today’s globalised economy, we need to be able to attract the best and the brightest to ensure our companies remain competitive and our standard of living remains high.</p> <p>The benefits of well-managed migration are deeply rooted in British values, reflecting our openness as an economy and society, our liberalism and our tolerance.  </p> <p>So managed well, immigration is something that can bring great benefits.</p> <p>But managed poorly, it is something that can cause great economic and social pressure.</p> <p>So the debate we need to have today is about how we can manage migration in a better way, not about whether migration is good or bad. The government is committed to reducing the number of non-EU migrants and we will come forward with proposals shortly. Today I want to talk about the challenge we face and set out the context in which we are taking our decisions.</p> <h3>Immigration is out of control</h3> <p>Net inward migration in the last year was nearly 200,000.<br><br>Between 1997 and 2009, net migration to Britain totalled more than 2.2 million people. That is more than twice the population of Birmingham.</p> <p>I am focused on getting immigration down to sustainable levels.</p> <p>And public confidence has been undermined further by the individual stories of abuse of the system.</p> <p>Like the couple who made over six hundred thousand pounds providing counterfeit documents, qualifications and certificates to support immigration applications.</p> <p>We must take steps to crack down on this sort of abuse, in order to restore confidence in a well-managed system that can bring substantial benefits.</p> <p>This government is committed to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes.</p> <h3>Why we want to reduce net migration</h3> <p>While the right type of immigration can stimulate growth, badly managed migration has led to serious social impacts in some areas, with pressure being placed on key public services such as schools, the health service, transport, housing and welfare.<br><br>And it also led to many more difficult to quantify social impacts, like the segregation we see in too many of our communities. This created community tensions and helped contribute to a society that is not as integrated as we would like.<br><br>The public should know that I will take action. I am determined to get the immigration system back under control. And I can achieve that without impeding business from getting on with the job of stimulating growth.</p> <h3>Delivering a sustainable level of migration</h3> <p>But we cannot do that, with the tools we currently have at our disposal.</p> <p>The points-based system alone is not sufficient. It’s been tried and it is not effective.<br><br>Controlling immigration using the points-based system alone is rather like squeezing a balloon. Push down work visas and the number of student visas will shoot up. Clamp down on student visas and family visas will spring up. Bear down on family visas and work visas will explode.</p> <p>With unskilled labour set to zero, all that happened was student visas rocketed by thirty per cent to a record 304,000 in just one year, as some applicants used it as an alternative work route.<br><br>So the points-based system on its own is not enough. We need consistent management of all aspects of the immigration system.</p> <p>Let me deal with a myth that has arisen in recent months. We can reduce net migration without damaging our economy. We can increase the number of high value migrants: the entrepreneurs, the investors, the research scientists – at the same time as we reduce the total number of people coming to Britain through the economic routes.<br><br>We can attract more of the brightest and the best at the same time as we reduce the overall number.<br><br>And as the recovery continues, we need employers to look first to people who are out of work and who are already in this country.<br><br>We need an approach which will not only get immigration down to sustainable levels but at the same time, protects those businesses and institutions which are vital to our economy.<br><br>But bringing down net migration to sustainable levels will not be easy. And we will not be able to achieve it by focusing on just one area of the system or on one route into Britain.<br><br>We will need fast and decisive action and we will need steady downward pressure on each of the main routes into the UK.  <br><br>That is why we are looking to propose a comprehensive package - focussing on all aspects of our immigration system.<br><br>As the Home Affairs Select Committee report this week illustrated, we need to take action on students, families and settlement as well as on people coming here to work.</p> <h3>Economic route</h3> <p>On the economic route, the policy you will all have heard about is our proposal to place a limit on the number of people coming to the UK from outside the EU for work.<br><br>I want to set out today the priorities we have heard during our consultation for how that limit should operate in practice. I want to set out for business today how that limit should work. That will give business certainty about our proposals and will allow them to plan for growth. They want to be able to plan ahead – the annual limit will give them that certainty.</p> <p>The limit should reduce the number of people coming here to work from outside the EU. The interim limit this year has reduced it by 5 per cent compared to last year. And the full limit will reduce it again next year.<br><br>Second, businesses have told me that intra-company transfers should not be part of the annual limit. We have listened carefully to this advice, as the Prime Minister announced earlier this week. And we need to ensure that companies only bring across the highly-skilled and the genuinely needed.<br><br>Third, we should change that limit each year, in response to the economic and social conditions. The Migration Advisory Committee – the well respected and independent advisory body on migration policy – will take stock of the position annually.<br><br>We will listen to their advice and the advice of others. We will look at the impact on public services and how they can cope. We will consider the needs of society; and we will adjust the limit and our policies accordingly.</p> <h3>Tier 1 and Tier 2</h3> <p>The limit will be an important part of how we control the economic routes to Britain. But alongside the overall limit, we need to ensure that only the brightest and best can come. So we need to tighten the rules for who is eligible to apply in the first place.<br><br>Let me reassure you, I recognise the needs of business. I have worked in business and I understand how the modern business world works.<br><br>So I launched a consultation on our proposals and encouraged business organisations and other interested parties to respond – over 3,000 have done so. The Home Office team have also had face-to-face meetings with business leaders from across the country – and I am pleased to see some of them here today. I have listened to what all have had to say and I will ensure that the proposals that are brought forward reflect these views.<br><br>But where there is abuse of the economic route, we will crack down on it.<br><br>Business have told me that they want us to prioritise Tier 2 - skilled workers with a job offer - over Tier 1 - highly skilled workers without a job offer.<br><br>The CBI recently said: 'We believe a workable... solution would encompass … protection of sponsored work permit numbers as a priority ahead of those without a job offer. … By prioritising the demand-led part of the system – Tier 2 – in this manner the government will be able to deliver on its goal of reducing net migration without damaging business.'<br><br>Recent Home Office research has shown that nearly a third of the Tier 1 migrants sampled – that is, people who are supposed to be highly qualified and highly skilled migrants – were not currently employed in highly skilled jobs.<br><br>The research came across examples of so called 'highly skilled' migrants working doing jobs that most of us would not classify as highly skilled. There is the individual who was issued with a Tier 1 visa and later became a duty manager at a well known high-street chain of fried chicken restaurants.<br><br>At the same time, last year the UK only attracted 275 high-value investors and entrepreneurs.<br><br>So I want a new approach: one that is more selective; that brings in more of the genuinely skilled; and those who will make a real difference to our economy.<br><br>Operating effectively, tier one should only be used by investors, entrepreneurs and people of exceptional talent; in short, the genuinely highly skilled.<br><br>Not only that, we also want to actively encourage entrepreneurs to come. As the Prime Minister said yesterday, we will reform the rules for entrepreneurs so that if you have a great business idea, and you receive serious investment from a leading investor, you are welcome to set up your business in our country.<br><br>Our research shows that many people entering the UK through the Tier 1 or Tier 2 routes are earning low salaries, are not highly qualified or are not highly skilled.<br><br>So we will need to look at taking action to raise the minimum skill levels in Tier 2 and ensuring those coming to do skilled work will be undertaking a suitable job with a sponsoring employer.</p> <h3>Education route</h3> <p>But work routes accounted for less than a quarter of the non-EU citizens entering Britain last year.<br><br>The majority of non-EU migrants are, in fact, students. Including their dependents, students accounted for around two thirds of the visas issued last year under the points-based system.<br><br>Numbers are now so high that last year the UK Border Agency had to suspend student applications in various parts of the world because the system could not cope with the numbers and could not prevent students without the right qualifications or applying to questionable institutions from getting a visa.  <br><br>We want suitably qualified students with the genuine desire to study to come to study in our country but we must have a more robust system to manage their applications and, most importantly, to ensure their departure at the end of their legitimate stay.<br><br>People might imagine that by students we mean people who come here for a few years to study at university and then go home – but that’s not always the case.<br><br>We estimate that nearly half of all students coming here from abroad are coming to study a course below degree level. We have to question whether these are the brightest and the best that Britain wants to attract – they may be, or they may not.<br><br>I am particularly concerned about some areas of the education sector. Home Office data for students whose visas have expired suggests that students studying in privately funded colleges are much more likely not to have left the country than their counterparts in universities. And the vast majority of sponsor institutions who have had their licence revoked were privately funded colleges.<br><br>While we need to preserve our world class universities, we need to stop abuses.<br><br>We have also been left with astonishingly generous arrangements for students who graduate in the UK. They are effectively free to enter the labour market and look for skilled work. In 2009, 38,000 did so.<br><br>I want a system where we continue to attract the top students to our top universities. A system where well equipped students come here to study and at the end of their period of study return to their country of origin. And a system where we only let in those students who can bring an economic benefit to Britain’s institutions and can support Britain’s economic growth.<br><br>The areas of concern we will need to look at are: the standard of courses which students can come here to study; entry criteria and English language requirements; ensuring that students return overseas after their course; and, the right to work for students and their dependants.<br><br>We will also want to look at how we can improve accreditation and self-policing in the sector, and whether we can apply a more risk-based approach to the way in which we check applications who come here to study, so we focus our resources on those who pose the greatest risk, whilst making it easier for genuinely high-quality students.<br><br>Let me make clear: I will do nothing to prevent those coming here to study degree level courses and I will protect our world class academic institutions above and below degree level.<br><br>We will follow exactly the same principle as in the skilled work route – a more selective approach, which attracts the highly skilled, the talented and the genuinely needed, but reduces numbers overall by weeding out those who do not deserve to be allowed in.<br><br>The sheer number of students coming in, and the large proportion of total inward migration this represents, means we cannot delay in taking this necessary and decisive action.</p> <h3>Family</h3> <p>An area where we have already taken action is the family visa route. Unsurprisingly perhaps, over two thirds of the 63,000 people who entered the UK in 2004 to join family here, were still in Britain five years later. And last year, some 40,000 marriage visas were issued.<br><br>We estimate that the family route accounted for nearly 20 per cent of non EU migration last year.<br><br>This summer, we ordered the UK Border Agency to clamp down on sham marriages. They have had significant success, conducting 53 operations and making 118 arrests. Shockingly, this included the arrest of a vicar who was subsequently jailed for staging over 300 sham marriages.<br><br>As well as tackling abuse of the marriage route we need to ensure that those who come here can integrate successfully into society and play a part in their local community.<br><br>So from 29 November, those applying for marriage visas will have to demonstrate a minimum standard of English.<br><br>This is only right. People coming to this country must be able to interact with the rest of the population.</p> <p>And we need to go further. We must look at measures to tighten this route, for example by introducing processes to allow us to check that the UK sponsor is able to maintain and accommodate the foreign spouse.</p> <h3>Temporary versus permanent migration</h3> <p>But the common link with all of these temporary routes in the immigration system is that they can all lead to permanent residency. That is, temporary stays can become permanent stays.<br><br>No one is suggesting that those who come here to marry legitimately should not be able to make the UK their permanent home. But, under the current system, many skilled workers are allowed to apply to stay here permanently. In 2009, 81,000 people who entered the UK for employment were granted settlement.  <br><br>And Home Office research shows that over a fifth of students who entered Britain in 2004 were still here five years later. Many of those were only supposed to be coming for short courses in the first place.</p> <p>The consequences of such unchecked permanent migration through the back door are clear.</p> <p>It is too easy, at the moment, to move from temporary residence to permanent settlement.</p> <p>We will not implement the last government’s policy of earned citizenship, which was too complicated, bureaucratic and, in the end, ineffective.</p> <p>If people enter this country saying that they will only stay here temporarily, then it is obvious that they should only stay here temporarily.</p> <p>Working in Britain for a short period should not give someone the right to settle in Britain. Studying a course in Britain should not give someone the right to settle in Britain.</p> <p>Settling in Britain should be a cherished right, not an automatic add on to a temporary way in. That does not mean bolting our borders shut. It means welcoming the brightest and the best, genuine family members and people who can help our economy.</p> <h3>Integration</h3> <p>As the Minister for Women and Equalities as well as the Home Secretary, I am passionate about the cross-government work to increase integration, participation and equality of opportunity.</p> <p>As a government we want to build in Britain a more integrated society. A society where everyone participates and interacts in our national and community life, and where everyone has the opportunity to better themselves.<br><br>This is not the role only of the Home Office, let alone of our immigration system. It is the role of many areas of government, like the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Education and of wider civil society. But there are things that we can do to help.<br><br>We know that speaking English is key to integration. Our requirement for foreign spouses to be able to speak English will help and we are committed to reviewing language requirements across the immigration system with a view to tightening them further.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>There is no question that immigration has enriched Britain culturally and economically in the past. And it can do so again in the future. That is what our policies are intended to do.</p> <p>But uncontrolled immigration is bad for our economy and it is bad for our society. It puts pressure on the public services that people rely on and creates unnecessary tension and discord.</p> <p>I want a more selective approach which prioritises our universities, attracts the brightest and best workers and minimises abuse in the study and family routes.<br><br>I want to attract more of the best and the brightest at the same time as we reduce the overall numbers. I want to increase the contribution of migrants to the UK, as we reduce the total. I want to bear down on all the routes into Britain and to crack down on abuse of the system.<br><br>We will cap the number of economic migrants from outside the EU and ensure only those workers who are genuinely needed for our economy are allowed in. We will reduce the numbers of bogus students coming here to study. And we will strengthen controls on family visas.<br><br>For all these routes, I want a clear way to control who can settle in Britain – that is a historic privilege that we should not fritter away lightly.<br><br>I want the message to go out loud and clear that Britain will remain open for business. Our economy will remain accessible to the best and the brightest in the world, that’s why, as the Prime Minister said yesterday, entrepreneurs will be welcome; scientists will be welcome; wealth creators will be welcome.<br><br>But we must make sure that migration is properly controlled.<br><br>We will reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. It will not be easy. It will take hard work and a great deal of political courage. But the British people want us to do it and it is the right thing to do. So we will do it.<br><br>Thank you.</p> <h3>Further information</h3> <p>You can also read our news story about her speech: <a href="http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/news/immigration-first">Theresa May vows to restore public confidence in the immigration system</a>.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/immigration-speech Theresa May The Home Secretary's immigration speech Friday, 05 Nov 2010 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by the Home Secretary to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on 3 November 2010. The version here is as written, rather than as delivered.</p> <p>Last month, the government issued a new National Security Strategy which confirmed that international terrorism and terrorism from Northern Ireland remain two of the highest risks our country faces.</p> <p>The events of the past week show us why. On or about the 28th October individuals who we assess to be members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a terrorist group based in Yemen, placed explosive devices in unaccompanied air-freight leaving Sana’ and destined for the US. One of the devices was intercepted and made safe here.</p> <h3>Explosive device</h3> <p>The explosive device was deeply concealed in the cartridge of a printer and connected to a hidden power source in sections of a mobile telephone. It could have destroyed the aircraft on which it was being carried, over the UK, over the US or on the ground.</p> <p>The specifics of this attack – notably the type of device and how it was concealed – were new to us. The principle of the attack – a device placed in unaccompanied baggage - was not. It bears some resemblance to the attack on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie in 1988.</p> <p>On Saturday I chaired a meeting of COBR, the government’s emergency committee, to manage our response to this latest threat. We ordered the suspension of all air-freight from Yemen and I have announced further measures in the last few days, including the suspension of unaccompanied air freight from Somalia.</p> <p>We will also urgently review all aspects of air freight security and will update the guidance given to airport security personnel to enable them to identify similar packages in future.</p> <p>But we must not forget a more longstanding terrorist threat whose origin is much closer to home. On Saturday another explosive device was identified and made safe in this country. That device had been placed in a car at Belfast airport by residual terrorist groups linked to Northern Ireland. It too was intended to cause civilian casualties. It was the 38th attempted attack in the province this year.</p> <h3>Home-grown terrorism</h3> <p>As Home Secretary, I am responsible for work to counter the threat from home-grown terrorism, from international terrorism and, alongside the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, from terrorism from Northern Ireland. I have been working closely with John over the last few days to deal with the latest plot. And John, Jonathan Evans, the Director General of MI5, and I meet on a weekly basis to discuss the terrorist threat to the UK and the actions we are taking to deal with it.</p> <p>The police and the agencies do a first rate job. They are working day in, day out, often at great personal risk, to keep the people of this country safe. They are the best in the world at what they do and as a nation we owe them an immense debt.</p> <h3>The threat</h3> <p>It is testimony to the success of the police and the agencies that we have not had a successful attack in this country since 2007 and there have been no casualties since 2005. But as we saw last week, the absence of an attack does not mean an absence of threat.<br></p> <p>The intelligence briefings I read on a daily basis still usually start with plots in this country directed by Al Qaeda’s senior leadership in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. But Al Qaeda is not the organisation it once was. Action by our counter parts in Pakistan, by our allies in the US, by our own coalition forces in Afghanistan and of course by agencies here and elsewhere have all made Al Qaeda weaker than at any time since 9/11.</p> <p>But terrorist groups pose a threat to us in a state of weakness as well as in a state of strength. Al Qaeda continues to dedicate people to the task of attacking the UK, Europe and America; members of Al Qaeda are continuing to attempt to operate in this country; people from here continue to train with Al Qaeda in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.</p> <p>So we should neither overstate the strength and significance of Al Qaeda, nor underestimate its continuing capability.</p> <p>But the threat we face comes not just from the old Al Qaeda organisation. Many other terrorist groups now aspire to attack us.</p> <p>After the events of last week, the group we know as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been very much in the headlines. But they have been at the forefront of our own thinking for a great deal longer. They were of course responsible for the attempted attack on an aircraft bound for Detroit on 25 December last year, for the attempted assassination of my counter part in Saudi Arabia and for other attacks in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.</p> <p>In April this year an AQAP suicide bomber attacked the convoy of the British Ambassador in Sana’a. In October a British embassy vehicle carrying five staff was struck by rocket propelled grenades fired by an AQAP cell.</p> <p>One member of staff was injured in the attack and two passers-by were severely wounded. AQAP now has a very substantial operational capability in Yemen and this is increasing.</p> <p>But they have also shown the ability to project a threat far beyond the borders of Yemen. Our police and agencies have been working to disrupt AQAP operatives in this country. An AQAP associate was arrested here earlier this year. He is alleged to have<br>been planning a terrorist attack in this country. Threats such as these are likely to continue.</p> <p>AQAP continue to broadcast propaganda to this country and to publish online material which encourages acts of terrorism. We have seen the damage this propoganda can cause in the ongoing case of the attack on the MP Stephen Timms.</p> <p>Just across the Red Sea from Yemen, the Al Qaeda linked extremist group Al Shabaab, in Somalia, has developed links to Al Qaeda and, we assess, to AQAP. It thrives in a failed state. It has aspirations beyond Somali borders.</p> <p>We know that people from this country have already gone to Somalia to fight. It seems highly likely, given experience elsewhere, that if left to their own devices we would eventually see British extremists, trained and hardened on the streets of Mogadishu, returning to the UK and seeking to commit mass murder on the streets of London.</p> <p>In North Africa, we see continued activity from another Al Qaeda affiliate Al Qaeda in the Maghreb. They have raised millions of pounds by kidnapping people from Europe and holding them to ransom. They are using that money to buy weapons. We do not believe the group yet has the capability to carry out a terrorist attack on British soil but I don’t doubt that would be their aspiration.</p> <h3>Wider trend</h3> <p>Developments of this kind point to a wider trend. The terrorist threat we face is developing. We see the continued emergence of a more diverse and devolved terrorist threat, without a strong, directive and commanding centre and joined more by ideology than hierarchy. The attempted attack in Times Square by the Pakistani Taliban perfectly illustrates the challenge we face.</p> <p>My predecessors may have found discussion with the Security Service and police entirely dominated by Al Qaeda in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan. That is no longer the case.</p> <p>Attacks might now come from foreign nationals or from British citizens recruited by Al Qaeda, by its affiliate groups or by Al Qaeda inspired groups.</p> <p>Technology favours these trends, empowering small organisations and giving them the capabilities of their larger counterparts. Al Qaeda and emerging terrorist groups use new technology to constantly develop and refine the way they work, probing gaps in our protective security and that of our allies.</p> <p>We saw it in 2006, when Al Qaeda sought to use liquid explosives to destroy trans-Atlantic airliners.</p> <p>We saw it in December, when AQAP sought to down a plane over Detroit using a device with low metal content. And we saw it again last week. In November 2008 we also saw a new and deadly method of attack used to devastating affect by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba in Mumbai.</p> <p>These attacks were conducted by terrorists with assault rifles, handguns and improvised explosive devices. The attackers also used off the shelf technology – satellite guidance and encrypted communications - which you can buy across the counter anywhere in the world.</p> <p>We cannot assume that such an attack would be replicated exactly here, but we must plan for the possibility of a terrorist firearms attack in this country.</p> <h3>Our response</h3> <p>Our response to all of these threats needs to be genuinely strategic: we must be clear about what we are seeking to achieve, how we are seeking to achieve it and the resources we have at our disposal.</p> <p>Our starting point is the CONTEST strategy which has been developed over the last few years. Its framework is sound and in many respects – though not all – it has been effective.</p> <p>The aim of that strategy – what we seek to achieve - is to 'reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism so that people can go about their lives freely'.</p> <p>I think it’s important to note the phrase 'reduce the risk'. The events of last week again showed that we can never entirely eliminate the threat of terrorist attack but we can reduce the risk – that is what all of our programmes and our efforts are intended to do.</p> <p>The resources we have at our disposal were set out in the Spending Review. We will maintain all the core counter terrorist capabilities in policing and in the agencies which have been developed over the past few years. We must do so. Spending on counter terrorism will remain high – over £2billion for counter-terrorism policing alone in the next four years.</p> <p>And in several areas we will have to develop new capabilities in response to the technology and techniques that the terrorists are now deploying against us.</p> <p>So we will invest further in police firearms capability to deal with the threat of a Mumbai style attack in this country. That does not mean that we will have police with machine guns on every street corner. It means that if an attack of this sort should take place we will be better equipped to save the lives of those affected by it.</p> <p>We will also continue to invest in our e-borders system which enables us to understand who is entering this country. We will improve pre-departure checks to identify people who pose a terrorist threat and prevent them flying to the UK. And as I told the House earlier this week, we will now carry out a complete reassessment of air freight security.</p> <p>We also must invest in capabilities to obtain data and, where necessary, to access new forms of communication.</p> <p>We depend on new communications services offered by companies around the world. But so do terrorists and criminals. To regard those services as being somehow beyond the legitimate reach of our agencies and police makes no sense and would give terrorists and criminals a way of more easily doing us harm. We cannot allow that to happen.</p> <p>But what we will not do is create a giant government database enabling the state to snoop on every conversation that everyone makes. We will develop a capability that is clearly proportionate to the specific challenge we face, will keep pace with criminals and terrorists and that is based on effective law.</p> <p>This brings me onto 'the how'. How in principle, we are going to achieve our aim with the resources we have available.</p> <p>I want to say three key things about how our counterterrorism response will operate.</p> <h3>Counter-terrorist powers</h3> <p>The first is that our response to terrorism across the police, the agencies and across all government Departments must be based on the rule of law – and<br>not only on the rule of law but on the rule of the right law.</p> <p>I took immediate steps on entering government to make sure this was the case.</p> <p>So our first piece of legislation was to scrap ID cards. We took that decision because they were disproportionate, expensive and unnecessary.</p> <p>Last week statistics for the use of section 44 – the power enabling stop and search without any suspicion - showed that of the more than one hundred thousand people stopped last year, not one was arrested for a terrorism-related offence. That makes no sense. And following a court case in the summer I ordered that the widespread use of this power should stop.</p> <p>We are undertaking a review of this and other intrusive and high profile counter-terrorism and security powers.</p> <p>That includes control orders; pre charge detention; stop and search; the deportation of people engaged in terrorism in this country; measures to deal with organisations that promote hatred or violence; and the use of surveillance powers by local authorities. The review is being conducted by the Home Office, and there will be independent oversight of the review process to ensure it is properly conducted.</p> <p>The freedom to exercise our rights depends fundamentally on our security. But likewise there is no value in security without liberty. So we need to strike<br>the right balance between the right we have to live our lives in safety and security and the other rights which we enjoy in our society. I want to ensure that where powers are intrusive they are proportionate to the threat, necessary to reduce it to a level which we judge acceptable, and effective. These criteria – proportionality, necessity and impact – are vital.</p> <p>I don’t want to provide a running commentary on this review, which will not report until later in the year. But I can say that there will be significant changes and that we will emerge with a much better balance than we have at present.</p> <p>Anyone who has been on the front benches of government or opposition for the last ten years, as I have, will have thought long and hard about issues<br>such as control orders, pre-charge detention and other counter-terrorism powers. In Parliament we have debated these issues, considered the balance between liberty and security and voted on the legislation.</p> <p>I don’t believe the previous government got the balance right but let me make clear: I will do absolutely nothing which will put at risk Britain’s national security.</p> <h3>Prevent strategy</h3> <p>The second principle is that we have to deal with the causes of terrorism as well as its symptoms. We have to deal with the social and economic factors which enable terrorist groups to survive, and the ideology that sustains them, as well as with the attacks that they are<br>planning to conduct.</p> <p>So we will have what has come to be called a ‘Prevent’ strategy – programmes to deter people from engaging with terrorism. But we must avoid the mistakes made by the last Government.</p> <p>A successful strategy for stopping radicalisation depends on an integrated society, marked by high levels of participation, of interaction and of equality of<br>opportunity. Well integrated societies are more likely to challenge extremist ideologies and extremist activity, as well as having greater social mobility, better access to education, and greater cooperation across communities.</p> <p>But we will not securitise our integration strategy. The kind of society which we wish to encourage will not emerge through counter terrorism work. Under the last government Prevent muddled up work on counterterrorism with the normal work that needs to be done to<br>promote community cohesion and participation.</p> <p>Counter-terrorism became the dominant way in which Government and some communities came to interact. That was wrong and no wonder it alienated so many.</p> <p>We need a new approach to our engagement with Britain’s Muslim communities. One that helps to create the integrated society that we need.</p> <p>So we will stop talking to Muslim communities only about counter-terrorism, and start treating them like the ature and integral parts of society that they are. Coss-government work to increase integration, participation and equality are absolutely essential and, as the Minister for Women and Equalities as well as the Home Secretary, I am passionate about them.</p> <p>This government wants everyone to participate in, and have an equal opportunity to participate in, our national and community life. There is no place in Britain forsegregation or self-segregation of different communities<br>or of individuals within communities.</p> <p>We want to increase the participation of everyone in our society. And participating in society also means standing up against the extremists who would seek to divide us.</p> <p>The last government did not do enough to stand up to extremists. Indeed sometimes they seemed too willing to engage with them.</p> <p>All of us – Government, faith groups, everyone in society has a role in challenging extremism. We should all stand up for our shared British values; we should all stand up against extremists and their bigoted, racist and false ideology.</p> <p>On our specific work to prevent radicalisation, I want to change the current approach. I want the new Prevent programme to follow the same principles of our changes to counter terrorist legislation. It must be proportionate to the specific challenge we face; it must only do what is necessary to achieve its specific aims; and it must be effective.</p> <h3>International work</h3> <p>Our third principle is simply that the success of our domestic counter terrorism work here depends on international cooperation and collaboration overseas.</p> <p>That applies to all aspects of counter terrorism. Intelligence from our international partners can be crucial. The investigation of terrorist plots in this country will almost always lead overseas. We can better prevent people being drawn into terrorism if the international community challenges terrorist propaganda. And as we saw last week, our protective security depends on security measures taken by other states. Where their security fails so may our own.</p> <p>The presence of our military forces in Afghanistan reflects this basic principle: they are in Afghanistan to stop the return and resurgence of Al Qaeda.</p> <p>I spent much of last week in Pakistan. That is because our security fundamentally depends on the work of our Pakistani counter parts and the work we do with them.</p> <p>Most threats to the UK continue to come from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. And last year more than 3000 Pakistanis were killed in terrorist, insurgency and sectarian violence in Pakistan itself. There were over eighty suicide attacks and more attacks and fatalities than anywhere except Iraq and Afghanistan.</p> <p>That matters deeply to us. It doesn’t just matter to the UK as a member of the international community. It doesn’t just matter because of our shared history and close ties. When we have a Pakistani diaspora of over one million people, and there are hundreds of thousands of journeys between our countries every year, what goes on in Pakistan matters on the streets of Britain.</p> <p>So the National Security Council recently agreed that we will do much more in partnership with Pakistan. We announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review that we would increase our overseas aid and that we would use 30 per cent of that aid to support fragile and conflict-affected states like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.</p> <p>The role of DfiD in addressing the broader cause of terrorism and instability will be vital. This is not just about giving aid for aid’s sake - important though that is. This is about strengthening Britain’s own national security and reducing the threat Britain faces from<br>terrorism.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>We know we will continue to face a threat from international terrorism for the foreseeable future, last week’s events proved that beyond doubt. That threat is now more diverse and more fragmented than ever bfore. Public policy must respond to this changing threat and I and my colleagues will not be afraid to take the tough decisions necessary to protect the British public from further terrorist attacks.<br><br>So where necessary we will enhance our protective security measures; we will invest in conflict prevention and stopping terrorist plots overseas; we will refocus the strategy for preventing radicalisation in the UK; and we will strike a better balance between our liberties and our security.</p> <p>There is much good work underway to tackle the terrorist threat. But where there needs to be change I will not be afraid to make it.</p> <p>I want an approach which is more targeted against extremist individuals, but that impacts much less on the good people of our communities. I want an approach which allows people to enjoy their liberty in safety and security. And I want an approach that is effective in  dealing with an evolving threat. That is what we will deliver.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/terrorist-response Home Secretary 'Our response to the terrorist threat' Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010 Home Office Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Lynne Featherstone, minister for equalities, gave this speech at the launch of 2010 Female FTSE 100 report, Barclays, east London on Thursday 2 December 2010. This version is as written, not as delivered.</p> <p>'Good morning everyone. First and foremost let me say thank you. Thank you to Barclays for hosting us and for your continuing support of this initiative. Thank you to all those other companies leading the way this year – especially to Burberry, Diageo, British Airways and Pearson who have made it to the very top of the list. And the biggest thank you of all goes to Susan, Ruth, Jacey and Elena for putting their life and soul into producing this very important and robust piece of analysis.</p> <h3>Current Situation</h3> <p>Susan and Ruth who co-founded the report have been doing this for twelve years now. They do an excellent, excellent job. By shining a light on the lack of women in the boardroom, it has drawn attention to an issue that didn’t even get a look in - that wasn’t even considered before. But, and it saddens me to say this, I often think they must be amongst the worst sufferers of déjà vu!</p> <p>I do not want to take away from the achievements of those companies that have made a change or the talented women who have made it to the top. There is some really excellent work going on – including mentoring schemes, sponsorship of internal women’s networks and leadership programmes.</p> <p>But the report shows us much more needs to be done because overall the pace of change has been painfully slow. This year we are up from 12.2 per cent of FTSE 100 Directors to just 12.5 per cent over the past year. And this 12 per cent mark is a figure we have been stuck at for the last three years.</p> <h3>Change in strategy</h3> <p>And so the question is how can we ensure that next year, and even in five, ten, twenty years time we will see the number of women in the boardroom continue to rise, and rise somewhat more rapidly?</p> <p>I believe the answer to this question lies in a change of strategy.</p> <p>I am not going to criticise everything the last government did because I believe their intention was right. Where they went wrong is with the techniques they used. Top-down. Centralising. And above all bureaucratic. It wasn’t just a futile approach. It was a damaging one. Bucket loads of regulations were being dumped on businesses already struggling to keep their heads above water in the recession – to the point where equality measures were seen as a punishment – a punishment a lot of the time associated with women.</p> <p>People lost sight of what we were trying to achieve on equality. They saw equality as being some sort of special treatment reserved for certain individuals and group - when in actual fact equality is for everybody.</p> <p>Particularly now more than ever, equality is tremendously important for our prosperity. We are in the process of rebuilding our economy out of the worst financial crisis we have seen since the Great Depression. And aside from clearing up a massive deficit and all the other mess we have been left one thing I am absolutely certain about is that we will never fully recover - we will never be the strongest we can be until we understand that our economy works at its best only when everybody is participating – when we are using the talents and skills of all our people.</p> <p>The past approach also put too much focus on tackling overt discrimination. Legislation was viewed as the sole route to equality - which did nothing to tackle the much wider, more complex causes of inequality.</p> <p>If we take women and the boardroom as an example – of course sexism still plays a part but for the most part I think it is much more subtle than that. It really comes down to the entrenched culture and mindsets that have become institutionalised in some places of work.</p> <p>Certainly from the women I’ve spoken to they have told me that in some organsiations so much of the hiring and internal promotions are still, even in this day and age are undertaken on a bit of a nudge-nudge wink-wink basis and decided before women even get a chance to apply.</p> <p>It’s not that there aren’t the women out there. The Cranfield report has shown year in and year out that there is a huge female talent pool. We can be clear that British women don’t lack experience, they don't lack ambition and they don't lack skills or qualifications.</p> <p>A great deal of research has shown that the problem is caused by a creeping unconscious bias – where the higher you get in an organisation, the more subjective the promotion processes becomes. And when you allow too much subjectivity – you see people hiring in their own image – hiring people who look and talk just like them. </p> <p>To tackle these kinds of systemic cultural barriers – practices that have been going on for years - change really has to come from within. Action has to be driven by business. It requires employers to take a step back and really look at their structures and way of doing things to create a new kind of ‘normal.’<br>So we want to move away from the arrogant notion from government that it knows best to one where we empower individuals, businesses and communities to enact change. And we want to move away from the box-ticking politics of the past – where individuals were reduced to categories and ‘groups’ to one where equality is recognised as being a positive force for everybody, and everybody’s responsibility to drive forward.</p> <p>Now that doesn't relieve the government of its responsibility to create the conditions, the environment for change.</p> <p>We see our role as providing you with the tools for you to then decide how and when you will use them. Different organisations face different challenges in promoting equality so if we are to get this right for everybody a much more flexible approach is needed.</p> <p>That is precisely why we have appointed Lord Davies of Abersoch who is working alongside FTSE companies to come up with new ways of improving representation on boards – including looking at what more we, as a government can do to help support you. You know the barriers preventing women from reaching board level, better than government ever could – which is why we look to you to help us come up with business led solutions.</p> <p>The Home Secretary spoke in great detail about this radical change in government’s approach to equality a few weeks ago. And we have enshrined this approach in our new cross-government Equality Strategy being published today. It is our blueprint for change. And within that strategy are two new policy announcements I think will be really effective tools in helping you attract and develop more talented women in your organisations.</p> <h3>Government Action</h3> <p>The first is we have announced next year that the government will commence the positive action provisions in recruitment and promotion contained in the Equality Act.</p> <p>It will allow you to apply voluntary positive action in selection processes when faced with two or more candidates who are as qualified as each other for the particular job you are recruiting for. Now this is absolutely not about political correctness. It is not about quotas. What it is about is giving employers the choice to make their workforce more diverse, and that includes at a board level. Recruitment will still be based on merit.</p> <p>And the key word here is 'choice'. No employer will be forced to use positive action. </p> <p>I can also confirm today that we will be working with business to develop a voluntary approach to pay reporting that works for you. We believe that by helping you to see where the problems are you will be able to take the kind of constructive, measured and targeted approach needed to make real and long-lasting change.</p> <p>We will annually review the numbers of companies releasing information, and its quality, under the voluntary approach to assess whether this approach is successful - and take a view over time whether alternatives are required, including a mandatory approach through section 78 of the Equality Act. But we really expect and want the voluntary approach to work. This will give better information and is more likely to drive successful change.</p> <p>I want to be clear here that we are not asking business to do anything that we in government are not doing ourselves. We reshaped plans for the public sector Equality Duty so it now focuses on providing information to enable citizens to hold public bodies to account – to enhance transparency. And across government when we published details of salaries, of contracts awarded and of organisational structures – that enhanced transparency. We have also set ourselves an aspiration that by the end of the Parliament at least half of all new appointees being made to the boards of public bodies will be women.</p> <p>I am under no illusions that we have a really big mountain to climb. But I believe everything in place for us to achieve real success. We just have to work together to drive it forward. And already so much is taking place to this effect. The Home Secretary and I have had some really productive conversations with the industry on this issue, and will continue to do so. And as for today, I don’t just want this to be a talking shop. We want to hear from you about what we can do to be even more effective in helping you overcome barriers to equality within your organisations.</p> <p>So thank you for listening and I very much look forward to hearing all the feedback from your conversations today.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/equality-strategy-speech Lynne Featherstone Equality strategy speech Thursday, 02 Dec 2010 Home Office launch of 2010 Female FTSE 100 report, Barclays, east London
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Nick Herbert, minister for policing and criminal justice, gave this speech to City Forum on Tuesday 25 January 2011.</p> <p>The Spending Review settlement sees government funding for the police fall by 20 per cent in real terms by the end of the four year period – some £2.1 billion.  I want to explain why this settlement for the police is necessary, challenging, but manageable – and how we are helping the service meet that challenge.</p> <p>But I also want to set out why I believe that 'business as usual' is no longer an option for police forces and authorities.  I will argue that a fundamental redesign of police force organisation is now needed.</p> <h3>Concerns</h3> <p>Let me start by addressing some of the concerns that have been set out.</p> <p>There are some who say that police funding should not be cut, or not by so much.  But this government inherited the toughest fiscal challenge in living memory.  We have had no option but to reduce public spending.  The police service, in spending over £13 billion a year, cannot be exempt from the requirement to save public money.<br> <br>But my absolute priority – and that of the Home Secretary – is to ensure that the England and Wales police retains and enhances its ability to protect and serve the public. By improving efficiency, driving out waste, and increasing productivity, I believe that we can make the police service stronger even as it becomes leaner.<br> <br>It has been argued that the distribution of grant between forces is unfair. We looked closely at whether it would be right or possible to adjust the grant reduction to take into account the fact that some forces raise less from their precept than others, but there were a number of objections to that.  One is that by doing so, we would be penalising council tax payers in other areas who already pay far more for their policing services and have had a big increase in council tax over previous years. That would certainly be unfair. And by subsidising forces – including large forces with greater capacity – in that way, we would be asking others to take a larger cut in central grant than 20 per cent. They would have regarded that as unfair, too.  The fair solution, and the one expected by forces and authorities, was to treat all forces in the same way with an equal cut in grant.<br> <br>Of course there has been much focus on the expectation that police officer numbers and staff numbers will fall.  But as I have consistently argued, this is a narrow focus. The test of the effectiveness of a police force cannot be how much is being spent on it or how many staff it employs.  There is no simple and automatic link between officer numbers and crime levels.  There is no simple and automatic link between officer numbers and their visibility to the public. </p> <p>Of course, to use the great Bill Bratton's phrase when he visited us last year, cops count.  But, as he also argued, the effectiveness of a police force - like any organisation - depends primarily on how well the resources available to it are used.</p> <h3>Manageable reductions</h3> <p>Some have said that the funding settlement is not manageable – or that the profile of the reductions makes it harder.  But the overall settlement is just that - settled. Neither the 20 per cent real reduction in government grant nor the profile are negotiable.  In cash terms – not taking into account inflation – the average reduction for forces’ grant is 4 per cent in the first year, five per cent in the second, 2 per cent in the third and 1 per cent in the fourth.  That doesn’t affect the council tax funding for forces, which is determined locally, and which on average accounts for a quarter of all police funding. Those figures illustrate the fact that although these are challenging reductions, they are manageable, provided that considerable savings can be realised.<br> <br>Let's be under no illusions about what the core challenge is. It's not just to reduce costs. The core challenge is to reduce costs while maintaining and indeed improving public services.  The police are ‘can-do’ – and I’m constantly impressed by the determination I’ve seen from police officers and staff to do just that.<br> <br>I appreciate that many in the police workforce are worried about their remuneration and their jobs. I certainly do not belittle this concern, which is wholly understandable.  But my first priority must be to ensure the best service to the public within the financial constraints which we all face.<br> <br>This challenge requires real leadership, decisive leadership. Transformational leadership from chief constables, who I know can provide it.  Local political leadership from police authorities and their successor directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners. And strong, strategic leadership from the government, which the service rightly expects and which I am determined to provide.<br> <br>So let me explain the broad strategy – and how we will ensure that it is delivered.<br> <br>It is to:</p> <ul> <li>improve frontline services</li> <li>spend the minimum on other functions </li> <li>from the start think about transformation and long-term change, not tactical salami slicing</li> </ul> <p>The police service needs to maintain and improve frontline services – which includes both visible frontline policing – for example, response and neighbourhood functions – and the less visible frontline functions – like investigation. This isn't about maintaining frontline numbers – it's about the service to the public.<br> <br>There are many tools to hand.  Better management and organisation can increase availability to the public.  Better rostering and shifts will increase availability at the times of peak demand.  More professional discretion, less bureaucracy and better use of IT will enable the most effective use of the time of frontline officers and staff.  Just as the police service’s leaders seized and met the transformative challenge of neighbourhood policing, I believe they can seize and meet this new challenge across all frontline functions.<br> <br>Much of my focus in this speech will be on savings in non frontline functions.  But before I move to those I want here to give some examples that show how the frontline can become more productive:</p> <p>West Yorkshire Police have significantly reduced the time to investigate a crime – improving the standard of initial investigation they reduced the average time to investigate low level crime by 85 per cent</p> <p>Wiltshire has significantly reduced the time neighbourhood and response officers spend in custody centres and off the streets from an average of 27 minutes to an average of 10 minutes. This is worth 3,000 extra hours of street policing</p> <p>In Brighton, Sussex Police, my own force, have put in place a dedicated team for secondary investigations, reducing the amount of paperwork that response officers have to complete and allowing them to return quickly to the streets after answering a call.  This saved nearly £1 million, improved response times, and sped up the time it takes to complete an investigation. </p> <p>At the same time, the police service needs to minimise what it spends on non-frontline functions.  Some of these are back office functions (like finance and HR) and some of these are what we tend to call middle office functions (such as training, custody and criminal justice administration).  These functions have grown disproportionately as the money rolled in and bureaucracy predominated. As Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, told the Home Affairs Select Committee earlier this month: ' ... some of our headquarters operations had got too big.'<br> <br>I’m not saying that these functions can or should be abolished. I am saying that they need to become much leaner. They need to cost the minimum consistent with supporting the frontline in the context of a less bureaucratic approach to public service delivery.</p> <h3>Delivering change</h3> <p>I want now to explain the national part in making sure that the necessary changes happen.  It is true that the primary responsibility is local.  That realisation is at the heart of the government's approach across the piece. Indeed, rejecting Whitehall's costly bureaucratic accountability and replacing it with local democratic accountability, and alongside this restoring professional discretion, is at the heart of our new approach. </p> <p>We're not going to be micro-managers.  Micro-management from Whitehall is what causes unnecessary bureaucracy and a focus on feeding the machine.  The Home Secretary has made clear that this is the wrong approach.  It’s an approach that doesn’t save money – it has created many of the costs which now need to be reduced.<br> <br>But there's a paradox of policing over the last few years.  While central government has interfered too much in matters that should be determined locally, it has been weak in areas where a stronger grip was required.  The imperative of dealing with the threat of terrorism, backed by a huge investment, saw a strong national counter terrorist network developed.  But the fight against serious and organised crime, as Sir Paul Stephenson reminded us last year, remains patchy.  There has been too little focus on ensuring value for money.  And following the failure of compulsory force amalgamations - to which I shall return - the centre was weak in setting a new vision or driving collaboration.<br> <br>The time has come to reverse this situation - giving more space for local determination with stronger local accountability, while ensuring real leadership where national organisation is required.<br> <br>So let me set out the elements of a new approach to driving savings.</p> <h3>Transparency</h3> <p>First, transparency - a principle which is running through our agenda for public service reform. Transparency of data and use of comparative data are absolutely key parts of enabling and driving change – data on costs and service which is accessible to the public to reinforce the behaviours that drive value for money. </p> <p>This is the fundamental significance of HMIC’s Value for Money Profiles which set out publicly that information for forces, authorities and the public.<br> <br>HMIC lead in publishing comparisons – and will publish the next edition of the Profiles shortly. And let me be clear that revealing key information about performance is not the same as managing performance.  I am committed to moving away from micro-management and reducing the burden of compliance and bureaucracy on forces.  But without information the consumer cannot be king and the taxpayer cannot ensure value.  We must not confuse the demand for information with the demand to do things in a certain way.<br> <br>Let me give an example of how this approach can help to identify savings.  In the summer, HMIC took a look at the different levels of spending between similar forces across a number of functions.  Suppose each force managed down its costs to the average of its peers.  Not to the best – but to the average.  That would save well over £1 billion a year.  Neither HMIC, nor I, are saying that this can be done without effort – indeed it requires a transformational effort.  But it shows what could be achieved just by asking all forces to match the average performance of their peers.  And I note that there is cross-party agreement that these savings, which can be realised while protecting the frontline, would be expected by any government.<br> <br>But why shouldn't forces be able to go further by matching the performance of the best, rather than merely the average?  That doesn't seem to be an unreasonable ambition on behalf of the taxpayer.  Suppose we look across a range of support functions – for example, back office functions (like finance and HR) and the middle office functions (such as training, custody, control rooms and criminal justice administration).  If forces improved productivity and adjusted to the level of spend of that typical of the more efficient forces, that could add another £350 million to the savings calculated in HMIC’s summer report.</p> <h3>Pay and other conditions of service</h3> <p>Second, we cannot avoid the issue of pay. It accounts for the bulk of total police spending – around £11 billion last year.  And any organisation in which the majority of cost is pay and which is facing hard times has to look at its pay bill.  The government has announced a policy for a two year pay freeze across the public sector.  Subject to any recommendations from the Police Negotiating Board and agreement on staff pay, this might save some £350m.<br> <br>We have also asked Tom Winsor to review the remuneration and conditions of service of police officers and staff.  It’s vital that we have a modern and flexible police service.  Through allowing more modern management practices, this review will help ensure chief constables can deliver the frontline services people want, while providing the value for money that is so vital in the tough economic times we face. </p> <p>The government has asked the review to make recommendations that are fair to, and reasonable for, both the taxpayer and police officers and staff. And I do want to emphasise the importance of fairness to police officers who cannot strike and who often do a difficult and dangerous job on behalf of the public. Tom Winsor’s first report is due to be published in February, with the second part due in June.</p> <h3>IT, goods and services</h3> <p>Third, we also need to look at what police forces buy. Police non-pay spending amounted to some £3½ billion in 2009/10 – around one-quarter of the total of revenue and capital spend. So while this is much smaller than spending on pay, it's still a very substantial amount of money which has to form a key part of the approach to the next few years.  The potential savings are not to be dismissed, they are not small beer.<br> <br>For too long the police service has been a fragmented customer for goods, services and IT. This also means it has been more difficult and costly than it ought to be for the private sector to sell to the service.<br> <br>There has been some collaboration in these areas. However, without the incentive of the need to save, this work has not proceeded quickly enough.  We have clear agreement now with the leaders of the police service that the right way forward is a concerted, nationally-led approach.<br> <br>With this change, we estimate that we can save some £380m on procurement of goods, services and the police IT programme, ISIS.  The vast bulk of this – around a third of a billion or more – will be additional to the savings which HMIC have projected.<br> <br>We can do this by getting better contracts, reducing the volume of unnecessary spend, reducing the multiplicity of IT systems, and helping police leaders focus on policing not procuring.<br> <br>We announced in our consultation document Policing in the 21st Century that the government would specify the contractual arrangements to be used by the police service to procure equipment and services.  We have already consulted widely on the first regulations to specify frameworks that the service would be required to use.  This is a big change – moving away from multiple frameworks and buying by each force separately, or in ad hoc partnerships.  Instead we will increasingly have mandated national frameworks.<br> <br>Let me turn to another key element of this part of the approach – ISIS: the police Information Systems Improvement Strategy. This isn't a new programme – the previous government wanted to converge police IT - but progress has been limited.  There remain 2,000 different IT systems across the 43 forces, employing 5,000 staff.  The budgetary situation today demands action. <br> <br>So I can now set out for you the approach which I have agreed with police leaders to ensure this work is driven forwards.<br> <br>We will move to national arrangements for police IT rather than locally delivered arrangements.  We will prefer delivery in partnership – particularly with the private sector – to 'in-house' delivery.  We want a broader focus on common business processes for policing rather than just a specific focus on IT. We want IT delivered as a series of services with forces paying for the IT they consume rather than continuing with a systems based model. And we will learn the lessons of costly government IT failures in opting for an incremental approach, which will still yield early opportunities, rather than a 'big bang' solution.</p> <h3>Collaboration</h3> <p>Fourth, we need to look again at collaboration.  Let me be frank.  While the service has made progress in collaborating on protective services, collaboration in order to save money isn’t going ahead quickly enough.  Some useful progress has made in using collaboration to manage specialist resources and build capacity.  But in general there is simply not enough progress being made in sharing forces’ middle and back offices to save money.</p> <p>HMIC made this observation in their report last June on “Valuing the Police”.  I say we are not seeing enough signs of change.</p> <p>This isn’t a matter of losing local identity.  Local policing services and their command must stay local.  I’m a passionate believer in that.  Compulsory force mergers are off the table.  I don't believe in them, the public doesn't support them, and the House of Commons wouldn't vote for them.  But we cannot allow a vacuum simply because a regional structure was preferred and then dropped.  Forces don't need to merge commands to share services.</p> <p>We must now see a step change in collaboration between forces.  We've seen leadership on national arrangements through the successful development of police databases like the PNC. Imagine policing without them.<br> <br>And ACPO, through the work of Chief Constable Alex Marshall, has shown leadership in developing proposals for a National Police Air Service, which would save £15 million a year.  If the service's operational leaders have concluded that this is the way forward, I hope and expect that police authorities will rapidly endorse the proposals.<br> <br>We now need the same leadership from the service in a new space - middle and back office collaboration, identifying what services could be candidates, bringing forces together, and agreeing common business processes.</p> <h3>Support and advice to forces</h3> <p>Fifth, we must provide the right support for forces.  Intensive continuous improvement programmes such as Quest have shown the value of assistance from the centre.<br> <br>Cross-agency work in West Yorkshire and Sussex has shown what can be achieved by partnership and active, well-led, business process re engineering.  In both these counties, the police and partners mapped out processes truthfully end to end.  They looked at the stocks and flows of cases, and the drivers of performance and cost.  They developed quantified actions and turned them into detailed implementation plans.  Then they carried out the plans using robust management information to tweak solutions and track progress.  In West Yorkshire, for example, this reduced so called “cracked and ineffective” trials – wasted work in other words – by a third.  The time it took cases to get to trial also fell by a third.<br></p> <h3>Working with the private sector</h3> <p>Sixth, I particularly want to highlight an area where we are working to assist the police service – and that’s with the private sector.  Indeed the title of this conference is “A new strategic partnership between the police and industry”, one I believe we must forge.<br> <br>A key strength of police leaders is their ability to bring in partners to work with them.  I’ve seen this, time and again, in good local partnerships between the police and other parts of the public sector.<br> <br>The challenge requires the police service to develop that capability further, to bring in the private sector’s skills to work alongside those of the police. <br> <br>There are already good examples of work with the private sector, with forces such as West Yorkshire re-engineering their business processes. <br> <br>What we need to do is bring in key commercial skills that the public sector does not naturally have.  This can go beyond help with business process re-engineering, to include outsourcing – a journey on which the police service has only just begun.<br> <br>Some people talk about an incompatibility between profit and public service.  But if the private sector has the middle and back office skills which forces need – and the right price can be negotiated – it’s not serving the public to reject the outsourcing option.<br> <br>And outsourcing need not stop at back office functions.  Where operational functions in the middle office could be run better and more cost effectively by the private sector, there should be no ideological barrier to change.  We have already seen improvements through contracted out functions such as custody suites.  Other forces have looked further, including into functions such as control rooms.<br> <br>Because what matters to the public is the frontline - the police officer who is there for them, patrolling the street, responding to a 999 call or investigating a crime.  The public does not see the back or middle office which supports the officer who helps them, and they do not mind who runs those functions.  What they do want these functions to be as lean as possible so that the visible and available policing which they particularly value is protected and indeed enhanced.  They want their officers to be crime fighters, not form writers.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>And that's what I want to see, too.  Every pound we save by re-engineering the back and middle office will contribute towards maintaining the frontline policing which must be prioritised.<br> <br>And the potential savings I’ve quantified in this speech are considerable.  They amount to £2.2 billion a year, outstripping the £2.1 billion real reduction in grant - and that ignores the contribution from the local taxpayer.  £1.15 billion outlined already by HMIC.  A further £350 million from bringing middle and back office functions to the level of spend of that typical of the more efficient forces.  Some £350 million again from the potential pay freeze.  A further £350 million or more from a new approach to procurement and IT.<br> <br>I do not suggest that achieving these savings will be easy.  To achieve them we all need to change the way we do business.  Dealing with reductions in government funding will create a new imperative for action, changing the incentives on local decision makers.  It already is.  But to achieve the scale of change necessary, we need to drive this re-design of police organisation across the 43 forces.<br> <br>The time for talking about IT convergence, collective procurement, collaboration, sharing and outsourcing services is over.  We cannot afford not to do these things, and we cannot afford delay.  And where necessary, the Government will mandate the changes required. I hope that won’t be necessary. But let’s be clear about one thing, the era of 43 fiefdoms is over.<br> <br>That is why in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill currently before the Commons we are introducing strong duties to collaborate on both Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Officers, and introducing new powers for the Government to be able to set out strategic expectations for collaboration.  I expect forces to join with other forces to save money in their back and middle offices.  HMIC will be looking further at whether they are doing so, and chiefs need to exercise strong leadership to make this change happen.<br> <br>I am very grateful to the NPIA for the work it has done in identifying savings.  But this organisation cannot take forward solutions which aren't accepted by the individual forces.  We need a new approach.  We have announced the phasing out of the NPIA.  But – as we have also made clear – this will not mean that value for money related programmes such as those I’ve mentioned in this speech will end.  We need to de-clutter the national policing landscape, but these programmes will continue – picking up pace, not retreating.<br> <br>And the government is taking a direct interest in ensuring that savings are realised.  We have set up a High Level Working Group, which I now chair, with representation from chief constables and police authorities to identify the right change programmes and agree that they should be taken forward.  We all recognise that it is no longer business as usual.<br> <br>Together with the Cabinet Office we are helping the police service to organise so that it gains the maximum benefit from working with the private sector - and the taxpayer gains the maximum value.<br> <br>Yesterday's approach saw individual forces making their own deals with the private sector. Today we will combine the purchasing power of the 43.<br> <br>The basic mission for which the police exist, as Sir Robert Peel stated, is to prevent crime and disorder. Every chief constable I have met has impressed on me his or her determination to do everything possible to protect frontline services while dealing with the reduction in funding.<br> <br>But this requires more than a focus purely on tactical cost cutting. What's needed is transformational change which places service improvement at its heart.<br> <br>The government is determined to play its part in driving this change. I don't underestimate the challenge, but I am absolutely confident that forces can rise to it.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/city-forum Nick Herbert Speech to City Forum Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 Home Office City Forum
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given March 2, at Westminster Methodist Hall by Home Secretary Theresa May</p> <h3>Celebrating police officers</h3> <p>I want to talk today about the tough decisions we need to take as we reform the police. But I want to first recognise just what a tremendous job individual police officers do day in, day out.</p> <p>Arresting violent offenders, putting themselves in harm’s way, going unarmed into dangerous situations – these are the sort of things that officers know could happen to them any time they put on the uniform.</p> <p>Last week I attended a commendation ceremony for my constituency police force, Thames Valley. There, an award was presented to Detective Constable Luke Simms.</p> <p>DC Simms’ story is quite remarkable – he tried to arrest an armed robber even though he knew the offender was carrying a knife, he knew he had a history of violence and he knew he himself was unarmed and was not wearing protective clothing. Despite all of this, he still tackled this violent and dangerous criminal, who is now thankfully behind bars.</p> <p>Only yesterday, PC Graham Hislop received a similar commendation from the Metropolitan Police. PC Hislop single-handedly stopped a street battle between two south London gangs armed with petrol bombs, sticks and knives. He was in his patrol car, alone, when he came across the two gangs lined up for battle. He radioed for back up but before it could arrive the two groups started running towards each other. Instinctively, PC Hislop drove his car between the two gangs, causing them to scatter, before jumping out to arrest a gang member. Police units soon arrived to arrest others.</p> <p>It’s that sort of bravery that people find astonishing. But it is the sort of story we hear so often of police officers.</p> <p>Those officers are desperate to spend more time fighting crime; to be out on the streets instead of behind their desks. That’s why they joined the service and that’s what they love doing.</p> <p>So let me take this opportunity to say to every officer: thank you for everything you do to keep us safe.</p> <p>But when I talk to police men and women – of all ranks – it’s clear that their achievements are more often than not despite the system rather than because of it.  There’s too much box-ticking and not enough discretion.  Too much paperwork and not enough action.  Too much form filling and not enough crime fighting.</p> <p>That’s just part of the reason why we have such a comprehensive programme of police reform.</p> <h3>The need for reform</h3> <p>Our police reforms are based on the need to address three main problems. </p> <p>After years of bureaucratic control from Whitehall, the police are too tied up in red tape to fight crime as effectively as they can.</p> <p>Locally the public don’t have enough of a say over policing in their communities.</p> <p>And nationally, the very serious problem of organised crime has for too long been neglected.</p> <p>Of course, we also have to meet these challenges at a time when we will have to reduce police spending.  When the last government doubled our national debt and left us with the biggest deficit in the G7, we simply don’t have a choice about whether we cut spending or by how much.  The police, along with the rest of the public sector, will have to take its share of the burden. </p> <p>But the need to reduce spending means that the case for reform is more important, more urgent, than ever.</p> <h3>Freeing the police</h3> <p>Central to our reforms is the idea that we need to get the Home Office out of the way, and we need to start trusting the police to exercise their professional judgement and discretion. So we are sweeping away the bureaucracy of the old system. Targets, initiatives, ring-fenced spending.  They will all eventually go.</p> <p>I’ve scrapped the last remaining national police targets, and replaced them with a single objective: to cut crime.</p> <p>I’ve responded to incidents like the Cumbria and Northumbria shootings not with new gun crime initiatives, but by respecting the operational independence of the police. And from 2013, when police and crime commissioners set their first budgets, I will end the ring-fenced central policing grants that we have not already scrapped.</p> <p>When I said in my first speech as Home Secretary that I didn’t want to run the police, I meant it. </p> <p>So we’re scrapping the stop and account form, and cutting the reporting requirements for the stop and search form, saving up to 800,000 man hours per year.  We’re restoring police discretion over certain charging decisions, saving a further 50,000 man hours per year. And we’re determined to go further. With the police, we are looking at sweeping away a wide range of the red tape, bureaucracy and paperwork that get in the way of officers doing what they want to do – getting out onto the streets and keeping us safe.</p> <p>So we will soon be issuing new guidance that supports officers who do the right thing to protect the public – when they put themselves at risk, they shouldn’t be worrying about breaching health and safety rules.</p> <p>We will also update the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Codes on arrest and custody procedures and will look to eliminate any unnecessary bureaucracy within them.</p> <p>And we are considering how we can cut the red tape associated with the recording of crimes.</p> <h3>Empowering the public</h3> <p>Our reforms are also based on the premise that the police must be accountable not to civil servants in Whitehall but to the communities they serve.  We’re making that happen by legislating, right now, for the election of police and crime commissioners, across England and Wales.</p> <p>The Bill will shortly enter report stage in the House of Commons. I am looking forward to the coming debate in the House of Lords, where there is a wealth of experience and expertise on policing.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners will have the power to set the police budget, determine local policing priorities and hire and fire chief constables. </p> <p>But let me make clear, this will in no way affect the operational independence of the police. We’ve listened to the police and we’ve responded. So we have strengthened the proposed oversight arrangements and it will be my responsibility as Home Secretary to issue a Strategic Policing Requirement for the response to national threats.</p> <p>As important as the elections for Police and Crime Commissioners will be, we want this new sense of accountability to exist day in, day out, and not just every four years.  So we will also mandate police forces to hold local beat meetings on a regular basis. </p> <p>To make this accountability work, we are giving the public access to the most detailed street-level crime data in the world.  One month after launching the country’s first-ever nationwide street-level crime maps, the website has received over 380 million hits. </p> <p>That’s 380 million examples of people eager to know what is going on in their community, desperately keen to play their part in making their streets safer.  That sort of enthusiasm for engagement with the police gives a very strong indication of what we can achieve if we reconnect the public and the police.</p> <h3>Tackling organised crime</h3> <p>The third challenge is the need to fight organised crime.</p> <p>Organised criminals do not respect police force boundaries just as they do not respect international borders.</p> <p>Sir Paul Stephenson said last year that our current law enforcement response is having an effect on only 11% of the 6000 organised crime groups that have been identified. That is unacceptable.</p> <p>We need a new approach to get a real grip on organised crime and to properly police our borders.</p> <p> <br>So we will soon publish our proposals to establish a National Crime Agency - a powerful body of operational crime fighters, led by a senior Chief Constable. The NCA will harness intelligence, analytical and enforcement capabilities and will have a strong government-backed mandate for coordinating the national fight against organised crime.</p> <p>The National Crime Agency should let no organised criminal feel untouchable, it should tolerate no aspect of their criminal behaviour, and it should mean no community will live with the fall out from organised crime, such as the scourge of drugs on our streets.</p> <h3>Delivering more with less</h3> <p>As I said earlier, we have to meet the challenge of police reform at the same time as we meet the challenge of reducing police spending. And we have to do that while protecting – indeed, improving – frontline police services.</p> <p>We struck a tough but fair settlement for the police in the spending review.</p> <p>In real terms, the average reduction in central government funding for the police will be around 5.5% per year.  Assuming that local precepts rise in line with the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecasts, the overall average real terms reduction will be around 4% per year. But given that three quarters of all police spending is on pay – and given also the likelihood that police pay will be frozen for two years along with the rest of the public sector - the reality is that police force budgets will be less severely cut than the real terms figures imply.</p> <p>That is not to downplay the scale of the reductions.  They are challenging, yet achievable. But they will only be achieved if our police forces reform and modernise. Business as usual is not an option for our chief constables. I am confident that they understand this and will meet this challenge with determination.</p> <h3>Savings in the back office</h3> <p>I have already set out how we are slashing bureaucracy, saving hundreds of thousands of police hours per year.  We are also working with the police to identify savings and efficiencies that could save more than the spending reductions the police will need to achieve – without hitting the frontline service.<br>For example, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary estimated that £1.15 billion per year could be saved if only the least efficient forces brought themselves up to the average level of efficiency. And it’s clear that forces can go further still. I want all forces to raise themselves up to the level, not of the average, but of the most efficient forces.</p> <p>Across a range of back office or what we call middle office functions – like finance, HR, training, custody and control rooms – forces can and must improve their productivity. If forces improved productivity and adjusted to the level of spend typical in the more efficient forces, we could add another £350 million of savings to those calculated in HMIC’s report.</p> <p>Look at Suffolk and Norfolk, where they are creating a shared service platform for their back office support functions. This will deliver savings of approximately £10 million per year from their joint budgets.</p> <p>Or look at Kent, where they are streamlining and rationalising support services, and collaborating with Essex police to make savings and allow more resources to be devoted to the frontline.<br>These forces show that it is possible to make significant savings in the back office to protect and improve frontline services. Their example can and must be replicated up and down the country.</p> <h3>Putting Officers on the Frontline</h3> <p>And there are ways that the police can make the frontline more efficient too, while increasing visibility and availability on the streets, and without spending any more money.</p> <p>So, for example, HMIC has found that there are often more police officers available on a Monday morning than there are on a Friday night. And they also found that only 11% of officers are visible and available to the public at any one time. That’s not to say that 89% of police time is wasted, but visibility and availability has to improve.</p> <p>Better management and organisation can increase availability.  And better rostering and shifts can increase availability at peak times. </p> <p>In London the Met have done just that. By getting more officers to patrol alone - rather than in pairs - and by better matching resources to demand in neighbourhood policing they are increasing officer availability to the public by 25%.</p> <p>I know other forces including Gloucestershire are taking the same steps. All forces should be following their example.</p> <h3>Better procurement</h3> <p>At the same time as we make these savings and efficiencies, we also need to modernise procurement practices and IT. It makes absolutely no sense for the police to be procuring things in 43 different ways. It makes absolutely no sense for the police to have 2,000 different IT systems across the 43 forces, as they do at present.</p> <p>For too long the police service has been a fragmented customer; spending more and gaining less than it should do from its suppliers. Police spending on non-pay items is now around one-quarter of their total spend – some three and a half billion pounds per year – so the potential savings are substantial.</p> <p>We have already made excellent progress. We have secured agreement from the leaders of the police service that the right way forward is a national, joined-up approach, with better contracts, more joint purchasing, a smaller number of different IT systems and greater private sector involvement.</p> <p>With these changes we can save hundreds of millions of pounds and, again, that is over and above the savings which HMIC have identified.</p> <p>So, on Friday new regulations will come into effect to put these ideas into practice for police vehicles, body armour and a range of police IT.</p> <h3>Police pay freeze</h3> <p>But in an organisation like the police, where £11 billion – three quarters of total spending – is on pay, there is no question that pay restraint and pay reform must form part of the package.</p> <p>That is why we believe – subject to any recommendations from the Police Negotiating Board – that the there should be a two year pay freeze in policing, just as there has been across the public sector. This would save at least £350 million.</p> <p>And that is why I commissioned Tom Winsor to review police pay and conditions. Not because I want to make savings for the sake of it, but because I want to protect police jobs and I want to keep officers on the streets.<br>We can only do that if we reform terms and conditions for all officers.</p> <h3>The Winsor Review</h3> <p>No Home Secretary wants to cut police officers’ pay packages. But, with a record budget deficit, these are extraordinary circumstances.</p> <p>As I have made clear today, we are taking action right across the board to find savings and efficiencies in all aspects of policing.  We are doing everything we can to minimise the effect of the spending reductions on pay. But we cannot avoid the fact that changes to pay and conditions have to be part of the package.</p> <p>And I want action on pay to be as fair as possible. Not only are we determined to cut out waste and inefficiency first, we must also make sure that pay recognises and rewards front line service. So when I launched the review I asked Tom Winsor to take this into account. </p> <p>Up and down the country, police officers and staff I speak to – as well as ordinary members of the public – say they would prefer us to look at pay and conditions rather than lose thousands of posts.</p> <p>The Winsor Review will be the most comprehensive review of police pay and conditions in more than thirty years. I have asked Tom to make recommendations that will let the police manage their resources to serve the public more effectively and to get better value for taxpayers’ money.</p> <p>I want his recommendations to enable modern management practices to be implemented, help the service to manage their budgets, maximise officer and staff deployment to frontline roles and enable frontline services to be maintained and improved.</p> <p>The review’s conclusions must be fair, and they must be seen to be fair. Police officers cannot strike – and that is not going to change. I have emphasised today just how dangerous and difficult their job is. Police officers should be rewarded fairly and reasonably for what they do. </p> <p>But the police leadership need to have the flexibility to manage their forces and protect the frontline.  And now, more than ever, the taxpayer needs to get a fair deal from all parts of the public sector.</p> <p>I will not see the Winsor Review until it is published on Tuesday.  I will study its recommendations carefully.  They will also be subject to consideration by the police negotiating bodies.  But I must be clear: to make savings in any organisation where pay packages are the biggest cost, we have to look at pay. </p> <h3>Leadership</h3> <p>I know that these are challenging times for rank and file police officers and staff. They will need – and the public will need - the leadership of the police service to rise to the challenge.</p> <p>Tough decisions will need to be taken by leaders who have the confidence of their frontline, of the public, and, shortly, of their Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>But the current structure, status and accountability arrangements of ACPO are not suitable. This is something that I know Sir Hugh Orde and other senior Chiefs recognise – and it is something we and they need to address.</p> <p>Conclusion: tough decisions to save police jobs and cut crime</p> <p>Nobody is pretending that these decisions are easy.  But they are necessary to save police jobs and deliver our plan to cut crime.</p> <p>And nobody doubts that they will be challenging to deliver.  But the police always has been and always will be a ‘can do’ service – and I know that they have the sense of duty and determination to deliver the changes we need to make.</p> <p>They are changes that we will have to make together.  The result will be a police force with its powers enhanced, its discretion restored, its professionalism respected, flexible to deliver on the frontline – and free to cut crime.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/tough-decisions-to-save-police Theresa May Tough decisions to save police jobs and cut crime Wednesday, 02 Mar 2011 Home Office Westminster Methodist Hall
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Pauline Neville Jones gave this speech at Cityforum on 28 February 2011. This speech is as written and should be checked against delivery.</p> <p>It is a pleasure to be here this morning to speak at this important event. I would like to thank Cityforum for organising such an impressive list of speakers and for hosting this timely debate on the government’s counter-terrorism strategy.</p> <p>It is now almost 10 months since the coalition government was elected. Over that period I have personally seen much that has<br>impressed me in the way that the UK does counter-terrorism: the hard working men and women who do so much, unnoticed, to protect our security – from law enforcement, the intelligence and security agencies, the armed forces, the emergency services and the wider community. I wish to thank them for their hard work.</p> <p>For CONTEST to be successful it must involve law-makers, business and industry, academia, law enforcement and our international partners. This is why, it is important that we use the opportunity we have today to consider the issues at the very heart of our strategy – to ensure that we factor in all the accumulated knowledge which is shared between you. The focus of today’s event is ‘the future of CONTEST in the security of the United Kingdom’.</p> <p>I would like to invite your contribution to all aspects of that debate and say that we are in listening mode.</p> <p>I would like to reflect briefly on the changing shape, and complexity, of the terrorist threat we face. A number of incidents over the course of the last year demonstrate how the threat from terrorism continues to diversify:<br></p> <ul> <li>in December, a Swedish citizen who had spent sometime living in this country partially detonated two bombs in Stockholm city centre.</li> <li>last October Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsular attempted to blow up two aircraft bound for the United States (one of which was intercepted in the UK).</li> <li>in May a young women - radicalised, it would seem, on the internet - attempted to murder a Member of Parliament at his constituency surgery in East London.</li> </ul> <p>What these and many other events show is that the threat we face is changing. Al Qaida is under pressure from the international community. But let us not be in any doubt that this group still aspire to launch attacks against the West. We now see new alliances between previously unconnected and indeed, unknown terrorist groups. We face an inherently unpredictable threat from self starting individuals motivated by Al Qaida’s rhetoric of global jihad. This is the context for CONTEST – our strategy for countering the terrorist threat.</p> <p>The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK, and its interests overseas, from all forms of terrorism. To do this we aim to reduce the threat – through work on PREVENT and PURSUE – alongside reducing vulnerability and promoting resilience, through PROTECT and PREPARE. It is this framework which shapes our programme today.</p> <p>This government wants to balance the vital measures taken to ensure safety and security with the other rights we value. We must strike a balance between the requirement for government intervention in the interests of security and the need to guard our civil liberties and restore public confidence in our counter terrorism powers. The key to delivering this new approach is the rigorous assessment of both proportionality and necessity.</p> <p>Within Pursue, we have recently completed and announced the findings of the counter-terrorism security powers review. We reviewed counter-terrorism legislation because too much of it was excessive and unnecessary. At times it gave the impression of criminalising entire communities. It was also ineffective in certain areas.</p> <p>We have reduced the maximum period of pre-charge detention from 28 to 14 days. We are committed to repealing section 44 powers of stop and search and replacing it with a more tightly defined power to use in extraordinary circumstances. We will repeal control orders and replace them with a new package of measures which is better focused and has more targeted restrictions, supported by significantly increased resources for surveillance and other investigative tools.</p> <p>And we must also address any technical shortfalls in our ability to tackle cyber terrorism and safeguard our ability to access communications data.</p> <p>This should not be mistaken for being ‘soft’ on terrorism. In a number of areas we are investing to ensure that we have suitable capabilities in place to respond to the threat posed by terrorist activity.</p> <p>We take these measures because (unlike random stop and search) they are necessary and they are proportionate.</p> <p>No strategy, however perfectly crafted and well implemented can entirely mitigate the threat we face – but how should we ensure that our efforts and resources for tackling terrorism are properly focused amid a constantly evolving threat environment?</p> <p>We are also reviewing the Prevent strand of CONTEST. We want<br>Prevent to do just that: prevent people becoming terrorists. We do not want to use counter terrorism money to promote integration. We do not want Prevent to appear to stigmatise communities.</p> <p>Prevent will focus upon countering terrorist ideology by empowering communities with the theological and technological expertise necessary to challenge terrorist ideology. Where individuals are at risk of becoming terrorists we will intervene to prevent this happening and crack down on those who radicalise others.</p> <p>In doing all of this we will provide support to those institutions where radicalisation is most prevalent, including, universities, schools and prisons.</p> <p>Integration will be addressed in a strategy by the Department for Communities and Local government. While the two strategies are distinct, there are linkages. The Government will not work with those with extreme views, even if they are not advocating violence. Extremism undermines our common values. These values are the fabric that binds our society together.</p> <p>If we want a more integrated and cohesive society we must be much more assertive in promoting common values and challenging the views which undermine them. If we, as a society, believe in certain irreducible values, we should not stand by passively if they are threatened by extremists.</p> <p>In revising our Prevent strategy we will follow the same approach as we do with the other parts of our counter-terrorism strategy. Our response will be firm but proportionate and targeted to the threat. I believe that there is much that we in Government can learn from the expertise that you bring to this topic. How can we tackle the divisive ideology which seeks to radicalise vulnerable individuals towards terrorism? And how should we work with public institutions to ensure that they can strengthen the safeguards against radicalisation?</p> <p>We have also done much in PROTECT and PREPARE.</p> <p>On the Protect strand we have reviewed aviation security and are now bringing forward measures to stop terrorists attacking the international air freight system including the suspension of air freight from Yemen and unaccompanied freight from Somalia. We are also committed to providing updated guidance to airport security personnel to assist them to identify future potential threats.</p> <p>And on Prepare we are investing in police firearms capability to respond to the potential of a marauding Mumbai style attack; we also conduct regular, live-play, counter terrorism exercises which test the ability of the police, the ambulance service and others to respond to a range of terrorist scenarios. These exercises also allow us to test the interoperability of the emergency service network across all providers.</p> <p>But we know that we must not rest there. How can we enhance our cooperation with partners and the public to reduce vulnerability and promote resilience?</p> <p>This government recognises the importance of a flexible and responsive strategy to help us tackle emerging threats – that is exactly, with your assistance today, what we will develop.</p> <p>With a new government come new views, new opinions and new policies. But the objective remains the same – to stop terrorist attacks. We are determined to apply all of the tools at our disposal to achieve the first duty of any government – protecting the British public.<br>And all of this must be done in line with our broad and firm commitment to protect the fundamental rights and liberties that we all hold dear.</p> <p>As I made clear at the beginning, effective counter-terrorism work relies not only on government but on the continued efforts and cooperation of many individuals working across a range of sectors. To deal with these challenges it is clear to me that we all need to listen to the views of all those who can help improve our understanding of how best reduce the risk that terrorism poses - and I hope that we can do that here today.</p> <p>Thank you.<br></p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/counter-terrorism-speech Baroness Neville-Jones The Government's Expectations - what should CONTEST deliver? Monday, 28 Feb 2011 Home Office Cityforum
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Transcript of a speech by The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice given on 16th February, 2011 at the joint Association of Chief Police Officers' and the Restorative Justice Council conference in Manchester</p> <p>Good morning ladies and  gentleman and thank you very much for that kind introduction. I am very grateful to ACPO and the Restorative Justice Council for inviting me to this conference, which I was particularly keen to speak at, and also to Steria for facilitating the event.</p> <p>Thank you also for those very powerful words of introduction from Gary Shewan, from the Restorative Justice Council, and then of Jo Nodding. Jo’s words speak to us powerfully about the potential of restorative justice to provide a solution and deliver justice even in relation to the most serious crimes that can be committed.</p> <p>This morning what I would like to do is talk about why I believe in restorative justice, and also believe that its potential in the criminal justice system is as yet unfulfilled. I'll explain why I think there is so much more to do and I'll set out the Government’s commitment to make that happen.</p> <h3>Restorative justice at the heart of the criminal justice system</h3> <p>I would like to talk about the principles which I think should govern the practice of restorative justice. I would like to take the opportunity, as the title of the conference invites me, to talk about the Big Society. In particular, why I think restorative justice is a reflection of what we are talking about when describing the Big Society and why it is such an important idea. Above all, I would like to talk about how I think we need to describe restorative justice, and how we embed it at the heart of the criminal justice system.</p> <p>There has been much talk about restorative justice. We’ve seen encouraging pilots and there’s talk about it not only in this country, but around the world. So why is it that something that offers such encouraging results should not have taken a greater hold in our system?</p> <p>Well, I think it is because we’ve seen evolving over the last few years a criminal justice system that has been very much directed from the centre.</p> <p>We’ve been through the recent era of targets and what has eloquently been described as ‘deliverology’. The idea of managing from the centre, of close direction in order to try and drive up the performance of public services. This was done for benign reasons, but we all know what the consequences were.</p> <p>One of those consequences was the erosion of professional discretion and a driving of activity in very prescribed forms. I think the consequence of this top-down culture was that we disempowered the frontline across the public sector, but certainly in relation to the criminal justice system. We robbed police officers of their discretion, and we divided criminal justice partners. </p> <h3>The Government's reform agenda</h3> <p>I’ve talked before about the problem that we use the phrase “criminal justice system” where actually too often we don’t have a system at all. And I think above all, we disenfranchise the public. We encouraged the notion that the criminal justice system should operate as something that is entirely separate from the public, and that the public role in it was very limited. The Government’s philosophy is to challenge all of those notions.</p> <p>We want to do much more than simply abolish the target culture. This is about restoring professional discretion, and creating space for local innovation. It is about opening up public services to those who can deliver, irrespective of where they come from. </p> <p>We want people to be much more interested in the outcome and less concerned about the process. To focus on what works rather than having a preconception of what works - to be evidence led, and to encourage partnerships across public services, partnerships with the private and third sector. Perhaps above all, partnerships with the public.</p> <h3>The interests of victims</h3> <p>And it is into that new space that I think restorative justice presents such a huge opportunity. I’m not going to try to describe to you what restorative justice is because you know that much better than I do, and we’ve already heard some examples of the impact that it can have, both for victims and communities. But I do want us to take a step back and ask ourselves what the criminal justice system should be for.</p> <p>Every crime has a victim, and what has happened in the way our system has evolved, is that when the state has taken responsibility for dealing with criminal offences, it has taken the remedy out of the hands of the individual and accepted collective responsibility for dealing with that crime.</p> <p>The consequence of that is that we have built a criminal justice system which can be very removed both from the public and from the victim. A system that can be remote, can be opaque in terms of what it is delivering, and can be very complex. This system can be owned by people who are privileged within it, owned by the law, owned by the professionals in the system, owned by its own complex processes. </p> <p>And it seems to me that what restorative justice is about is not just a new disposal or a new set of disposals. It is about looking at this system in an entirely different way. It is about saying that if every crime has a victim, then we ought to be interested in how victims are regarding the way in which that crime is dealt with. What I’ve said before is that we need a criminal justice system that never stops thinking about the interests of victims. And that is not just a statement of some new form of process; it is actually looking again at what it is we actually expect the criminal justice system to deliver.</p> <p>More than that, I think we need a system that puts the notion of the responsibility of the offender back at the centre, too. Again it seems to me that restorative justice has the potential to do that.</p> <h3>The Big Society</h3> <p>This is about taking justice out of the narrow confines of the courts and putting it into the community. That is why I think the notion of the Big Society is so relevant and so important here.</p> <p>This is a week where the Big Society has been talked about a lot, but I am passionate in the belief that the Big Society is a truly big idea. It is a big idea because it is an answer to the problems of the broken society, and it is those problems that have of course caused the high crime that we heard about.</p> <p>And we cannot, it seems to me, as a country, as a Government, as a nation, merely be focused on the importance of economic repair. We should also be talking about, as the Prime Minister said this week, about social repair too.</p> <p>Social repair cannot come from the state alone; it must also come from how society is acting. I believe that by re-empowering the community, by opening up justice and the criminal justice systems to the community, by recognising the interest of victims and the power of community to effect restoration and sometimes reparation too, we are describing what the Big Society should be about.</p> <p>I also want to talk about the importance of restorative justice being mainstreamed as a response to crime and antisocial behaviour, and so being absolutely capable of withstanding public scrutiny as an answer to the problems that people are concerned about. We’ve heard criticism before that restorative justice is some kind of soft option. Well, I don’t believe that the case studies that we’ve heard about today, or the ones that you’re involved with everyday in your work, or those I’ve been hearing about this morning, represent any kind of soft option.</p> <h3>Real justice</h3> <p>And they can’t be. What we must describe is not soft justice, but real justice: a justice that commands community support.</p> <p>What that means, if it’s going to win public support, is that it has to pass a number of crucial tests, tests that I think we should be applying across the criminal justice system, and ones that we cannot simply take as read or pass by.</p> <p>Restorative justice must be robust and effective in terms of victim satisfaction, it must deliver reductions of re-offending, and contribute to the Government’s key goal of breaking the cycle of crime and high rates of re-offending.</p> <p>It must contribute to the better outcomes that we seek from the system. This cannot just be a process, something that is undertaken or fulfilled as part of a system. It must be satisfactory for the victim but importantly also fulfil the wider test of being effective in the criminal justice system, commanding public confidence and contributing to reduced re-offending.</p> <p>What that means is that restorative justice has to be visible and it has to be transparent.</p> <h3>Reclaiming justice for communities</h3> <p>I’ve talked about the fact that the criminal justice system is opaque, but I think we used to regard restorative justice as a process that was a private one, and of course in certain circumstances it has to be. But, for justice to be done it must be seen to be done. If we are to command confidence in a completely new way of delivering community justice, then there must be transparency in restorative justice and visibility about how it is being driven. An example of this that many of you will have seen, is the new police.uk website which we launched a couple of weeks ago. At the moment you can identify the crime or incident of anti-social behaviour that is committed in your neighbourhood.  Now we have the ambition that in the future you will be able to find much more than that. You will be able to find out what happened in relation to that incident of crime and anti-social behaviour, and how it was dealt with. It is very important that we have a criminal justice system that is able to say “this is how it was dealt with” so that the public are confident in the way in which crime is being tackled in our society.</p> <p>And more than that of course, as has been referred to already, restorative justice along with the criminal justice system as a whole must be able to deliver value for money at a time when resources are at a premium. The decade of rapidly rising public spending on the criminal justice system has of course come to an end. We are now in a process of fiscal retrenchment, and therefore value for money drives the whole system. Restorative justice can contribute to that drive.</p> <p>Now I would like to say something else that I think is perhaps challenging.</p> <p>I believe that we should stop talking about 'diverting' from the criminal justice system. Whilst I know exactly what is meant by this language, I think it’s a problem because it implies that diverting people from the system is some kind of goal in itself, that that is what we aspire to do. It is a problem describing it in that way as we can lose the public and their confidence that crime is being dealt with.</p> <p>Instead of talking about diversion from the system, what we should really be talking about is transforming the criminal justice system. Transforming it into a service and transforming the way it operates. What we should really be talking about is not diversion but reclaiming justice for communities and ensuring that the way in which justice is delivered is not remote and that the system is not opaque.</p> <p>We should stop talking about diversion because what we want to do is not see restorative justice as some kind of alternative to the criminal justice system. What we want to see is restorative justice and restorative principles embedded in the criminal justice system as a whole and operating at every part of the criminal justice system.</p> <h3>Neighbourhood justice</h3> <p>So we need to change the way in which we use our language about restorative justice and change the level of the ambition.</p> <p>This is not just about a disposal, it’s not about a diversion, this is about embedding a principle and a really important principle too, because it is built around the notice of doing justice, or right being done by the victim.</p> <p>I’d like to talk now about the tiers in which we think the restorative principles could operate. I would like to focus particularly, because it’s the theme of this conference, on policing. That is, it seems to me, the first tier - the neighbourhood resolution which I think shows such potential. I heard about it a little bit this morning when I met briefly with PC Lucy Tustin and PC Mike Pringle of the Greater Manchester Police. They were describing to me the way in which they exercise their discretion  to apply restorative solutions in a school where Lucy works and out in the neighbourhood where Mike works.</p> <p>What was powerful about their story was that it so clearly answered the desire which I have, that the Government has, to restore discretion to policing, to move away from the target culture.</p> <p>Last Saturday, as part of national specials weekends, I was out with my local force in Sussex. I was talking with a sergeant who was passionate about the way in which applying these sorts of new practices is actually returning to officers the discretion they should naturally have to deal with things in the appropriate way.</p> <p>He was equally passionate about wanting to ensure that there isn’t an overlay of bureaucracy that would actually get in the way of the discretion which he was exercising. What we have to do is find a way to balance the need to ensure public confidence and transparency with the need to ensure that these disposals work. We want restorative justice to be delivered with the professional discretion and the space which officers need to make it work.</p> <p>This is all about achieving the right balance, and I am working with ACPO at the moment to make sure that we achieve this.</p> <p>We saw last week the Home Secretary announce a consultation on countering anti-social behaviour. We are working to make the informal out-of-court tools to deal with anti-social behaviour more rehabilitative and more restorative.</p> <p>We really are seeking to apply restorative principles across the system, not just seeing them as an alternative, and we want to make sure that police officers are incentivised in the right way to use these disposals. I’m very encouraged by the way in which this is moving in policing. We know that at least three-quarters of police forces are already using restorative justice as part of their neighbourhood policing. I think there is a huge opportunity here to build on what I think has been such a positive development in the rediscovery of community policing. To build on neighbourhood policing and give officers this power and this discretion to effect this restorative justice.</p> <p>I think there is immense potential here and I want to see this activity being driven across the country, but innovated locally without Government prescription. This is why I think the ‘Restorative Justice Council: Best Practice Guidance for Restorative Practice’ which has been published today is exactly the right approach.</p> <p>The approach is to move away from a system where central government is always saying how things should be done, to a system where we are encouraging local innovation. This is an incredibly important first tier of community resolution and one that I think has immense potential. I want to emphasise though that it is not the only tier.</p> <h3>Applying restorative justice in other areas</h3> <p>We are also looking at instances where a court case is likely to lead to a fine or a community sentence and as part of this we will explore how restorative justice can be used as part of an out-of-court disposal.</p> <p>For example, it could be used as a condition attached to a conditional caution. This could result in the offender paying compensation to the victim or making good their offence in other ways determined by the victim. It could prevent distress to the victim and deliver a suitable punishment.</p> <p>The notion of reparation here is powerful and will be an important means by which we build confidence in community sentencing. Not through some PR exercise where all we’re doing is focusing on telling people that community sentences really are a good thing after all, but actually on looking carefully at these disposals and saying how effective are they at delivering what the victim wants. Also their effectiveness in reducing re-offending. This is a rigour that we want to apply to community sentencing across the piece.</p> <p>Another area we are looking at is in relation to restorative conferences. These are carried out pre-sentence for offenders who admit their guilt and agree to participate. They could be reported to the court with the victims’ consent as part of pre-sentence reports. They could inform the court decision about the type of sentence that is handed down, and they may allow the court to adjust its sentence according to the way in which that particular restorative process ran.</p> <p>We have seen of course restorative principles trail-blazed in relation to the youth justice system and I would like to commend the work of Sir Charles Pollard in this respec, but there is more that can be done.</p> <p>Strengthening the restorative element in referral orders across the youth sentencing framework, drawing on the experience of youth conferencing in Northern Ireland, is one of the ways in which we want to take this forward.</p> <p>In the recently published ‘Breaking the cycle’ Green Paper which has been referred to by others today so positively – which I am so pleased about - we’ve talked about testing the capacity of neighbourhood justice panels to give local people the tools to share information on crime and anti-social behaviour in their communities.</p> <p>It is about harnessing the power of communities to play a part in these resolutions. It is also about the principle of responsibility, not just about the offender’s responsibility, but also the community’s own responsibility. It goes back to what I was trying to describe when I talked about the idea of reclaiming justice at the community level and building on that potential within communities. We want local people to take on responsibility and to have some say in the way in which anti-social behaviour is dealt with. This again takes us to the heart of what we’re talking about in relation to the Big Society.</p> <p>This is all about putting the public back in the driving seat. Earlier I spoke about the example of the police.uk website which offers a real challenge and opportunity to us, about the way in which the public are going to view crime in the future and the type of information they want. What it also tells us is that there is great public appetite for information. We want the criminal justice system to be much more accountable and much more transparent in the future.</p> <p>Since the crime mapping website was launched two weeks ago it has received 382 million hits. Those aren’t all unique users but it nevertheless indicates the scale of the public demand for this information. We have had over two thousand pieces of individual feedback from the public. The feedback has in the main been very positive, but it’s not the only way in which we want to open up the criminal justice system and drive accountability and transparency.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>We want to put the public back in the driving seat. We will do this through democratic accountability, through the election of police and crime commissioners, and through these restorative approaches. This is one of the reasons why I think that they are so exciting.</p> <p>Let me finish by saying this. Offending must always have consequences, and those consequences should not just be punitive. They should also be about making good, about repairing, about paying back to the victim and to society.  That is what it seems to me restorative justice can deliver, and that is why it should be a part of the whole system. This is about rethinking justice, and it’s about ensuring that we have a criminal justice service, not a system, a service that never stops thinking about the interests of victims.</p> <p>I would like to end my remarks with the words of somebody else, who also speaks powerfully in the way we heard at the beginning about the potential for restorative justice. These are the words of Brooke Kinsella, who the Prime Minister asked to investigate how we could deal better with knife crime. She recently published her report Tackling Knife Crime Together, and said this:</p> <p>‘After my brother was murdered and throughout my journey to understand youth crime, I heard about the idea of restorative justice, but didn’t feel it was something that could be successful.</p> <p>‘As a victim myself, I knew that I would never want to meet the offenders who killed my brother, but I visited the Tees Valley project with an open mind and was prepared to listen to what they had to say. The project develops and delivers a range of restorative approaches, including family mediation, victim-offender mediation, and victim awareness and works alongside 10 to 18-year-olds in the criminal justice system.</p> <p>‘After visiting the project, I began to realise that maybe some good could come out of the restorative justice process. It will not work in every case, and when dealing with murder or very serious violent crimes, it will be a much more personal and complicated decision, but in tackling more minor crimes I believe it could have a massive impact in changing the attitudes of offenders and making them think twice about re-offending.</p> <p>‘I think it could also have a very positive effect on the victim, giving them closure, allowing them to express to the person who hurt them the damage they have done and helping them realise that they were in no way to blame.’</p> <p>There we are ladies and gentlemen, that’s the power of restorative justice.  Thank you.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/Herbert-Restorative-Justice Nick Herbert Restorative Justice, Policing and the Big Society Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 Home Office joint Association of Chief Police Officers' and the Restorative Justice Council conference
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Home Secretary Theresa May gave this speech on 2 February 2011 at the Policy Exchange in London. The speech is as written.</p> <p>'I am absolutely delighted that so many people who have done so much to help Brooke in producing this report are here today. And I'm also delighted that we have so many people here who are making a real difference in our communities in tackling knife crime — thank you for all that you've done and for all that you will go on to do.</p> <p>The main thanks today though go to Brooke. I know, Brooke, that you have devoted an enormous amount of time, effort and energy to this work that you care so passionately about.</p> <p>I think Brooke's report really highlights just how important an issue knife crime remains. It brings home, that tackling knife crime will take a concerted effort from the whole of society. That includes not only government but also local authorities, voluntary groups and of course young people themselves.</p> <p>Brooke has already outlined to me her interim findings and we will study her full report and her recommendations carefully.</p> <p>But today I can announce a substantial funding package for anti-knife crime initiatives over the next two years.</p> <p>This package is fully in line with Brooke's recommendations and includes: </p> <ul> <li>up to £10million for prevention and diversionary activities and engagement with young people at risk of becoming involved in crime</li> <li>up to £3.75million for London, Manchester and the West Midlands - the three police force areas where more than half of the country's knife crime occurs</li> <li>up to £4million for a 'Communities against Gangs, Guns and Knives' fund - for local voluntary organisations across England and Wales to work with young people to stop involvement in knife and gang violence</li> <li>and up to £250,000 for the Ben Kinsella fund</li> </ul> <p>This funding will support vital police work where it is most needed and, most importantly, it will give support to young people and local voluntary organisations working at the heart of our communities.</p> <p>We will also be responding directly to Brooke's recommendations by providing up to £1 million of funding for the development of anti-gang, gun and knife crime education materials for schools and a good practice website to enable local projects to share knowledge and expertise.</p> <p>This package demonstrates the government's ongoing commitment to tackling knife crime and serious youth violence and our commitment to Brooke's report. Even in these tough economic times, there are some things that are too important not to do.</p> <p>I am challenging Local Authorities to match us in supporting front-line knife crime interventions. Local Authorities have to make significant savings, just as the rest of the public sector has to do, but these projects are not the place to be making cuts.</p> <p>As Brooke's report so persuasively sets out, we need to support the fantastic work that the people in this room and around the country are doing to stop young people carrying knives and turning to a life of crime. That is exactly what this government is committed to doing. And with Brooke's help, we will get there.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/knife-crime-kinsella Theresa May Tackling knife crime following Brooke Kinsella report Wednesday, 02 Feb 2011 Home Office Policy Exchange
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Immigration minister Damian Green gave this speech to the Reform Think Thank on Tuesday 1 February.</p> <p>'Reforming the immigration system and reducing the level of immigration to a sustainable number is one of the big tasks of this Government. The uncontrolled immigration levels of the previous decade led to a loss of public confidence, strain on public services, and an increase in the visibility of extremist politicians holding unpleasant views, seeking to exploit the problem. We need to reverse this, and we are doing just that.</p> <p>We have made clear that we will take a different approach, that we will tighten up our system, stop abuse and support only the most economically beneficial migrants.  We have set out our approach this year to economic migration, we have consulted on student migration and we will consult on families and settlement.  We have indicated that, through a more rigorous and controlled approach, we will see fewer non-EU migrants than in the past.</p> <p>Our goal is an improved system that commands the confidence of the public and serves our economic interests.  We would expect this to come through a system which shows a significant fall in net migration to the UK from the hundreds of thousands we have seen in recent years to tens of thousands.</p> <p>In 2009, net migration was at nearly 200,000.  For non-EEA migrants (that is, excluding British and EU citizens) - who are subject to immigration control - it was around 184,000. </p> <p>My task is to reduce the numbers coming, increase the numbers leaving when their visas are up and to eliminate abuse of the system. So I am taking action to tighten our migration system across all entry routes for non EEA-migrants – work, students and family – and to break the link between temporary routes and permanent settlement. Some of these measures will take effect in the short term. Others will set us on a long-term road to sustainable immigration, where Britain benefits economically and culturally from new skills and backgrounds, but in a context where people are at ease with the changes they see around them.</p> <h3>Economic routes</h3> <p>We have started by limiting economic migration. In November we announced a limit of 20,700 skilled workers entering for the 12 months from 6 April.  We are raising the minimum skill level and ensuring that all economic migrants have a job offer before they come.</p> <p>At the same time we want to make it easier for the brightest and best to come here. We have exempted intra company transfers for those who earn over £40 000 from the limit on non EU economic migration. We want to attract entrepreneurs, investors and those with exceptional talent in the arts and sciences.   We will provide 1,000 visas a year for our new category of exceptional talent.  So this is not about closing our doors; it is about a more selective approach in the interests of Britain.</p> <h3>Family and settlement</h3> <p>We need to improve controls in all routes of immigration. Take what is called the family route. In 2009 38,000 people were issued with a marriage visa to come to the UK and 56,000 obtained indefinite leave to remain by dint of marriage (excluding dependants). Last November we introduced a requirement for all those applying for a marriage visa to demonstrate a minimum standard of English.  We are also cracking down on sham marriages. We will consult later this year on further proposals in this area.</p> <p>We also need to be much clearer about those who are coming here for a time, and those who come here to settle. Since 1997, there has also been an eight fold increase in the numbers settling in the UK from employment-related categories.  In 2009 it was 81,000 including dependants.  The corresponding figure in 1997 was 10,000.  I want a position where Britain continues to attract the best workers, who make a strong contribution to our economy and society during their stay. But it cannot be right that people coming to fill temporary skills gaps have open access to permanent settlement. Therefore, I intend to consult on all routes to settlement in the Spring. </p> <h3>Student migration</h3> <p>Today, however, I would like to focus on the student migration system. The majority of non-EU migrants are students. Our public consultation on the student visa system closed yesterday and we are carefully considering responses to this before finalising our proposals.</p> <p>In 2009, we issued 273,000 visas to students in Tier 4 of the points-based system – including pre-PBS equivalents. A further 30,000 were issued to their dependants. The student route is the largest source of migration, albeit temporary.</p> <p>I recognise the important contribution that international students make to our economy and cultural life and to making our education system one of the best in the world. It is a tribute to the excellence of our universities and colleges that they have been so successful in developing international educational activities as a major contributor to economic growth. In 2007/08 the total value of international educational activities to the UK economy was over £5 billion. My aim is not remotely to stop this happening. We want more, not less, of the benefits of these educational activities. I am seeking to eliminate abuses within the system.</p> <p>We have been clear that we will do nothing to prevent those coming here to study degree level courses and will protect our world class academic institutions above and below degree level. So the universities, all of whom are highly trusted sponsors of foreign students, should not worry. We want to make sure that every student who comes to this country is a legitimate student following a legitimate course.</p> <p>Stricter control will be in the best interest of legitimate students. Some of those who come to study at less reputable institutions are genuinely in search of education which they do not receive. They may have been misled by questionable agents overseas or by these colleges. In either case, unsuspecting students may end up out of pocket, without the education they wanted and stuck illegally in the UK. Action to strengthen the student visa route will help protect the unsuspecting from being defrauded.</p> <p>We have looked at rates of compliance – i.e. whether we could account for the whereabouts of students to whom we had given a visa.   There are high rates of compliance amongst our universities, publicly funded FE colleges and independent schools.  I thank and congratulate them for their efforts in this field.</p> <h3>Private sector</h3> <p>But, and there is always a but, the picture is much less reassuring in the private further education sector. Of course, not all private providers are cause for concern, far from it. Many private providers perform the important function of language and other preparatory training before entrance to Universities. But there are a significant number where we do need to take action.  In a sample of students studying at private institutions about which we had concerns, up to 26 per cent of them could not be accounted for. </p> <p>We know they entered the UK, we know they are no longer at the college who sponsored them but we are unable to identify them as having left Britain. Some may have departed, but the proportion we cannot account for is much higher in the private sector than appears to be the case in other sectors.</p> <p>Since tier 4 started the UK Border Agency has revoked the sponsorship licence of 58 colleges. They were all privately funded colleges of further education. The UK Border Agency has also suspended (since the launch of tier 4) a total of 247 sponsors, of which 208 are privately funded.</p> <p>There are 248 B rated sponsors on the register, who are having to take remedial action to satisfy the UK Border Agency they are fit to remain on the register.  220 of these are privately funded.</p> <p>Understandably this concerns me deeply, so I have been turning over the stones in this area. I have to report that some unpleasant things have crawled out. Let me share some of the facts I have discovered.</p> <p>On the UK Border Agency sponsor register of 2298 licensed colleges, 744 are private colleges, excluding independent schools registered with the Department for Education.  Only 34 of the 744 have identified themselves as being subject to OFSTED inspection. And of those 744, 131 - or 18 per cent - have so far attained highly trusted sponsor status. To compare with the public education bodies, 76 per cent of them are highly trusted.</p> <p>As of mid-January of this year, the 613 private colleges who are not highly trusted have had the ability to sponsor a total of 280,000 international students between them.  Looking in detail at these figures, 120,000 of the 280,000 have been assigned to individuals, and 91,000 of these were used in visa applications in the past 12 months. That's up to 91,000 people coming here to “study” at institutions which are not verified as highly trusted. The potential for abuse is clearly enormous.</p> <p>I have also looked more closely at the 58 colleges whose licences have been revoked. 14,000 visas were issued for these colleges, of which at least 12,000 were issued since 2009.  IT and business courses were popular among their international students and they charged fees averaging £3700 a year.</p> <p>I would like to give you some insights into practices at some colleges. In one, no classroom study was being undertaken. Instead students were being sent on so-called work placements in locations up to 280 miles away from the college where they were supposed to be studying on a regular basis.They were working excessive hours.</p> <p>In another case, students were found working in 20 different locations and undertaking no study time. The work placements, which were supposed to be in the health and social care sector, included jobs as a cleaner in a pizza chain and as a hairdresser. The college was also employing a worker illegally on a fake British passport.</p> <p>In another case, there were 2 lecturers for 940 students.  Students were attending classes for 1 day a month and working excessive hours the rest of the time.</p> <p>And we have numerous other reports of questionable practice by sponsors, for example:</p> <ul> <li>students being allowed on arrival to enrol on courses at a lower level than the one specified on the certificate of sponsorship</li> <li>colleges happy to enrol students despite being warned by a UK Border Agency officer they speak little or no English or  have no knowledge of the course they are due to attend or the location of the college</li> <li>courses being re-classified at a higher NQF level to avoid restrictions on lower level courses, or of English colleges adopting Scottish exams apparently because of the slightly different PBS rules which apply</li> <li>colleges happy to accept students who have been out of formal education for many years and who have a poor academic record</li> <li>poor due diligence on prospective students.  In June last year in New Delhi, 35 per cent of student applications verified by the visa section were found to contain forged documents.  Why did the college not exercise more care before offering a place? As an objective system which has removed discretion from entry clearance officers, PBS relies on sponsors exercising great care when selecting students</li> </ul> <p>I want to be clear that I am not saying that every college in the private sector is abusing the system. Many of them are doing valuable work. But I am concerned about standards amongst this constituency of education provider.</p> <p>That is why I have consulted on proposals to raise standards through tougher requirements on sponsors and students:</p> <ul> <li>that only providers who are Highly Trusted will be able to offer courses below degree level (NQF level 6)</li> <li>that we create a stricter system of accreditation and inspection for those providers not regulated by OFSTED</li> <li>that all tier 4 students should speak English at upper intermediate level on the European reference framework (bearing in mind the minimum level of course in tier 4 is A-level equivalent and above)</li> <li>to increase the ratio of classroom study to work on courses with a work placement component</li> </ul> <h3>Entitlement to work</h3> <p>I have other concerns and other proposals to tell you about. Because we not only need to be admitting the right students, we need to know that they are behaving properly when they are here.  For example let me turn to students' entitlement to work and to sponsor their dependants to join them.</p> <p>The primary objective of studying in the UK must be to study, not to work or to acquire long-term residency status. I recognise that some students will want to work part-time during their studies to help support themselves and gain experience in the workplace. But there is plenty of evidence to suggest there is significant working in breach of the prescribed hours. </p> <p>UK Border Agency enforcement teams regularly encounter this. For example they recently picked up students who were supposed to be studying in London, but who were actually living and working in West Wales.</p> <p>We have consulted on the proposal that students should only be able to work off campus at weekends and during holidays only, to make the permitted hours clearer. </p> <p>I mentioned earlier that in 2009 some 30,000 dependants of students were issued visas, which is more than 10 per cent of the number of students.</p> <p>The UK Border Agency interviewed a sample of 231 student dependant applicants in Nepal last year.  Of these, 21 per cent withdrew their applications when called to interview and 6 per cent failed to attend. </p> <p>15 per cent were judged not to be in a genuine relationship with the student sponsor and a further 16 per cent were deemed inconclusive.    Only 25% of the sample were granted entry clearance as dependants and 46 per cent were refused. </p> <p>76 per cent of the dependants were males, and 83 per cent of the students were studying at below degree level.  </p> <p>At present, student dependants have full access to the UK labour market and that is a powerful attraction which may be driving numbers.  We have proposed that in future student dependants should only be able to take skilled jobs, in Tier 2 of the points based system.  And, a student may only sponsor a dependant if the course is of more than 12 months’ duration. </p> <h3>Length of stay</h3> <p>The next area to tackle is those who quietly drift from a temporary stay to a permanent one.  We estimate that around 23,000 people who were granted settlement in 2009 initially came to the UK on a study visa (around 13 per cent of the settlement grants that year). The Home Office's report 'The Migrant Journey' also showed that more than one-fifth of students who were granted visas in 2004 were still here in 2009.</p> <p>The majority of those who remained had done so through acquiring a skilled job or through marriage as the student visa does not in itself confer a right to apply for settlement. However, in 2009 there were 109,000 extensions of student visas by those already here. We also have evidence to suggest that some students may be prolonging their studies in order to achieve an extended stay in the UK or even settlement through long residency rules.</p> <p>We know that some modular courses allow students repeatedly to fail and retake modules. We must get back to a situation where students complete their courses in a timely manner and only seek to prolong their studies where there is a good academic reason for so doing.</p> <p>We have also consulted on the proposal that students must show evidence of progression in their studies if they wish to extend their stay, and should return home between courses. </p> <h3>Working after graduation</h3> <p>Turning now to what happens when students stop studying and start paid work, normally, students - as temporary migrants - should leave the UK upon completion of their studies. I accept that some will want to stay to work, and we want the most talented graduates to contribute.</p> <p>The post study work route was intended to form a bridge between study and skilled work, allowing all international graduates to remain for two years after graduation. In 2009 around 38,000 entered Post Study Work (excluding dependants). </p> <p>A recent survey of points-based system users in this category suggested that only around half of them were in a skilled occupation. Many go into secretarial, sales, customer service and catering roles.</p> <p>At a time when graduate unemployment is at its highest level for seventeen years we need a more targeted approach. I proposed in the consultation that students should still be able to switch into tier 2 jobs, but they must have an offer from a sponsor rather than having unfettered access to the UK labour market for two years through the Post Study route, competing for jobs with the hundreds of thousands of unemployed UK graduates. We will consider the options, for example reducing the length of time that graduates can seek skilled work in the UK, in the light of the consultation responses</p> <h3>Differentiation</h3> <p>We have compared our student visa system with that of the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. A key difference is that their systems have a greater element of flexibility than the one size fits all approach of tier 4.</p> <p>We are proposing to develop the highly trusted sponsor concept as step towards differentiation but I am also proposing to differentiate between high and low risk students.  We shall make the visa application process easier for the lowest risk ones.  <br> <br>I believe our reformed system will be on a par with others, and will not place legitimate education providers or students at a disadvantage. </p> <p>I recognise the role that English language colleges and foundation courses have to play. I have already temporarily extended the student visitor visa, which is outside tier 4, so that English language students can use it to study here for up to 11 months rather than 6. </p> <p>I have also received strong representations about the role of language colleges in preparing international students to access higher education and will review carefully the impact of my proposals in this respect.</p> <h3>Next steps</h3> <p>Now the public consultation is closed, the Home Office will carefully consider the 30,000 responses from organisations and individuals, working closely with our colleagues at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.</p> <p>The government will finalise its proposals and announce our response as soon as possible. We will create a strong framework for student migration which will require education providers to tighten and improve their selection and recruitment procedures. There will be a greater emphasis on quality and we shall drive abuse out of the system.  This will generate public confidence in the immigration system and ultimately will be good for all the legitimate international students who are welcome to study here.</p> <p>These changes to the student route are a vital building block in our overall immigration policy. When they are implemented we will have a student sector that we can be even more proud of, and an immigration system that has taken a significant step forward towards stability, sustainability and public confidence.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/immigration-reform Damian Green Reforming the immigration system. Tuesday, 01 Feb 2011 Home Office Reform Think Thank
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech to the Institute for Public Poilcy Reform was given by Nick Herbert, minister of state for policing and criminal justice on Monday 28 March 2011. Parts of the speech deemed political have been removed.</p> <p>I’d like to begin by thanking the IPPR for giving me this opportunity to speak today.  The IPPR has made a strong case for redressing what it calls the 'accountability deficit' in policing.  Rick Muir and Guy Lodge's pamphlet in 2008, 'A New Beat,' cogently set out the case for local democratic accountability, describing police authorities as 'weak, unaccountable and remote.'  I am glad that I am not alone in using blunt language.</p> <p>It's significant, though too often overlooked, that the case for reform of police governance is made across the political spectrum.  There is a party consensus in favour of the democratic reform of police authorities, albeit differences of view about the best model.</p> <p>Nevertheless, I intend today both to re-state the case for reform and explain how we as a Government, implementing the Coalition Agreement, are going to swap the bureaucratic control of the police for democratic accountability, and how this will benefit police and public alike.</p> <h3>Who runs the police?</h3> <p>In Shanghai a few years ago, a Chinese businessman who was perplexed by the notion of parliamentary democracy asked me who, as an MP, I worked for – the government or the people? </p> <p>I once put the same challenge to Sir Ian (now Lord) Blair, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner. He declined to reply. His answer should have been unequivocal: the people.  After all, aren't the police a public service?</p> <p>Who runs the police? We probably wouldn’t ask the same question about other public services.  Head teachers and governors run schools.  Chief executives of NHS trusts run hospitals, with medical directors at their side.  We know that politicians have a role in overseeing schools and health policy, but we rightly balk at the idea that they should try and manage the services.</p> <p>And yet, when the Home Secretary told the Police Federation conference last year that she didn’t want to run the police – policing was their job – some raised their eyebrows.  She was surely right to say that “professional policing means policing run by you, the professionals, not us, the politicians.”  But this was clearly a significant break from the past.</p> <p>Today, some of those who rightly ask questions about the policing of demonstrations forget that politicians should not direct the police – we hold the police to account.  But that is the way that policy was going. Police forces sprang out of the municipalities, yet in recent years they have increasingly looked to the Home Office rather than their local communities.  Instead of trusting the skills, decision-making and professionalism of those that actually do the work, politicians and policy makers became focused on raising standards from Whitehall with a plethora of targets. There were even detailed instructions on how to answer telephone calls.</p> <p>This government is determined to end the decade of centralisation, by axeing policing targets, scrapping unnecessary forms and ditching the so-called Policing Pledge.  We have removed ring-fences on funding and we are restoring professional discretion, allowing police officers to be crime fighters, not form writers.</p> <p>The need for stronger local accountability</p> <p>But the police are a monopoly service - the public can't choose their force.  Officers must be accountable for their actions and performance.  We cannot simply release the grip of Whitehall without putting in place some other means to ensure that forces deliver.  Most crime is local.  It is far better that forces should answer to local communities than to box ticking officials in Whitehall.  But if local accountability is to substitute for the centralised performance regime of the past, it needs to be strong.</p> <p>And the problem is that police authorities are not strong enough to exercise this alternative governance, and they are not sufficiently connected to the public.  Only four out of 22 inspected police authorities have been assessed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Audit Commission as performing well in their most critical functions.</p> <p>There is also a gap between the authorities and the public they are meant to serve.  Only 8 per cent of wards in England and Wales are represented on a police authority.  Only 7 per cent of the public understand they can approach their police authority if dissatisfied with policing.  Almost no-one knows who their authority chairman is.  A recent survey found that a typical authority receives barely two letters a week from the public.  They may be doing a worthy job, and I thank authority members for their commitment, but this democratic deficit cannot continue.</p> <p>The absence of a direct line of public influence is problematic for forces, too.  The founder of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, said back in the 19th Century that “the ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions”.  After about a decade over which public approval of the police fell, it has now started to rise again – a welcome trend – but still only 56 per cent of the public say that the police do a good or excellent job.</p> <p>A survey by Consumer Research last year found that nearly a third of those who come into contact with the police – and I don’t mean criminals – were dissatisfied.  Of the minority who complained, nearly two thirds were unhappy with the way the police dealt with their complaint.  The police were amongst the poorest performers of public services.</p> <p>We should recognise and pay tribute to police success in tackling crime.  Every time I visit a force and see policing at its best I am reminded of the commitment of officers, PCSOs and staff.  And at a time when many rush to judgement on the police, as we have seen in relation to recent operations, we should remember the challenges they face.</p> <p>Today I have publicly rejected criticism of the police over their handling of the riots in London, which I believe is unfair.  Of course lessons must always be learnt from such incidents.  But the readiness of officers to place themselves in harm's way, and their can do attitude, is something for which the whole country should be grateful.  Over 50 officers were injured on Saturday; some had to be taken to hospital.  It is the violent thugs who attacked property and the police who should be condemned.</p> <p>But we would be doing a disservice to officers, staff and the public if we failed to identify the areas where policing needs to improve.  Successful policing in future will rely on the bridge between the people and the police being strengthened.  Police forces will need to raise their game in relation to antisocial behaviour at one end of the spectrum, where public concern remains high, and the threat of serious organised crime at the other.  And this is at a time when budgets are necessarily being reduced, requiring chief constables to show real leadership and drive a fundamental redesign of policing to protect frontline services.</p> <p>I believe that forces have the people and the will to meet these challenges, but that we now need radical change in the way we organise policing.</p> <h3>A Royal Commission?</h3> <p>To those who call for a Royal Commission to ponder these issues, I say - in common with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary - that there is no time for one.  Reform cannot wait; we do not have the luxury of delay while a committee of wise men ponder and eventually agree to differ.</p> <p>We live in the age of accountability and transparency: as MPs discovered, institutions which are too late to see this will be damaged as a result.  From the beginning of the next financial year - starting in just a few days - forces will need to make the significant budget reductions that the economic recovery of our country requires.  In Harold Wilson's words, 'I see no need for a Royal Commission ... which will take minutes and waste years.'</p> <h3>The police reform agenda</h3> <p>Direct local accountability and decentralisation are part of a coherent reform agenda to cut crime.  We are also creating a powerful new National Crime Agency, to improve the fight against serious and organised crime and help protect our borders.  We are dealing with an over cluttered national policing landscape, phasing out the National Policing Improvement Agency.  We have proposed new powers to tackle antisocial behaviour and we are toughening the licensing laws.  We are reviewing police leadership, training and skills, examining pay and conditions and moving towards a reformed, more accountable ACPO.  We will publish Peter Neyroud's report on police leadership very shortly.</p> <p>Central to this reform agenda is the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners. They are a key element of the government's programme of decentralisation, where power is returned to people and communities.</p> <p>We will swap bureaucratic control for democratic accountability, replacing police authorities with directly elected commissioners in all forces in England and Wales save for the City of London, which is an exception.  London already has its Mayor.  He will be London's Police and Crime Commissioner and will take over functions from the Metropolitan Police Authority, which will be abolished.  From the first elections in May next year, the public will have a real say over how their area is policed.</p> <p>These new commissioners will be big local figures with a powerful local mandate to drive the fight against crime and antisocial behaviour.  They will decide policing strategy and the force budget, set the local council tax precept, and appoint - and if necessary dismiss - the chief constable.  They will do all these things on behalf of the public which elected them.</p> <p>The role of commissioners will be greater than that of the police authorities they replace.  That is the significance of the words 'and crime' in their title.  They will have a broad remit to ensure community safety, with their own budgets to prevent crime and tackle drugs.  They will work with local authorities, community safety partnerships and local criminal justice boards, helping to bring a strategic coherence to the actions of these organisations at force level.  And in future their role could be extended to other elements of the local criminal justice system, ensuring that the police and those who manage offenders operate together, working to break the cycle of crime.</p> <h3>Strict checks and balances</h3> <p>Our aim is not to abandon the 'tripartite' arrangement of police governance, between the Home Office, local representatives and forces, but to rebalance it.  We are recognising, in the words of the Local Government Association, that the tripartite has “become unbalanced, with the Home Secretary acquiring more and more powers at the expense of chief constables and police authorities.” </p> <p>To prevent too much power from being invested in a single individual, we are putting in place strict checks and balances.  These will include local Police and Crime Panels, with representatives from each local authority and independent members, with the power to scrutinise the commissioner's actions.  District councils will have a stake in police governance for the first time.</p> <p>We need to strike the right balance here, ensuring that the panels will be effective, but guarding against appointees inappropriately cutting across the mandate of the elected commissioner.  Panels will not, and should not, have direct control over a commissioner’s decisions, and they will not be police authorities – it is commissioners who will hold forces to account, not the panels.</p> <p>But the panels will have teeth.  They will have the power of veto over excessive precepts and the appointment of chief constables.  And they will have the weapon of transparency.  They will have the power to compel commissioners to release documents, summon them for questioning, and compel them to respond to any suggestions or advice.  All of this will be in public.  The thinking and decisions of commissioners will be laid bare for the people to see.</p> <h3>A single accountable individual</h3> <p>The strength of this model is that local councillors will still be involved in the governance of policing while an elected individual takes executive decisions, supported by a highly qualified team.  The principle of one accountable individual, directly responsible for the totality of force activity, is crucial to our vision. </p> <p>Policing governance by committee has meant that an unelected body has power over the level of precept.  It has meant that no-one is properly held to account for decisions or poor performance.  No-one is truly in charge.  Even police authority chairs are first among equals – they are not decision-making leaders.  Under our new system, commissioners will be able to appoint their own executive teams to support them.  But the buck will stop with commissioners, and the public will cast judgement at the ballot box.</p> <p>Direct elections of police authority members would not produce this single focus.  Directly elected chairs of authorities – the previous government’s latest proposal - would be the worst of all worlds, a really bad idea, where an individual would have a mandate but be unable to deliver it, routinely outvoted by a committee of appointees.  What's more, this model would cost more.</p> <p>Direct accountability at Basic Command Unit or some equivalent level is an interesting idea, and superficially attractive, but it would result in lots of politicians with a mandate, none of them actually having strategic responsibility at force level.  Someone has to set the force budget, strategic direction and appoint the chief constable.  Without a single, clear mandate, the waters remain muddied, committees still take decisions and the public loses out.</p> <h3>Operational independence</h3> <p>It's fundamental to the British system that the police remain operationally independent.  No politician can tell a constable - a sworn officer of the crown - who to arrest.  Forces will continue to be under the legal 'direction and control' of their chief constable.</p> <p>I welcome Sir Hugh Orde’s comments in this week's Police Review that 'the government has listened to our concerns' on this issue. </p> <p>There is general agreement that we should not try and define operational independence by statute.  But as Rick Muir has argued, “we need to clarify who decides what, when and how – and where politics ends and policing begins.”  A Memorandum of Understanding was recommended by the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in a report last December.</p> <p>The government has therefore committed to developing a new protocol –  which has also been described as a Memorandum of Understanding – to delineate the key responsibilities of Chief Constables, Police and Crime Commissioners, the new local Police and Crime Panels which will scrutinise commissioners, and the Home Secretary.  The Home Office is working with ACPO and others to ensure these principles are reflected in this document, and I hope that it will be ready to be considered alongside the Bill in the House of Lords.</p> <h3>Ensuring strategic policing</h3> <p>It has been suggested that Police and Crime Commissioners will be focused on local issues to the exclusion of those which require a strategic response – that they will be too parochial.  I doubt that they would behave in this way, but in any event they will have a clear responsibility for tackling all crime in their area and for holding the whole of their force’s activities to account.  That is the principle which underlies the vertical integration of forces.</p> <p>As I have argued before, there's a paradox of policing over the last few years.  While central government has interfered too much in matters that should be determined locally, it has been weak in areas where a stronger grip was required.  The imperative of dealing with the threat of terrorism, backed by a huge investment, saw a strong national counter terrorist network developed.</p> <p>But the fight against serious and organised crime, as Sir Paul Stephenson reminded us last year, remains patchy.  There has been too little focus on ensuring value for money.  And following the failure of compulsory force amalgamations, the centre was weak in setting a new vision or driving collaboration.</p> <p>The time has come to reverse this situation - giving more space for local determination with stronger local accountability, while ensuring real leadership where national organisation and cross-boundary policing is needed.</p> <p>So the new National Crime Agency will transform the fight against organised crime, working with police forces.  The Home Secretary will issue a Strategic Policing Requirement, which will guide forces on their responsibilities for serious and cross-boundary policing challenges – such as terrorism, organised crime, public order and responding to major incidents and emergencies.  Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables will be under strong duties to have regard to this Requirement.</p> <h3>Collaboration between forces</h3> <p>It makes operational sense for forces to work together.  But it also saves money.  The Home Office is providing stronger co-ordination and support for collective procurement of goods and services by forces, including IT, where we estimate potential savings of some £380 million a year.  Around a third of spending by police forces is not on the frontline – it is on back and middle office functions.  Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will be reporting in detail on this breakdown later this week.  But it is clear that the opportunities for savings while protecting the frontline are immense.</p> <p>I flatly disagree with those who expect Police and Crime Commissioners to be obstacles to collaboration.  In fact, I expect them to be strongly motivated to drive out costs as they seek to free officers to fight crime.  They will have a public mandate to do so that is stronger than any pressure brought about by Whitehall bureaucracy.</p> <p>That means that PCCs will be powerfully incentivised to look hard at what their forces do and what opportunities there are for working with other forces and other partners to do things more efficiently and effectively.</p> <p>But to allay any fears, the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, currently before Parliament, also places commissioners and chief constables under a strong legal duty to collaborate.</p> <p>The need to tackle serious and cross-boundary criminality more effectively, and deliver support functions more efficiently, are not new problems.  They have not been brought about by the introduction of PCCs.  They are the same challenges that we have been facing for some time.  But because we are strengthening the accountability of forces to their communities, we are also able to address weaknesses in our national response to serious crime without undermining the space, freedom and discretion for local decision-making which is so important.  Put simply, the Home Office is now focusing on the right things.</p> <h3>Driving value for money</h3> <p>I expect Police and Crime Commissioners to reap a return for taxpayers by driving value for money more strongly.  Their running costs will be no more than police authorities, because we will no longer be paying allowances to councillors.  The only additional costs will be those of holding elections once every four years.  Because these will be combined with local elections, this will be £50 million.  (The Association of Police Authorities’ estimate, at double this, is wrong.)  This sum has been provided additionally by the Chancellor for 2012; it will not come out of force budgets.  To put it in context, the equivalent annual cost is less than 0.1 per cent of total police spend.</p> <h3>Policing in the United States</h3> <p>And while I am dealing with one poor argument against reform, let me address another.  Police and Crime Commissioners are not a crude import from the United States.  As Bill Bratton reminded us when he came over here last year, with some 17,000 police departments, there is no single model of policing in the US in any case.  At least that’s a number that should give the proponents of force amalgamations here some cheer.</p> <p sizcache="4" sizset="5">Of course there have been things to admire and learn from the United States – Bratton’s own remarkable policing reforms in New York; the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, similar to our own rediscovery of neighbourhood policing; the strong connection between public services and the people which direct elections create.  It was seeing Los Angeles' street level crime mapping that persuaded me to promote that idea here – resulting in a new website, <a title="External link opens in a new window" rel="external" href="http://www.police.uk/">www.police.uk</a>, which received over 400 million hits in the first two months, an example of the power of transparency but also the public appetite for information about crime and antisocial behaviour in their neighbourhood.</p> <p>But there are other aspects of the US system which we emphatically would not wish to replicate, and many areas where our own model is superior.  In particular, we have an independent Inspectorate of Constabulary – which we are strengthening – a robust Independent Police Complaints Commission, and we have national measures to ensure the integrity of crime data collected by local forces.  Those who suggest that Police and Crime Commissioners would open the door to widespread police corruption simply do not understand our system.</p> <h3>The Mayor of London</h3> <p>And we don't need to look across the Atlantic to see that an elected individual holding the police to account is popular.  In London, Mayor Boris Johnson has delivered on his pledges to tackle knife crime and put uniformed officers on public transport.   He has committed to keep cops on the streets - strikingly, at a time when most forces have frozen recruitment, the Met is about to begin hiring officers again.  How many Londoners would prefer their police force to answer to an invisible committee?</p> <p>The office of the Mayor of London has proved to be popular amongst Londoners, precisely because the Mayor is sensitive to his electorate.  Since Boris took greater charge of policing in the capital, the Metropolitan Police Authority has received four and a half time as much correspondence.  The people know who to go to and who to hold to account – and they like it.</p> <h3>The politicisation of policing</h3> <p>Nor can it be said that the Mayor’s greater involvement has politicised the Met.  In any case I find the criticism of politicisation a peculiar argument when the Home Secretary is always an elected politician and a leading member of their party.  As the IPPR’s Director, Nick Pearce, has said, “one person’s politicisation is another person’s accountability.”  If the police aren't to answer to an elected representative of the people, who exactly will they answer to? </p> <p>We judged that it would be both wrong in principle and unworkable in practice to ban political parties from fielding candidates as Police and Crime Commissioners.  But that does not mean that party politics will be introduced into police forces themselves.  Commissioners will not be permitted to appoint political advisers.  And, once again, the operational independence of officers will be crucial.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners will not be picking up the phone to individual officers, telling them how to do their job, who to arrest, and where to be.  They will not be permitted to sack or appoint officers, other than the chief constable – indeed under these arrangements Chief Constables will receive greater power over who they hire for their top management team than they have at the moment.</p> <p>And the candidates for office need not come from the political parties.  There is a real opportunity for highly qualified independent candidates to come forward, and I hope they will.</p> <p>It's claimed that extremists will be elected, even BNP candidates.  This is nonsense: they polled just 2 per cent of the national vote in the general election.  The electoral system and size of constituencies means that their candidates will not succeed.  The same disreputable arguments - that you can't rely on people to make the right decisions - were advanced against votes for women.</p> <p>Dig deeper, and you find an elitist fear that elected Commissioners might be so brash as to reflect public concern and pledge to get tough on crime.  It's strange that so many democrats are so wary of democracy, but I believe that we can and should trust the people.</p> <h3>The benefits of reform</h3> <p>This reform is essential to address the democratic deficit in policing, to end the era of Whitehall's bureucratic control, to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour and to drive value for money.  I accept that police authorities will be losers, since they will be abolished.  But I believe that everyone else will gain.</p> <p>Chief constables will be liberated to be crime fighters rather than government managers, free to run their workforces, and relieved of the burden of politics which they can safely leave to Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>Police officers will benefit from a less bureaucratic system where discretion is restored and where someone close to their force has a strong interest in driving out waste and prioritising the frontline.</p> <p>Local authorities will benefit from a continuing say in the governance of policing, and district councils will have a role for the first time.</p> <p>The taxpayer will see better value for value money as commissioners, who will have responsibility for the precept, focus relentlessly on efficiency in their forces.</p> <p>Local policing will benefit from a strong democratic input, focusing attention on issues of public concern.  The streets will be safer.</p> <p>The Home Office will be refocused on its proper role, especially to address national threats and to co-ordinate strategic action and collaboration between forces.</p> <p>Above all, the public will have a voice in how they are policed.  Police and Crime Commissioners will have the mandate and the moral authority to reflect public concern on crime.</p> <h3>Finest service in the world</h3> <p>The Prime Minister said recently that we have the finest police service in the world.  Like the NHS, we should be proud of this British institution and protect what is best in it.  But we also need to ensure that the police are able to meet today's challenges and command broad public support.</p> <p>Sir Robert Peel, famously said that 'the police are the public and the public are the police'.  Forces will continue to be run by chief constables, but their legitimacy depends on the principle that the police answer to the people they serve.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/who-runs-police Nick Herbert Who runs the police? Tuesday, 29 Mar 2011 Home Office Institute for Public Poilcy Reform was given
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Nick Herbert gave this speech at the Collaboration in Policing conference in Coventry on 22 March. This version is as spoken.</p> <p>I’d like to begin by thanking the Essex and Kent police forces for giving me this opportunity to address your conference today.</p> <p>Thank you for the leadership that your forces and authorities are showing on collaboration.  You have crossed what might have been seen as the divide of the Thames in an Esturial joint venture.</p> <p>You've been able to work together to find ways to improve the efficiency of your support services, to improve the effectiveness of your operational policing and to improve your frontline services to the public.  And that is exactly what collaboration should be about – making the police service stronger even as it becomes leaner.</p> <p>I want to talk today about three things.  First, the government's vision for police reform, from the local to the national.  Second, the role we envisage for collaboration within that – both between police forces and with other partners.  And, third, the steps we are taking now with our partners to drive collaboration forward.</p> <p>Before I do that, let me just say a quick word about why collaboration is important.  Collaboration is not a panacea; it is not a silver-bullet, and it is not an end in itself.</p> <p>But it can make a difference.  It can make a difference to your operational capabilities – such as the fight against organised crime and terrorism.  And it can make a difference to driving savings at a time when forces need to do so and prioritise spending on frontline services.</p> <p>This is not a matter of losing local identity.  Local policing services and their command must stay local.  Compulsory force mergers are off the table.  In my judgement the House of Commons wouldn’t vote for them, even if the government believed in them – and we don’t.  Rejecting regional super-forces isn’t an absence of leadership.  It is the happy and decisive combination of political principle and political reality.</p> <p>I won’t say much more about that, except to observe that the Essex – Kent collaboration probably wouldn’t have happened if regional forces had divided them.</p> <p>But rejecting regional forces doesn’t mean that police forces and authorities should operate in 43 silos.  As I’ve said before, the era of 43 independent policing fiefdoms is over.  Forces need to work together to save money, improve resilience and strengthen the fight against serious and cross-boundary crime.</p> <h3>Future landscape with PCCs and NCA</h3> <p>And I do think that the government has a role in supporting – indeed driving – this collaboration.</p> <p>I’ve spoken before about the paradox of policing over the last few years.  While central government has interfered too much in matters that should have been determined locally, it has been weak in areas where a stronger grip was required.</p> <p>Whilst the imperative of dealing with the threat of terrorism, backed by a huge investment, saw a strong national counter terrorist network develop, the fight against organised crime remains patchy. Sir Paul Stephenson reminded us of that in his speech last year.</p> <p>So we will reverse this situation – giving more space for local determination with stronger local accountability, whilst ensuring real leadership where national organisation is required.</p> <p>Let me be clear: I’m a convinced localist.  I don’t believe that central government knows best, or should micromanage policing decisions that should be local.  The point is to refocus the efforts of the centre where strategic leadership, on issues that crosses force boundaries, is required.</p> <p>We're all agreed that police forces must be vertically integrated, tackling antisocial behaviour to terrorism, and held to account for the whole range of their functions on behalf of the public by police authorities and then Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>But we do want forces to collaborate with each other and with other partners to drive out savings and improve their operational effectiveness.</p> <p>This is, to use a business expression, about getting the tight-loose balance right – gripping tightly on a small number of critical national policing issues and stepping back wherever responsibility lies clearly with local decisions makers.</p> <p>To strengthen local accountability we are introducing elected Police and Crime Commissioners.  In little over a year’s time they will be directly accountable to the public for improving policing in their areas.</p> <p>I do not agree with those who expect PCCs to be obstacles to collaboration.  In fact, I expect them to be strongly motivated to drive out costs in order to maximise investment in frontline policing.  They will have a public mandate to do so that is stronger than any pressure brought about by Whitehall bureaucracy.</p> <p>That means that PCCs will be powerfully incentivised to look hard at what their forces do and what opportunities there are for working with other forces and other partners to do things more efficiently and effectively.</p> <p>But to allay any fears, the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, currently before Parliament, also places PCCs under a strong legal duty to collaborate.  And, as many of you asked for in the Policing in the 21st Century consultation, Chief Officers will be subject to the same duty.</p> <p>PCCs reflect the Government’s commitment to localism, to decentralise and return power from Whitehall to communities.  Equally, at the national level, a new National Crime Agency will transform the fight against organised crime, working with forces and delivering a stronger and more integrated response across law enforcement agencies.  We will be saying more about this plan, which I believe is highly significant, in due course.</p> <p>We are also legislating in the Police Reform &amp; Social Responsibility Bill for the Home Secretary to issue a Strategic Policing Requirement to ensure that forces have the capabilities to tackle national threats.</p> <p>And it has been made very clear to me in discussions with partners about the Strategic Policing Requirement that collaboration will be vital to delivering your national policing responsibilities.</p> <p>The need to tackle serious and cross-boundary criminality more effectively, and deliver support functions more efficiently, are not new problems.  They have not been brought about by the introduction of PCCs.</p> <p>They are the same challenges that we have been facing for some time.  But because we are strengthening the accountability of forces to their communities, we are also able to address weaknesses in our national response to serious crime without undermining the space, freedom and discretion for local decision-making which is so important.  Put simply, the Home Office is now focusing on the right things.</p> <h3>Delivering a step change in collaboration</h3> <p>But I think a lesson of the last few years is that it is not enough for central government to exhort forces to work together.  In my speech to the CityForum event in January, I said that there could no longer be business as usual.</p> <p>Through the High Level Working Group which I chair, in which we work closely with policing leaders, we have made important headway on a number of issues where there needs to be a co-ordinated national approach.</p> <p>We have agreed a new approach to IT procurement and private sector partnering, and laid new procurement regulations mandating the use of national frameworks. </p> <p>We have established a new Policing Value for Money Unit, bringing together resources to support forces in these priority areas, including by promoting learning about new or deeper approaches to collaboration.</p> <p>In addition to this, at the last High Level Working Group we agreed that ACPO and NPIA would develop a set of principles to underpin the Service’s approach to collaboration.  These principles would draw on the ‘laminate model’, which is the agreement that there are some policing functions that should be delivered locally, some that should be delivered collaboratively and some that should be delivered nationally.  These principles, which were designed and agreed by the Service, will help to set out how we best strike the ‘tight-loose’ balance.</p> <p>So the government isn't just exhorting collaboration: we are acting.  Similarly, forces and police authorities should all be taking a more proactive approach now to examining where collaboration could lead to improvements and generate savings.</p> <p>That means addressing two particular questions: what to collaborate on, and who to collaborate with.</p> <h3>What to collaborate on?</h3> <p>There has been significant collaboration already, particularly across protective services.  And we know that it can work.</p> <p>At Luton Airport last year I noticed a police vehicle parked outside marked “Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Protective Services” – a welcome sign of collaboration in action.  Those forces couldn’t merge because there was an absence of local consent.  But they have shown what progress can be made by sharing functions, and it is encouraging to hear that Cambridgeshire are now looking to join in.</p> <p>Local media across the country regularly report the successes that collaborative organised crime fighting teams have in tackling the organised gangs whose criminality destroys our communities and harms our economy.</p> <p>It was good to see the front page of the Yorkshire Post a few months ago which read “Car-crime network smashed as gang are jailed”.  The article paid tribute to the excellent work led by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Intelligence Unit.</p> <p>But this is only one example.  Across England and Wales, teams like this are making a real difference to the fight against organised crime.  I want this to continue and to improve further.  That is why I can today announce that the Home Office will continue to fund these collaborations and their enhanced coordination.</p> <p>These are critical capabilities – both now, and in future, when they will work alongside the National Crime Agency.  So despite resources being tight, I have agreed to make broadly the same sums available in future as now – £19m in 2011/12, and £18m in 2012/13 – to ensure their further development.</p> <p>Despite the successes, I am not convinced that every opportunity to improve protective services has been fully explored.  For example, ACPO are looking at witness protection to see how collaboration could help improve its effectiveness and reduce its cost.  Can it really make sense to deliver this in 43 different ways?</p> <p>But we can go further still – not just in protective services, but in the back and middle office, too, where collaboration has so far barely scratched the surface.  Again, we know it can work.  HMIC have reported to me that nine forces, through their various collaboration arrangements, are planning to make savings of £44m over the spending review period.</p> <p>In my speech to the CityForum I set a challenge for leaders of the service: to extend collaboration into a new space, into the back and middle office, in order to improve efficiency.  I will repeat today what I said then: we must see more progress being made more quickly on this front.</p> <p>Last year the four forces in Yorkshire and the Humber commissioned a review of all their non-local services to gauge the real potential collaborations could bring.  It estimated that as much as 9 per cent of their combined budgets could be saved – £100m across the four forces – over five years.  Their approach was innovative: forces were required to prove the case for not collaborating on each and every function.  They made the assumption that collaboration should be the default option on everything bar the genuinely local.</p> <p>This is the sort of proactive approach I would welcome elsewhere. Often individual collaboration opportunities are missed because forces and authorities cannot agree on the distribution of costs and benefits, with one force feeling like they are a “net donor” to the collaboration.</p> <p>Focusing on a wide programme across a range of collaboration opportunities can help to overcome this net donor syndrome, with the imbalances in costs and benefits more evenly spread, and a clearer focus on the overall benefits that the collaboration programme provides for that group of forces collectively.</p> <h3>Who to collaborate with?</h3> <p>The second question I posed was: who should you collaborate with?  I believe this should be your choice.  This is not about structural neatness, tidy maps, uniformity or a detailed central masterplan.  Your forces are all different in their size, geography, culture and demographics.  Who you can work with has to reflect and respect that.</p> <p>So I am not advocating a strict adherence to collaboration by ACPO region: I believe police authorities and police forces are best placed to decide who they should collaborate with, including with partners from outside policing – such as CJS partners.</p> <p>But the partnerships you choose must be the right ones for the public.  Sometimes, bigger collaborations offer bigger savings and bigger enhancements to capability.  And we know there are advantages to be had from building on existing collaboration arrangements and increasing the economies of scale.</p> <p>Police forces need to ask themselves whether their preferred partnerships will get the best deal: is your model the optimum model, or can further savings be made by increasing the number of forces covered by your collaboration arrangement?</p> <p>Police authorities need to ask themselves whether the collaboration arrangements they have entered into can be clearly and transparently held to account on behalf of the public.</p> <p>I am broadminded about the approach that you should take.  There is a wide diversity of collaboration models already in place, such as lead force arrangements, joint units, shared services and so-called franchise models.  The process itself is not what matters – it is the outcome for the public, in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, that is key.</p> <h3>National approaches</h3> <p>There are some instances where the best approach is neither 43 forces nor, say, ten collaboration arrangements, but a single national solution.  For example, with procurement it makes absolutely no sense for forces to buy separately when money can be saved if they act together.  For too long the police service has been a fragmented customer - spending more and gaining less than it should do from its suppliers.  Responses to our consultation on the new regulations showed that suppliers have found it difficult to engage with the police service. </p> <p>National frameworks for procurement are about generating greater efficiency across the whole of the service.  The frameworks mandated through new regulations will save the police service £27m a year.  That's a significant sum in itself, but we assess potential procurement and IT savings of many times more than this amount - £380 million a year - by 2014/15.</p> <p>This is also about driving out wasteful spending across the board – the final price tag of goods and services is just a part of the process.  Forces waste money if they tender and negotiate 43 times.  National frameworks will end this inefficient practice as well as bringing down prices and increasing standardisation of equipment.</p> <p>We have seen leadership on national arrangements in other areas too.  ACPO, through the work of Chief Constable Alex Marshall, has shown leadership in developing proposals for a National Police Air Service, which would save £15 million a year.</p> <p>If the service's operational leaders have concluded that this is the way forward, I very much hope and expect that police authorities will rapidly endorse the proposals that are clearly in the interests of policing.  I will not be afraid to consider the use of powers if progress in this area is unnecessarily delayed.</p> <h3>Private sector partnering</h3> <p>In my Cityforum speech I said there should be no ideological opposition to working with the private sector.  Last week the Government held an event for suppliers and senior policing colleagues with the aim of improving their strategic relationship.</p> <p>We talked about the significant benefits for the police service of behaving as a single client when engaging with the private sector.  Of course Police Authorities and eventually PCCs have the authority to decide how forces should engage with the private sector, but we can be stronger if we work together.</p> <p>The Police Service already do a substantial amount of business in partnership with the private sector.  Some collaborative projects are with other public sector bodies, such as Avon and Somerset’s joint venture with IBM, Taunton Dean Council and Somerset County Council.</p> <p>There are opportunities here to identify a role for the private sector for functions across forces, and not just in the back or middle offices.  We have, for example, already seen the successful contracting out of custody services in many forces.  I believe we need to look beyond the conventional approaches of straightforward outsourcing and consider the potential for innovative new forms of partnership with the private sector.  So here is a further field for collaboration – not between forces, but between the public and private sector.</p> <p>Police forces today face significant challenges.  Reductions in budgets; the growing complexity of organised crime; the threat of terrorism; the need to respond to the demands of the public.</p> <p>And as I have said, collaboration is not a silver-bullet.  But it has an important role to play in helping forces to meet these challenges.</p> <p>I have attempted to identify a stronger, strategic role for Government in driving the process.  But collaboration has to start from the bottom up.  You, the leaders of the police service, need to take this forward.</p> <p>Later this year, forces will be challenged on this issue by HMIC.  They will consider your plans for collaboration and assess them in terms of scope, timescales, anticipated savings and pace of implementation.  You will need to demonstrate to HMIC that you are being ambitious enough.</p> <p>Collaboration is best when it has the drive, the innovation and determination of local decision makers.  If necessary, in the interests of the public and the taxpayer, the Government is prepared to step in.  We have powers to direct forces to collaborate, and we are taking further powers in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill to specify policing functions on which all forces must collaborate.</p> <p>But I do not believe that this approach will be necessary if, together, we seize this agenda now.  By attending this third national collaboration event, you are demonstrating the desire to ensure that forces work better together.  We all know that collaboration has far greater potential.  It’s time to change gear, and make it happen.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/collaborative-policing Nick Herbert The government's vision for collaboration in policing Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 Home Office Collaboration in Policing conference in Coventry
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Home Secretary, Theresa May on Friday 18 March 2011. This version is as written, not as spoken</p> <p>'It’s wonderful to see so many of our top employers represented here today. I think that shows how far we, as a society, have come.</p> <p>As recently as 1967, homosexual acts between consenting adults were illegal.</p> <p>And people could be sacked from their jobs because of their sexual orientation.</p> <p>But now we have openly gay people in business, in politics, in the public sector, in the arts and in sport.</p> <p>As a country we have come a long way.</p> <p>And as a party, my own party, the Conservatives have come a long way. We now have more openly gay MPs and openly gay ministers than ever before.</p> <p>But don’t just judge us by how we look and what we say, judge us on what we do.</p> <p>Last week we published the first ever cross-government action plan for LGB and T equality.</p> <p>That action plan contains clear milestones so you can hold us to account – you can judge us on how we perform.</p> <p>Because despite the real progress we have seen in recent years, there is much still to do:</p> <ul> <li>nearly two thirds of LGB secondary school pupils experience homophobic bullying</li> <li>one in five gay or lesbian people have experienced a homophobic hate crime or incident</li> <li>and one in five LGB people have experienced bullying from their work colleagues because of their sexual orientation</li> </ul> <p>This government is committed to making change happen.</p> <h3>Why Equality Matters</h3> <p>I am passionate about equality – it's not an aside for me or an after-thought. It is at the very heart of what this coalition government is about.</p> <p>For me, equality is about fairness: it’s about equal treatment and equal opportunity.</p> <p>It's about building a better society. Not a society where everyone gets the same outcomes. But a society where everyone is treated equally; and where everyone is given the same opportunities – regardless of their gender, their race, their gender identity or their sexual orientation.</p> <p>And it's about building a modern economy. Now, more than ever, we need to make sure we are using the talents and the skills of every person in this country. So equality is not an optional extra that we should only care about when money is plentiful – it's central to our task of building an economy fit for the 21st century.</p> <p>But in recent years, equality has come to mean something different – it has become a dirty word, associated with the worst forms of pointless political correctness and social engineering.</p> <p>I want to reclaim the equalities agenda.</p> <p>I want to change people’s perceptions of what equality is all about.</p> <p>And I want a new approach to the way government tries to deliver its aims of equal treatment and equal opportunities.</p> <h3>New Approach to Equalities</h3> <p>Central to that new approach is the idea that we have to move away from the identity politics of the past – where government categorised millions of people according to what box they ticked on a form.</p> <p>The idea that as a person you are defined solely by your gender, by your race, by your religion or by your sexual orientation is as patronising as it is absurd.</p> <p>Of course, we need to recognise that some people, because of who they are, face distinct and persistent challenges.  But we need to stop defining people simply by their membership of a particular group, and instead we need to start recognising that people are individuals.</p> <p>That means demonstrating that equality is for everyone by making it a part of everyday life.</p> <p>Recognition of this simple fact allows us to start looking at the problem differently and, importantly, to start looking at the solutions differently.</p> <h3>New approach</h3> <p>That's why the other key pillar of our new approach to equalities is about changing the role of government. I want us to move away from the arrogant notion from government that it knows best. Government can act as a leader, a convenor and an advocate for change.</p> <p>But on its own it will only ever make limited progress. We need to work with people, communities and businesses – we need to work with people like you, to enact real change.</p> <p>Of course, there will always be a place for direct government action.</p> <p>Civil Partnership legislation, for example, marked a great advance for gay rights in this country.</p> <p>And we will go further – we will implement section 202 of the Equality Act which will remove the ban on civil partnership registrations being held on religious premises.</p> <p>No religious group will be forced to host a civil partnership registration, but for those who wish to do so this is an important step forward, not just for LGB rights but also for religious freedom. Let’s not forget that this amendment was brought forward in response to religious groups such as the Quakers and Liberal Jews wanting to celebrate civil partnerships.</p> <p>Having listened to stakeholders it is clear from many that there is also a desire to move towards equal civil marriage and partnerships and we will consult further on how legislation can develop, working with all those who have an interest in this area.</p> <p>And we are legislating right now to change the law and wipe the slate clean for gay men who have old convictions for consenting acts between adults.</p> <p>Under the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which I introduced to Parliament last month, individuals will be able to apply to have convictions and cautions disregarded for actions that would not today be considered an offence.</p> <p>But you can’t solve a problem as complex as inequality just by pushing through more and more legislation. And you can’t make life better for gay people just by saying their lives should be made better.</p> <p>The answer isn’t just more laws, regulations and targets – it’s time for a more intelligent approach.</p> <p>We will take a new approach to tackling the causes of inequality and we will use targeted action to deal with the consequences of inequality.</p> <p>Our approach won’t be based on box ticking and bureaucracy; it will be based on accountability and transparency.</p> <p>What matters is not doing the paperwork; it’s getting the results.</p> <h3>New government policies</h3> <p>That's exactly what we've done with the new Public Sector Equality Duty.</p> <p>The Public Sector Equality Duty will expand the list of protected characteristics to include sexual orientation for the first time.</p> <p>This is a big step forward.</p> <p>Public bodies will now need to consider the needs of LGB people when designing their services, and internally in their own staff practices.</p> <p>But we’ve looked again at the specific duties that are meant to help public sector organisation meet their obligations under the general duty.</p> <p>We want to empower organisations to move away from the tick box and form filling of the past, and instead to encourage all organisations to take responsibility for their own performance and to be held to account by the public.</p> <p> <br>Public sector organisations should not be judged by whether they have ticked a box on a form, but on whether, in meeting their equalities duties, they have made a real and tangible difference to people’s lives. That might be by improving the lives of the staff that work for them or improving the services that they deliver.</p> <p>So we have designed new specific duties that require transparent information and data about staff and services, so people can see what’s going right and what’s going wrong, where the gaps are, and whether things are moving in the right direction or the wrong direction.</p> <p>Armed with that information, the public will be able to hold public service organisations to account.</p> <p>That approach of shining the light of transparency, aiding accountability, raising awareness, and spreading good practice will apply right across the public sector.</p> <h3>Private Sector Action</h3> <p>So we are doing our bit, but it’s not all about government action. We need you to do your bit as well.</p> <p>Many organisations – probably all of those represented in this room – now recognise that equality at work not only makes moral sense, but it also makes good business sense.</p> <p>Inclusive and diverse companies and public services benefit from the fresh perspectives, new ideas and broad experience that a diverse workforce can bring.</p> <p>An organisation which is open and welcoming to all kinds of people will attract the best talent.</p> <p>A company that better reflects its customers is more able to understand its customers’ needs.</p> <p>And a public sector organisation that better reflects the public is more able to understand their needs.</p> <p>So this is not equality for equalities’ sake – it’s about making companies and making public services better.</p> <p>Look at Staffordshire Police. In 2006 they came top of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, after some years work engaging both staff and local residents. In exactly the same year Staffordshire was also deemed a ‘top-performing force’ by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.</p> <p>Look at IBM, which was Stonewall's Employer of the Year in 2010; the first employer to win the title twice. They have an LGBT sales team, delivering measurable business results. They engage their LGBT employee network to help set and deliver their equality strategy. They provide training for line managers, including case studies on LGBT employees and information on how policies apply to LGBT staff. And they use their influence with suppliers to encourage them to adopt good practice as well. And IBM is seeing the benefits of these LGBT friendly practices.</p> <p>Or look at my very own place of work, the Home Office. I am incredibly proud that we came top of this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.</p> <p>The Home Office understands the importance of considering equality in everything it does. That ranges from our staff being supported by their own organisation - Spectrum - to running a campaign which encourages victims of homophobic hate crime to come forward and report incidents to the police. I hope that we will now reap the benefits.</p> <p>I want everyone to follow the example of organisations like these and to make their workplaces more LGB and T friendly.</p> <p>I know many employers are committed to making things better, but they don’t know where to start.</p> <p>That's why organisations like Stonewall, and the help, advice and assistance they provide are so important.</p> <p>That's why conferences like this are key.</p> <p>And that's why I want us in government to provide you with all of the information you need. So in our action plan we committed to providing improved and updated advice on employer and employee rights and responsibilities through avenues like Business Link.</p> <h3>Changing attittudes</h3> <p>But we’ll only succeed in improving LGB and T rights in the workplace, if we see a continued change in cultures and attitudes in our society.</p> <p>Government can help, but ultimately it will involve every single one of us.</p> <p>It starts in our schools.</p> <p>So we’ll help by making sure that schools have access to sound and authoritative guidance, which empowers teachers to tackle bad behaviour and bullying in schools, including specific help to identify and tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying.</p> <p>And it continues through all aspects of life.</p> <p>Some have called sport the last bastion of homophobia  - for example, 7 out of 10 fans who have attended a football match in the last 5 years have heard homophobic abuse on the terraces.</p> <p>But just as attitudes to racism in sport have changed unrecognisably, attitudes to homophobia in sport can be changed.</p> <p>On Monday we launched a new charter to stamp out homophobia and transphobia in sport.</p> <p>We’ve already secured the signatures of the biggest National Governing Bodies in sport – including the FA, the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, the Lawn Tennis Association, and the England and Wales Cricket Board.</p> <p>You can play your part by logging onto Facebook and searching for “I love sport but I hate homophobia and transphobia”.</p> <p>I want to see everyone signing up.</p> <p>I want to see sportsmen and sportswomen saying homophobia has no place in our sport.</p> <p>I want to see local teams saying LGB and T players are welcome to join our club.</p> <p>And I want to see fans and spectators saying we won’t tolerate abusive language at our matches.</p> <p>Sport has always played a central role in bringing communities together and I want to see that happen for LGB and T people too.</p> <p>Across every aspect of life, it’s the responsibility of everyone in our society to stand up and say that people should not only feel free to be who they are but also to celebrate who they are.</p> <h3>We've come a long way</h3> <p>I said at the start of my speech that as a nation we have come a long way, and we have.</p> <p>But too many LGB and T people still face barriers at school, at work and in their communities. </p> <p>We are committed to taking action to tear down these barriers and to help build a better Britain.</p> <p>But it doesn’t just take a Minister and a law to change Britain and to build a fairer society.</p> <p>It takes every single organisation in this room, striving to make their workplaces a welcoming place for gay people.</p> <p>It takes community groups, sports organisations, schools and charities challenging attitudes and changing perceptions.</p> <p>And it takes all of us to make it happen.</p> <p>Because, in the end, that is the only way we will achieve the true equality that we all want to see.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/stonwall-2011 Theresa May Stonewall workplace conference speech Friday, 18 Mar 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Lynne Feathersone at the Endangered Species International Summit at Royal Festival Hall in central London on 4 March 2011. This version is as written, not as spoken.</p> <p>'Thank you, Susie for not only the kind introduction but for the inspiring leadership and immense contribution you have made to the debate. I am hugely honoured to be invited to speak. This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.</p> <p>Anyone who's had even a passing interest in what I’ve been saying will know body confidence is an issue I am very passionate about.</p> <p>It’s an area I championed with my colleague Jo Swinson while I was Liberal Democrat Shadow Spokesperson for Equality, throughout all the five years or so I was in opposition and even during my election campaign before I became an MP.</p> <p>So I can't tell you how excited I am that, after all that talking, I am now finally doing.</p> <p>I want to use today as an opportunity to explain what I see as the scope of the problem around body image and some of the practical steps the government has taken so far to make body confidence a reality.</p> <h3>Concerned for a long time</h3> <p>I have for a long time been concerned about the way our young people have come to see themselves.</p> <p>The numbers who feel negatively about the way they look is reaching epidemic proportions.</p> <p>A recent survey carried out by Girlguiding last year showed:</p> <ul> <li>47 per cent of schools girls believe that the pressure to look attractive is the most negative part of being female</li> <li>half consider having surgery to change the way they look</li> <li>and 75 per cent said that they went on strict diets to be attractive to others</li> </ul> <p>I worry that these feelings of inadequacy are contributing to low-self esteem, depression, anxiety and eating disorders amongst our young people.</p> <h3>Public health concern</h3> <p>The seriousness of poor body image as both a social and public health concern is something I want to really be clear about. Indeed, the government has embedded the Body Confidence work in both our recently published Mental Health Strategy and the White Paper on Public Health.</p> <p>What we are talking about here isn’t just a simple case of young people worrying about the clothes they wear. It's not even about a few here and there complaining about the size of their thighs. </p> <p>It is about reports that girls as young as six are worrying about how many calories are in their lunch box.</p> <p>It is about teenage girls dieting in a desperate attempt to try and look like the pictures of emaciated models and celebrities we see splashed across magazines – pictures which have been digitally altered to make these women appear thinner than they could actually ever be. </p> <p>It's about young women being so convinced their bodies are inadequate they are resorting to extraordinary lengths to transform them. Like the recent tragic case of the young British woman, just twenty years old who passed away after undergoing backstreet cosmetic surgery in America.</p> <p>Not even young men are immune to these body fears. Increasingly more and more are feeling the pressure to look like the aesthetic of the perfectly muscled and toned male, in some cases leading to misuse of steroids.</p> <p>The pressure to look 'perfect' is becoming part of our human condition. It's everywhere. It affects everyone. And it can consume a life.</p> <p>Digital manipulation is even now no longer just confined to television and magazines. Through a few points and clicks on their home computers, people are now using technology such as photoshop to alter their family photos.</p> <p>And what does this mean for the next generation? Well I am a true believer that every single young person has something great to offer our society – something far, far greater than their physical appearance.</p> <p>Particularly for young women, advances in gender rights have meant they now have limitless career possibilities – they can dream about their futures in ways most of us in this room could not.</p> <h3>Reaching full potential</h3> <p>But my biggest fear is how many of them will ever be able to reach their full potential, if they are this unhappy in their own skin, or think their body is their greatest asset in life.</p> <p>And even if they do, they will still feel an underlying inadequacy, or lack of confidence, seeded in their young years by the relentless pressure to be thin and beautiful.</p> <p>The government's work to promote body confidence is really about saying 'enough is enough.'</p> <p>Of course there is no single wham bam answer. It's about working in the right direction.</p> <p>The aim of the work is three-fold.</p> <p>Firstly, I want to use it as a vehicle to raise awareness about body image.</p> <p>All of us need to start talking more openly and publicly about what we know has been a problem for several decades now.</p> <p>Secondly, I want to make sure we start supporting young people to healthier and happy futures where a wider spectrum of body shapes is represented.<br>That doesn’t mean waging a war on skinny people.</p> <p>Nor does it mean making the curvaceous Christina Hendricks a new fantasy figure for girls, as some suggested I said!</p> <p>It means widening the definition of beauty to include all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities.</p> <p>And thirdly, but most significant of all, I want young people to recognise that their value is worth so much more than just their physical appearance. What about intelligence? What about talent? What about being kind or humorous?</p> <p>There is no question achieving these aims will be challenging – further complicated by the fact that this is a problem which is not the fault of any one group or industry.</p> <p>The pressure really is coming from all directions.</p> <p>It can be triggered from something as simple as watching Mum standing in front of the mirror complaining about her body. Parents need to understand the influence they wield from the earliest of years.</p> <p>Even my email inbox isn't immune. It’s continuously filled with invitations to enlarge this, to extend that or to try the latest remedy to lose weight!</p> <p>And so while it might be tempting to try and invent some miracle piece of legislation or regulation to make this go away, that really isn’t the answer.</p> <p>The scale of the problem is just all too encompassing; it’s too much part of our fabric of life for quick heavy handed solutions.</p> <p>All of us need to work together to fight this:  government, health professionals, fashion, beauty, the media industry, the voluntary sector and so on. if we are to achieve the long term cultural change we need.</p> <p>That is why last year I convened an advisory group encompassing representatives from all these different sectors – to ensure a more joined up and coordinated push at tackling low levels of body confidence.</p> <p>The idea of the group, of which Susie is a member, is to form a kind of loose collective whereby we all continue in our own spheres to push forward the work, while committing to meeting regularly to report back on our actions and successes – and move forward the agenda.</p> <p>Other members of the group include: All Walks, YMCA, Girl Guiding, Mumsnet, the Family and Parenting Institute, the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, Anybody.org, Race on the Agenda, the Institute of Education, the National Children’s Bureau, BEAT, Sport England and Unilever.</p> <p>I want to thank them for all their contributions so far and recognise those members of the Group here today. </p> <p>As part of that work, I am delighted to welcome the production of a new media literacy tool that will address the body confidence issue from the not for profit organisation Media Smart. </p> <h3>New resource for children</h3> <p>This new resource will encourage children to think critically about the body images they see in the media, and help them to understand that altering techniques are used to enhance appeal.</p> <p>The demand for something like this is really out there. Many teachers have written to me personally, expressing a real interest in incorporating body image issues in their school curriculum. They just don’t know how to go about doing it. </p> <p>So while we are not putting any obligation on schools to use the resource, I am confident if it there, ready and available to use, we will start to see real movement on this – I hope with the potential to reach thousands and thousands of young people on a subject they are interested in.</p> <p>Aside from education, the other key area of our work will be focused on encouraging change within industry and popular culture.</p> <p>The good news is there is already momentum within the industry on the issue.</p> <p>Debenhams has not only banned airbrushing ads, but they have revealed the tricks of the trade by releasing a ‘before and after’ airbrushed image from its latest swimwear campaign;</p> <p>And Dove beauty products are leading the way by making body confidence part of their brand through thought-provoking ads, confidence-building programmes and messaging that embraces all definitions of beauty.</p> <p>These are but a few of the fantastic examples of what can be achieved when industry decides to take a stand.</p> <p>Our work will be focused on supporting more industry professionals to move beyond the ‘business as usual’ approach to fully embracing the body confidence work.</p> <p>Over the next few months I will be announcing initiatives to help push forward this objective.</p> <p>But I can tell you, to kick start the process, I will be very shortly meeting with the industry body responsible for toiletries and beauty products - to see what can be done to echo the values behind the Dove brand on a much wider level.</p> <p>Now, I am fully aware there are plenty of people out who think I am embarking on the impossible.</p> <p>But I truly believe change is possible.</p> <p>Already, the body confidence work is gaining real momentum. Over the last few months it has received vast amounts of coverage in the press – some of it negative, some of it positive – but the fact is people are talking!</p> <p>We know the resonance this has out there. Any parent knows the anguish, knows the agony of seeing their children count the calories in everything they eat or at the other end of it comfort eat because they have such an unhealthy relationship with food. Of hearing their daughters cry about the way the look or cover themselves because they believe their arms are too big or their tummy is too rounded to show.</p> <p>The challenge for us now is to make sure we maximise the tide and turn what is an acknowledgement of a problem into real, concerted action.</p> <p>That will require the efforts of all organisations from government, through to schools, through to big industry.</p> <p>But it' not just the 'big guns' who have a role to play.</p> <p>I am a great believer in people power. And nowhere am I more a believer than when it comes to body confidence.</p> <p>The truth of the matter is that our television programmes, our magazines, our adverts and so on are producing what they think you want to see, and what they think will make you buy their products.</p> <h3>Make your voice known</h3> <p>But if each and every member of the public, who felt strongly about this issue, was to make their voices known, the possibilities for change would be enormous.</p> <p>And I want to give you one significant example of how you might do this.</p> <p>In the past we have seen the Advertising Standards Authority or ASA take action on adverts where they have proven to be misleading.</p> <p>We saw this last year, when they banned an advert for Olay anti-wrinkle products featuring Twiggy, in response to almost 1,000 complaints received as part of the Real Women campaign.</p> <p>The ASA upheld the complaint that the advert was misleading because viewers were led to believe that Twiggy’s appearance was achieved using the product and not through digital alteration.</p> <p>The ASA have recently added a new social responsibility clause to their codes of practice which will now mean they will also have to consider complaints about adverts being socially irresponsible.</p> <p>And it could take is just one single complaint for an ad like this to be removed, they tell me.</p> <p>While I am in no way advocating that when you leave here you should pick up your phones and wage a crusade against the Advertising Industry.</p> <p>What I am saying is that when you see an advert which is clearly misguiding or socially irresponsible, not just to say to yourself ‘this is wrong’ but to actually do something about it and make a complaint.</p> <p>Let me finish by saying thank you. Thank you once again to Susie who has played such a significant role in promoting body confidence.  And thank you to everyone who has made it here this evening.</p> <p>There is no doubt in my mind that if each and everyone of us take responsibility for tackling body issues, and work together on this, we will, eventually, start to see change.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/endangered-species unknown Body confidence campaign Friday, 04 Mar 2011 Home Office Endangered Species International Summit at Royal Festival Hall in central London
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Home Secretary Theresa May at a community safety partnership event on 2 March 2011. This version of the speech is as written, rather than as spoken.</p> <p>'I am absolutely delighted that so many people from so many different organisations have been able to come today. You are tied together by one common thread – you are all crucial in cutting crime.</p> <p>The importance we attach to your work I think is shown by the fact that myself, the policing and criminal justice minister, Nick Herbert, and the minister for crime prevention, James Brokenshire all wanted to speak to you today.</p> <p>I want to set out this government's vision for the future of local crime fighting. And I wanted to tell you how we believe Community Safety Partnerships can play a crucial role in that fight.</p> <p>Across government, we are committed to ending the era of central control, to cutting bureaucracy, and to giving back discretion to the professionals and power back to local people.</p> <p>In my very first speech as Home Secretary, I told the Police Federation that I'm not interested in running the police.</p> <p>That principle holds true across all the organisations that impact on crime and community safety. I believe – and this government believes - that the professionals know best, not the politicians.</p> <p>I will set out what this new approach means for each of the key people and organisations involved in the fight against crime and I will also set out how our new approach can work in practice.</p> <p>You will find in your delegate pack, and on the Home Office website, a copy of a document - <a href="http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/fighting-crime-programme/">a new approach to fighting crime</a>. This sets out the new approach that I am talking about in more detail. It was written very much with you in mind and so I hope you will look at it.</p> <h3>New principles</h3> <p>I want to make clear to you, first of all, what I have already said to the police: under this government the police will have only one objective – to cut crime.</p> <p>The Home Office won't be handing down any more central targets or trying to control the police.</p> <p>We’re slashing the bureaucracy and stopping all of the interference that got in the way of the police doing their jobs.</p> <p>Instead, we are putting power back in the hands of the professionals and the public.</p> <p>That's why we’re introducing directly elected police and crime commissioners to hold the police to account and to make sure police leaders focus on the concerns of local people.</p> <p>And that's why we are returning charging discretion to police officers for more routine offences and allowing them to use innovative community and restorative justice responses if they think that’s appropriate.</p> <p>We're backing up that top level accountability and enhanced discretion with a real increase in local transparency.</p> <p>You will all have seen that we recently launched the most detailed street level crime data anywhere in the world. I think the 310 million hits the website received in its first week shows just what an appetite there is for this sort of information.</p> <p>Armed with their new crime maps, the public will be able to hold their local neighbourhood policing teams to account at their mandatory beat meetings.</p> <p>But even with this revolution in accountability and transparency, everyone in this room knows that the police can’t cut crime on their own. They need the help of local authorities, the NHS, probation services, fire and rescue. In short, they need the support of their community safety partners.</p> <p>Your work has made a big difference so far. And it will make a big difference in future.</p> <p>I know that many of you have much broader objectives than just cutting crime – and rightly so – but today I want to talk about your role in the fight against crime, because I believe it is absolutely crucial.</p> <p>Places where crime is tackled effectively are more likely to have thriving economies, healthy citizens and cohesive communities; and keeping communities safe is best achieved by local agencies working together and working with their communities.</p> <h3>Effective partnerships</h3> <p>Let me highlight a couple of examples of where CSPs have been really effective:</p> <p>In Salford the CSP has been working with new partners like the Security Industry Agency, the UK Border Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions to crack down on security companies run by Organised Criminals.</p> <p>By bringing these new partners to the table the project was able to arrest the leader of the racket and his girlfriend for alleged benefit fraud, mortgage fraud and possession of cannabis. The company had its SIA accreditation removed and if faces further fines from UKBA for employing illegal immigrants. This success would not have been possible without partners working together.</p> <p>In Leeds, the CSP has introduced a 'reducing re-offending board' to replace two separate Boards with overlapping agendas. By doing this the partnership has increased efficiency, generated significant savings and cut out bureaucracy. Local analysis show a 44% reduction in reconviction rates for the 102 offenders managed through Leeds' Integrated Offender Management approach.</p> <p>This is the sort of activity that we want to see more of. We don’t need talking shops; we need CSPs that are dynamic, priority setting, leaders of local action.</p> <p>I know many of you are already doing just that. At your best, you are invaluable.</p> <p>Effective partnerships are organised according to local needs, they are responsive to the concerns of their local community and they are action-oriented, not meeting oriented.</p> <p>I want you to be empowering your front line staff; getting them to tackle problems quickly and effectively.</p> <p>And I want you to be innovative in your search for solutions. Don’t just involve the traditional partners – think about bringing in the voluntary sector, social landlords and benefit fraud investigators if you need to.</p> <p>That is the extent of what we ask of CSPs – solve problems, work together, cut crime. It's as simple as that.</p> <p>There won't be any pointless government reporting requirements, PSA targets or unnecessary rules and regulations to get in your way. You won’t have to wait for the Home Office or anyone else in government to tell you what to do – you can just get on and do it. You won’t have to wait for your next meeting to take action – you can just take it.</p> <p>We want you to look to your communities for advice, not to Whitehall. We want you to ask your communities what their priorities are, not the government.</p> <p>And in response, we want you to design and commission services that meet the specific needs of your communities, whatever they may be.</p> <p>Of course, the government will help. We’ll give you the practical support you need. So we’ll recognise and promote good practice – indeed, conferences like today can really help. And we’ll develop new online systems to help you find and share examples of good practice.</p> <h3>Early intervention</h3> <p>The police will remain the ones who catch criminals. Where you can really come into your own is in helping the police to stop crime happening in the first place. We need prevention as well as cure.</p> <p>Offenders using heroin, crack and cocaine are estimated to commit between a third and a half of all acquisitive crime – that’s why the partnership between the police, health service professionals and others to break the cycle of addiction and offending is so important.</p> <p>Nearly half of all violent crime is fuelled by alcohol – that’s why we are overhauling the licensing regime, giving local people the chance to challenge the licenses of problem pubs and clubs.</p> <p>The everyday nuisance, disorder and crime which is sometimes described as ‘anti-social behaviour’ has a huge impact on the quality of life of millions of people across the country. Community Safety Partnerships play a critical role in protecting victims and neighbourhoods – that’s why we have set out proposals to make the tools and powers at your disposal faster, less bureaucratic and more effective.</p> <p>And around half of all crime is committed by those who are previous offenders and half of all prisoners commit offences within a year of leaving prison – that’s why we need to make prison and rehabilitation work better. Criminals should expect tougher, more effective punishments, with prison being a place to learn the value of hard work and community sentences being robust punishments that force them to repay their debts to society.</p> <p>At an even earlier stage we need to address the lack of discipline in our schools, the benefit dependency and worklessness in some communities, and the lack of social responsibility in our society.</p> <p>Not all of these tasks are for the organisations represented here today but many of them are.</p> <p>We will support your work to prevent crime with a £2bn early intervention grant for local areas.</p> <h3>Public engagement</h3> <p>We also want to get people much more involved in their communities. All those people who logged on to the crime mapping website; all those people who want to join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme – we want to involve them.</p> <p>So we'll help the public engage with the police. We’ll require local police to hold regular beat meetings to talk to their communities. We’ll provide a national non-emergency number – 101 – to make it easier to contact the police. We’ll encourage joint patrols between the public and the police. And we’ll encourage people to volunteer in victim support, as a special constable or as a magistrate.</p> <p>The voluntary sector more broadly will be encouraged to make a contribution to the fight against crime by giving Police and Crime Commissioners the freedom to make specific grants to voluntary organisations that are helping.</p> <h3>Funding challenges</h3> <p>I won't go over again the reasons why we are having to make the necessary savings that we are, except to say that we simply cannot go on with the biggest budget deficit in the G20, the largest of any major industrialised country, and the highest in Europe, with the sole exception of Ireland.</p> <p>We are having to make savings across the entire public sector and the police, local authorities and community safety partners are having to play their part.</p> <p>But with the reforms we are making and a real genuine focus from the police on the frontline, then there’s no reason why we can’t cut crime as we cut costs.</p> <p>Just this morning I made a speech which spelt out exactly how we will slash bureaucracy; how we will help the police to make savings in the back office, in procurement and in efficiency; and how reforming terms and conditions is so important in protecting police officer jobs. Our priority, and the police’s priority, should be to get officers back on the streets where they want to be and where the public want to see them.</p> <p>I know you too will have to do more with less and I know that won’t be easy. Your organisations have all had tough spending settlements. You will have to rise to this challenge – you too will have to increase efficiency, cut out waste and prioritise spending on things that really matter. But you know best how to meet this challenge.</p> <p>That’s why the consolidated Home Office community safety fund – totalling £56.8m in 2011/12 - is non-ringfenced to allow you maximum flexibility in your management of resources.</p> <p>And when Police and Crime Commissioners are in place, with their democratic accountability, we will give them the maximum control over their resources so they can decide how best to tackle crime at a local level, working alongside local partners.</p> <h3>Top concerns</h3> <p>Crime and community safety will continue to rank as one of people's top concerns and will remain key to healthy, cohesive, thriving communities.</p> <p>If your organisations just cut back on community safety, then the costs to the police, the health service, probation, local authorities and society as a whole will be much higher in the long run.</p> <p>You will need to think very hard about how to make savings while maintaining services. I know some areas have made tough choices already, because they know community safety services are so vital and matter so much to their community.  Local Authorities such as Wrexham and Warrington and areas of West Yorkshire are continuing to work with the police and investing in PCSOs.</p> <p>Taking a joint approach to local funding decisions will increase your ability to ensure that key services, like these, are protected.</p> <p>You will also need to cut out the bureaucracy, focus on securing value for money and work together in new and innovative ways.</p> <p>Effective partnerships are ones that put in place services that make a real difference.</p> <p>Nowhere is this more important than in the work you all do to protect the public from serious harm. We know that investment in the protection of the most vulnerable victims of domestic abuse or intervening early to protect children from harm, can pay for itself many times over. </p> <p>Stopping violence against women is a priority for me personally and it is a priority for this government.</p> <p>That's why I announced a four year deal for the frontline domestic and sexual abuse services that the Home Office directly funds. And that’s why the Ministry of Justice is providing sustainable funding to support local rape crisis support provision across the country.</p> <p>We are clear that funding for services like these is vital. I hope you are too.</p> <p>Initiatives like Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences - now in place on a voluntary basis in over 240 local areas and helping over 45,000 domestic violence victims a year - show what can happen when local professionals get together to protect the most vulnerable.</p> <p>Other services like integrated offender management can remove duplication and inefficiency. IOM involves local partners jointly prioritising which offenders cause the most harm, and agreeing joint actions.</p> <p>It is clear that targeted, specialised services like these – together with a strong focus on early intervention – can deliver safer communities and cost savings.</p> <p>I know that some of you are concerned that agencies will withdraw from partnership working in response to budget cuts. I am clear that this would be a false economy.</p> <p>In these tough economic times working together is more important, not less. You will need to work across traditional boundaries, think about sharing or merging back office functions, combining frontline services or even sharing buildings. In Bristol, for example, all local Probation staff will be moving into shared premises with the Police in the next 18 months.</p> <p>To help you, we're scrapping all of the old reporting requirements you had and we’re going to stop giving you daft instructions about how to run your meetings. We’re getting rid of the PSAs, the LAAs and all the other alphabet soup of targets and reports. We’re removing ringfences and simplifying funding. We're freeing you up to be less bureaucratic and more about action.</p> <p>In exchange we want you to focus once more on victims, offenders and public spaces. We trust you to do it.</p> <h3>Public will judge success</h3> <p>The success of our new approach won’t be judged by some complex system of national targets and indicators. Success will be judged by the people you serve – the public – on whether crime has fallen and whether they feel safer in their neighbourhoods. Nothing more and nothing less.</p> <p>This government is taking an entirely new approach to the fight against crime. Instead of the central diktats, targets and gimmicks we are putting our trust in the professionals and the public. We are enhancing transparency and increasing accountability across government.</p> <p>Directly elected police and crime commissioners will reconnect the police with the public that they serve.</p> <p>Crime mapping and beat meetings will allow the public to really hold their local police to account.</p> <p>And by slashing bureaucracy we’ll allow those officers to get back out on the streets, where they want to be and where the public want to see them.</p> <p>But the police can’t do it all alone. And that is why community safety partnerships are at the heart of our new approach to cutting crime.</p> <p>Locally led action is the best way of addressing local problems. The scope of your activities, the reach of your staff and the contacts you have, mean that you can be at the heart of building a better society. </p> <p>To do that we need you to drive action in your communities, not just talk about problems.</p> <p>To help you, we'll get rid of the ridiculous reports you had to write and we'll let you get on with doing what you do best.</p> <p>You do incredible work and incredibly important work.That's why this government is going to trust you.</p> <p>Working together we can cut crime and restore the safety of our communities.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/new-approach-crime Theresa May A new approach to fighting crime Friday, 04 Mar 2011 Home Office a community safety partnership event
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Baroness Neville Jones, the minister of state for security and counter terrorism, gave this speech on Tuesday 12 April. This version of the speech is as written.</p> <p>'Good evening and thank you for inviting me to speak here at the Latin American Aerospace and Defence Conference.  It is a pleasure to be here and I am delighted to see companies from across the world are in attendance.</p> <p>It is an illustration of how important the Latin American security market has become to the world, not least because of the considerable honour you have been granted to host the 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.</p> <p>I take a particularly keen interest in your preparations here in Brazil as I am the Minister in the British government who directly supervises the security aspects of the 2012 Olympics in the UK. We would like to help everyone involved in staging the Olympics here in Rio. In London, there are now about 500 days until the Opening ceremony next year.  You in Brazil still have several years to plan and we hope you will be able to benefit from our experience.</p> <p>Tonight I would like to outline a few of the major aspects to which in our view, based on our own experience, organisers of the Olympics need to give early attention. My focus will be on the safety and security aspects.</p> <p>So everything I say needs to be set in the context of wider planning for the staging of the Games.  I will set out some of the challenges we face; how we are addressing them, and why I am confident of success.</p> <p>I hope this will be useful for you in your own planning for the World Cup as well as the Olympics since there is considerable similarity between the challenges each faces and the solutions to them.</p> <h3>Scale of the Games</h3> <p>The first thing to say about the games is that they are a big affair, taking place in many sites simultaneously over many days. From the opening of the athletes' village through to the end of the paralympics is 56 days.</p> <p>At many levels this is an organisational challenge.  Many competitors and coaches; many spectators and huge numbers of journalists. Next year In the UK we will welcome over 14,000 athletes who will be watched by around 10 million ticketholders in over 30 venues.</p> <p>The world wide audience for the opening ceremony is expected to peak at 4 billion and organisers are planning for about 120 heads of state to attend. In the UK we are used to delivering high profile events with discreet yet effective security whether it's the visit of His Holiness the Pope; or the forthcoming Royal Wedding or the European Champions League football Final. Even by the UK standards however, the Olympics are a significant event. And everyone needs to be safe and secure without feeling oppressed by the precautions taken to protect them.</p> <h3>Risk management</h3> <p>Governments holding the Games of course make a pledge to the International Olympic Committee to 'coordinate all matters of security and emergency services for the Games'. This is an absolute commitment. It sensibly envisages that emergencies can happen.</p> <p>So before starting to make arrangements for, say, policing or spending money, we decided we had to study what contingencies could arise and assess their relative likelihood. Realistic risk assessment at the outset of planning, which is constantly monitored for change right up to and through the Games, is in our experience the essential base for effective security. We have put in place something we call the Olympic Safety and Security Strategic Risk Assessment.</p> <p>This tool is indispensable to risk management: to the arrangements which can be put in place to reduce the likelihood of emergencies and the mitigations which can be sought to reduce their impact if they do occur. It is also the tool for deciding priorities for resource allocation.</p> <p>What things are most important and where, relative to existing assets, the investment needs to go. Good risk management reduces both risk and the cost of mitigating it.</p> <h3>Importance of a clear strategy</h3> <p>The various strands of work dealing with different aspects of security need to be woven into a single clear strategy to which all those involved work. This helps reduce the chances of both gaps in and wasteful duplication of work by different organisations and provides everyone with a common sense of direction and shared purpose which is so essential to success. Our extensive experience in organising major events has taught us how fundamental this is as are clear demarcation of responsibilities and accountability. Everyone needs to know who is responsible for what.</p> <p>The Concept of Operations (CONOPS), flowing from the strategy, should make this clear. All this may sound very obvious.  But when the task is complex and occurs only once in a lifetime, confusion about responsibility is all too possible.</p> <p>The Games organisers LOCOG, the Police and my own organisation the Home Office have all signed up to a single strategy and plan for delivery.  It was first published in July 2009 and has sent a powerful message to the IOC, to participants and to spectators that the safety and security of the Games is a priority for everyone involved in hosting them.</p> <h3>Organisations working together</h3> <p>Safety and security affect many aspects of the Games, from the way the venues themselves are constructed; to ensuring the safety of the public transport system; to preventing crime and to managing the immigration of the many thousands coming from abroad. From the start the British government has worked closely with the organisers of the Games, the venue operators, the police, our security services and public transport operators to ensure that security is embedded in everyone’s plans rather than added in at a later date.</p> <h3>Challenges facing Olympic organisers</h3> <p>Of course, each Games faces different risks.  The London 2012 Games is the first Games to be staged in a SEVERE terrorist threat environment.  This may sound daunting, but we are already operating at this level and, as anyone who has visited the UK recently will have seen, day to day life in my country is perfectly normal. We have enhanced intelligence capabilities and we know how to provide robust security which does not obtrude. </p> <p>We also take immigration and border control very seriously and have put in place special measure to ensure that security is maintained without however clogging up our airports as competitors and spectators arrive to enjoy themselves.</p> <p>Violence may come from abroad to the Games but also be home grown and, historically, this has indeed been the more frequent provenance. I suggest that from which ever source and however unlikely, the impact on proceedings of terrorism can be so devastating that that it must be right to take the necessary precautions.</p> <p>Our risk assessment in the UK also tells us that demonstrators and protesters may be active at Games time and will try to create public disorder. We know that criminals will be active. Indeed, they already are. These are the sorts of risks to which you in Brazil will want to give priority attention.</p> <p>Let me give you some examples of the sort of planning we are doing. In relation to public order policing we are ensuring that officers in sufficient numbers will be available throughout the period of the Games. This involves organising starting training many months beforehand so as not to disrupt normal police activity and crime prevention.</p> <p>Whilst the security operation will peak in its activity during Games time, we realise that those intent on disrupting the Games will not necessarily wait until the Opening Ceremony before they act. This is especially true of criminals.</p> <p>Tickets for the Olympic Games recently went on sale in the UK.  We know they are highly attractive targets to fraudsters.  To target these criminals the police in London have established a special unit to combat serious and organised crime including ticket fraud and have already had success in tracking down would be fraudsters. Our nascent national cyber security strategy is relevant here. Online fraud is a serious problem and we intend to give combating it high priority from now on.</p> <h3>Parallel events</h3> <p>All countries hosting the Games celebrate it across the land.  The UK is no exception.  People will want to watch the Games on big screens in the open air; there will be street parties and firework displays often held in city centres. </p> <p>They add to the atmosphere of celebration that surrounds the Games and at the Vancouver Winter Olympics last year many thousands of people enjoyed these events every day.   They are just as likely to be at risk from acts of criminality as the Games themselves and we are determined that they are not seen as easy targets.  It is a challenge to ensure the safety and security of these events because of the variety of organisations involved in staging them and because, quite naturally they are organised much later than the formal Games events themselves. These events too area proper concern of the police who will assure that they are free from disruption.</p> <h3>Timetable</h3> <p>As I mentioned earlier, the London 2012 Games are now less than 500 days away and the torch relay starts in just over a year’s time.  We have in effect been planning for the Games since January 2004 when our bid was launched.  After we were awarded the Games in July 2005 the work to deliver a safe and secure Games began in earnest.  With 5 years to go, in summer of 2007, we agreed a budget for the additional Olympic security which we thought necessary and which remains in place today.</p> <p>The Home Office Director of Olympic Security- the senior official directly  in charge of security  was appointed in spring 2008 and since April of the same year a dedicated immigration team have been based in the Olympic Park.  This work to ensure that the construction teams were themselves security cleared was enhanced further when biometric scanners were installed in the park a year later.  With three years to go, in the summer of 2009, the safety and security Strategy which I mentioned earlier, agreed by police, Government and Games organisers, was published.</p> <p>Our testing and exercising programme began in 2010 and is becoming an increasingly significant part of our work.  We want to know that were there to be an emergency, our command and control systems would really work and any difficulties minimised.</p> <p>Later in the year and into 2012 we will deliver a series of command post and other exercises in which people across Government, including ministers, as well as the emergency services will for the first time exercise the roles they will have during the Games.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>The UK is entering the final stage of preparations for the 2012 Games.  We know we face challenges but I believe we are well placed to deliver them based on our considerable experience over the last few decades. </p> <p>The UK benefited enormously from the learning we received from the hosts of previous Games, and we look forward to working with you as you prepare for your Games and sharing our experience with you.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/american-aerospace Baroness Neville-Jones Speech to Latin American Aerospace and Defence Conference Tuesday, 12 Apr 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Damian Green gave this speech to the National Asylum Stakeholder Forum on 26 May 2011. This version is 'as delivered'.</p> <p>'When I came to this forum in July last year, I talked about the government’s commitment to end the detention of children and to improve the asylum system. Nearly one year on, I want to take stock of what we have achieved so far and share our thinking about the future of the asylum system.</p> <p>'Before I say something about the progress we have made, I would like to say something about the context in which we all work. I think we all recognise the difference between general immigration policy and asylum issues, so even on a day when overall immigration numbers are published it is good to review the specifics of the asylum system.</p> <p>'It is 60 years since the United Nations adopted the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, in response to the large number of displaced people in Europe. Signatories to the Convention hoped that what they called the "refugee crisis" would be solved quickly. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees had been created in the previous year and was only expected to exist for three years as by then, its work would be done. Sadly not. UNHCR now employs nearly seven thousand people in more than 120 countries and is helping more than 35 million people. Although some things have changed, the Convention is as relevant and important today as it has ever been.</p> <p>'We should remember too the many people who have been helped by the Convention over that 60 year period. UNHCR estimates that it has helped well over 50 million people restart their lives. The UK is proud to have played its part, welcoming many refugees to our shores and providing them with sanctuary. This has included over 3000 refugees who have came through our Gateway Protection Programme which seeks to resettle those people from around the world who are most in need of protection.</p> <p>'The Refugee Council’s recent polling showed that over 80 per cent of Britons believe that protecting the most vulnerable is a core British value and two thirds declare themselves sympathetic to refugees coming to Britain.</p> <p>'It is my ambition that we should have an asylum system that the British people can be equally proud of.</p> <ul> <li>An asylum system which has moved on from its sometimes chaotic past and is one in which the public can have confidence.</li> <li>An asylum system which is more compassionate and produces the right decision, at the first time of asking.</li> <li>An asylum system which is more efficient, produces faster case conclusions, and removes people who have no right to be here.</li> </ul> <h3>Headline changes</h3> <p>'In the last year we have made three fundamental changes to the asylum system, fulfilling our key commitments.</p> <p>'First, we have ended the detention of children for immigration purposes. This government has been clear that this practice is unacceptable and working with partner organisations, many of whom are here today, we have found a way to end this practice while maintaining an effective immigration control. Following pilots, we have implemented a new family returns process nationally, with an independent Family Returns Panel. Specially trained case owners are now, for the first time, working with families throughout the asylum decision making process. Sadly, there are always going to be those who try to frustrate the process and refuse to comply with their requirement to leave. For those families we have developed a range of options as alternatives to detention to ensure their return. I am particularly grateful to Barnado’s for providing support for families in our new pre-departure accommodation.</p> <p>'Secondly, we have met the coalition commitment to stop returning asylum seekers to countries where their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of torture, imprisonment or execution.  Through working with Stonewall, with the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group and with UNHCR, we have also improved the way we make decisions on cases involving sexual orientation. UKBA case owners are now better at considering such claims in a sensitive manner which takes into account the difficulties, trauma and alienation that some applicants experience.</p> <p>'And thirdly, we have completed reviewing the legacy of over 450,000 unconcluded asylum cases that the Home Office identified in 2006. The number of these cases which remained outstanding last May remained a blight on the system and one of my first actions as Minister was to ask the Border Agency to speed up its consideration of these cases and to complete the job ahead of schedule. I am pleased to say that this has been achieved.</p> <h3>What we’re doing</h3> <p>'So we have delivered on three key commitments.</p> <p>'But of course we haven’t stopped there and we musn’t stop there. </p> <p>'It is critical that the public can have confidence in our asylum system. Confidence that we are running the system as efficiently as we can, at lower cost to them. Confidence that we are taking the right decisions, as quickly as possible, so that those who need our protection get it. And confidence that those who have no need of protection – and no right to stay in the UK – are leaving the country.</p> <p>'When I came to this meeting one year ago, I told you that I was abolishing the previous government’s target to conclude asylum cases within 6 months. Although I strongly believe that faster conclusions are important, the exclusive focus on a single target was creating perverse incentives in the system. Caseowners were focusing so hard on pushing the newest cases through the system that they were leaving the older ones completely untouched. This risked a new backlog building, individuals being refused but not removed from the country, and further losses in public confidence.</p> <p>'So, I have introduced a new performance framework that will give me – and you – a balanced picture of the health of the overall system, taking into account speed, quality, productivity, cost; and, crucially, focusing on the total number of cases in the system which remain unconcluded. I have asked the Border Agency to make improvements against every indicator in the new performance framework. Decisions will be made faster and be of higher quality. More failed asylum seekers will be removed – and they will be removed more quickly.  Cases will be concluded at lower cost to the taxpayer. Every case will be visible.</p> <p>'And the performance of the system will be completely transparent. Under the old PSA target, cases from some countries, which were hard for the Agency to remove to, were simply discounted from the statistics. Under the new framework, there will be no tricks like that and no cases will be hidden.</p> <p>'This is one part of a much wider transparency agenda. We want to be more open and more transparent. We have published an unprecedented amount of information already, such as government contracts in full.  We are publishing a huge amount of performance data so the public can see for themselves how government is performing.</p> <p>'And I am making a commitment today that, from this summer, information on our performance will be published, on a regular basis – with key statistics disaggregated by gender - so that you and any member of the public can scrutinise what we are achieving and hold us to account. Only by opening ourselves up to scrutiny in this way will we be able to show that we are bringing the whole asylum system back into balance.</p> <p>'A system in balance means no new backlog and it means lower cost to the taxpayer through asylum support. We have saved over £100m of taxpayer’s money in the last financial year, though there is more still to do. A system in balance means improvements in efficiency and speed and improvements in quality, all reinforcing each other.</p> <p>'Our Asylum Improvement Project has already been implementing sensible, pragmatic solutions to real problems. We have listened to our staff and to you, our partners. We have learned from the experiences of other countries and we have found solutions to the problems we have identified.</p> <ul> <li>We have produced shorter, clearer, guidance for case owners on conducting interviews and writing decisions. Often shorter interviews and shorter decision paperwork are actually, we discover, of a higher quality and of more use to asylum seekers and their legal representatives, as well as being more efficient and making our caseowners more productive. We will continue working on this.</li> <li>We have worked with our partners in the Tribunal Service to improve the speed and efficiency of the process, including electronic bundles for asylum support applications. We are finally dragging the system into the 21st century by exchanging appeal documents electronically. </li> </ul> <p>We are making best use of charter flights to effect volume removals and reduce their unit cost. Over the last year we have removed nearly 2,000 individuals with no basis to remain in the UK to destinations like Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. We have also expanded the range of countries to which we remove – including opening up routes and removing in volume to Sri Lanka, Iraq and next Zimbabwe.</p> <p>Our internal management information shows that the impact of these and other changes has already been felt.</p> <ul> <li>A year ago, there were more than 7,700 asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application. There are now fewer than 6,000.</li> <li>We are making decisions more quickly. This time last year, just 54 per cent of asylum seekers received a decision on their case within 30 days. That number has now risen to 61 per cent.</li> <li>But in making decisions more quickly, we have not lowered the quality of those decisions. Our world-class quality audit process shows that the quality of our decisions has remained high.</li> <li>54 per cent of applicants are now either granted asylum or removed from the UK within six months compared to 47 per cent at this point last year.</li> <li>In the last year we have chartered 53 removal flights, which resulted in over 1200 failed asylum seekers and around 480 foreign national prisoners being removed from the UK.</li> <li>And removals are getting faster. 21 per cent of asylum seekers are now removed within 12 months, compared to 10 per cent a year ago.</li> </ul> <p>'So, as you see, we have as delivered our key commitments on asylum, but we have also made the system faster and more efficient, without sacrificing quality.</p> <h3>What we’re going to do</h3> <p>'But we are not going to stop there.</p> <p>'Our plans to transform the asylum system will see further improvements across the board. More compassionate, higher quality, faster, more efficient, lower cost – and commanding greater public confidence.</p> <p>'We are embarking on a major programme of reform to our screening process. This is often the first time applicants come into contact with the asylum system, many of them at a moment of extreme vulnerability with a traumatic story to tell. We need people with the right training and skills, processes that recognise the differing needs of applicants and a physical environment that respects the vulnerability of the people who come to us for protection. We are committed to achieving those things.</p> <p>'We are determined to improve the gender sensitivity of our asylum system. The right guidance to our caseowners, of course, which recognises that forms of persecution experienced by women are often very different to those experienced by men. But also the right training and support so that caseowners take the right approach to handling cases of heightened sensitivity, particularly where gender-related violence is at issue.</p> <p>'Treating asylum seekers more compassionately throughout the process is right on its own terms. But it also makes it more likely than people can tell us about their experiences openly and truthfully – which in turn makes it more likely that we will make the right decision on their case.</p> <p>'We have a quality audit system which is the envy of many who operate asylum systems around the world. But we not content with that. We are doing more to ensure that we are taking the highest quality decisions; getting it right first time.</p> <p>'Following pilots in west London and the Midlands, we have begun comprehensive analysis of asylum decisions overturned at appeal. For the first time, we will begin to understand and quantify the reasons why decisions are overturned and we will be able to take action to address the problems. Early results from West London show a 9 per cent reduction in the rate of decisions overturned at appeal and we plan to go further. In short, we have been able to stop making the same mistakes over and over again, which is deeply inefficient and costly, as well as unfair to applicants in need of our protection who have to wait longer than they should to receive it.</p> <p>'As you know, we are testing in the Midlands whether access to early legal advice can lead to higher quality and more sustainable decisions and faster conclusions.</p> <p>'And, on top of all that, we are developing a more structured approach to decision making that will improve the way case owners access the information they need. Each case will still be decided on its individual merits, but the way caseowners go about making a decision will be more consistent. This will improve both the quality of our decisions and the productivity of our caseowners.</p> <p>'We are rolling out a new system for managing cases which analyses how long it takes to carry out each step of the process for each type of case and ensures caseowners take the right actions at the right time. It also allows caseowners, for the first time, to get a complete picture of all the cases they are currently dealing with. Simply by managing the flow of cases through the system in a more intelligent way, we can improve speed, efficiency and cost.</p> <p>'We can aim for a "right first time every time" approach to the removals process, and that is why we are introducing a programme of training and awareness for our removals staff to improve levels of expertise. We also aim to speed up re-documentation times with specific countries by connecting their cooperation on that issue with co-operation across other parts of our relationship with them.</p> <p>'We will also enhance our engagement with carriers to build a shared understanding of the need to carry out removals quickly and with dignity for those who have exhausted their appeal rights. </p> <p>'Looking at the broader picture, the UK is currently receiving around 1600 applications for asylum each month. In part this is due to a downward trend in applications across the industrialised world. But not entirely. This trend has not been shared across Europe. Between the end of 2009 and 2010, Germany saw a 70 pre cent increase in asylum applications. France has seen a rise of 21 per cent over the same period. The improvements we have made to our system mean that applications are handled efficiently, decisions are made quickly and failed asylum seekers are removed to their home countries. This makes the UK a less attractive destination for people who are seeking to abuse the asylum system and use it as a back door to avoid immigration controls. Effective measures to stop people abusing the system are a key part of improving it.</p> <p>'However, as the ONS statistics published today show, we cannot assume that applications for asylum will remain at these low levels.  World events, such as the current events in North Africa, are already having an impact.  Let me say just a few words about our approach here.</p> <p>'Our over-riding concern is to do whatever we can to ensure that countries across North Africa develop into stable and prosperous countries. And we have provided very significant humanitarian assistance for those displaced from Libya.</p> <p>'It remains a well-founded principle that refugees should seek asylum in the first safe country they come to. That means, wherever possible, within the region. We will therefore be working with international organisations and where possible the countries concerned to ensure that for those who need it, protection is available and that arrangements are in place for the return of third country nationals to their countries of origin.  And for those who do, regrettably, decide to seek to enter Europe illegally, in the first EU country they come to. We remain strongly of the view that the criteria for invocation of the Temporary Protection Directive are a long way from being met; and that relocating migrants within the EU simply creates incentives for increased illegal immigration.</p> <p>'We will, of course, continue to support both North African countries and our European neighbours, offering practical assistance where necessary in relation to border management and effective asylum processes.  There is an important broader principle at stake here. The government believes that it is important that there are strong regional protection arrangements in place for those that need international protection so that the most vulnerable individuals in the world can quickly get the protection they need.  That means that they don’t have to try to pay people smugglers or facilitators. It helps draw a clearer line between those who want to come to the UK and other EU countries for economic purposes, and ensures more of our resources can go to the most vulnerable, not on supporting and returning those whose claims have been refused.</p> <p>'We will continue to improve our own asylum system as well. Many of the projects we have started under the Asylum Improvement Project will continue over the next year. Our approach to structured decision making and tracking cases through the system will improve performance not just in their own right, but will also act as building blocks for the UK Border Agency’s new IT system.</p> <p>'You will hear more about some of these innovations at the marketplace sessions today.</p> <h3>Working with corporate partners</h3> <p>'The system will only improve if we are open and transparent about our performance across the board. When we only tell the public about the things that are going well, there is no incentive to improve the things that are not going so well. I am committed to being more open about our performance, but also to a more open relationship with our partners. Events like this one are a good opportunity to share ideas with each other openly and confidently. </p> <p>'I firmly believe that public services as important and complex as the asylum system can only be delivered through an open and honest partnership between government, the private sector and the voluntary sector. Each has a specific role to play and each needs to work closely with the other.  The refugee sector, like everything else, cannot be immune from the need to save public money, but I want to continue with the constructive working relationship we have built up together.</p> <p>'I'm conscious that some of you in this room won’t see our performance on removing failed asylum seekers in the same way I do. But I should make it very clear that removing more failed asylum seekers, more quickly, has been one of the key achievements of this year, and an area where we will maintain a keen focus in the future. Of course I want failed asylum seekers to leave voluntarily but, if they do not, their return must be enforced. That is essential for the integrity of the system and for restoring public confidence in our asylum system. And there is a challenge to all of you implicit in what I say – if you are serious about winning public support for an efficient and compassionate asylum system, you must be serious about making returns policy effective. If asylum is not a hot toxic subject, the people that benefit most are refugees.<br> <br>'Overall, the asylum system is in a healthier condition than it was a year ago. It is more balanced, more efficient and more compassionate. We have built the foundations for lasting reform, in which the public can have confidence, but I am not complacent. It will take time and there will be times when we will disagree about the best way forward, but I believe that if we work together, we can make our asylum system one of which everyone in this room and more importantly every genuine refugee who looks to us for protection, can be proud.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/asylum-forum-dg-speech Damian Green National Asylum Stakeholder Forum speech Friday, 27 May 2011 Home Office National Asylum Stakeholder Forum
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given at the annual forum on serious organisaed crime by police and criminal justice minister Nick Herbert on 23 May 2011. It is as delivered.</p> <p>'I am grateful to Professor John Grieve and Neil Stewart Associates for inviting me to speak today.</p> <p>I would like to start with an apology. I accepted this invitation from Neil Stewarts Associates to speak some time ago, and the timing seemed to be rather fortuitous. I’d hoped that we would have published our new strategy on organised crime and set out more detail about the NCA which we're going to set up and legislate for, so that this would be a good time to both talk about that new strategy and to answer questions about it.</p> <p>As things turn out, while publication is imminent it has not happened today and as you know we must publish these things first to Parliament and in the proper manner. And so, what I'm going to say I'm afraid is necessarily high-level, but I still wanted to come along to hear what you have to say and engage in this debate. That is because Serious Organised Crime is a growing concern in this country, and one which this Government is committed to tackling.</p> <p>I want to try and explain why what we are proposing to do really is different to the way this threat was tackled in the past – I do believe we have an important and coherent agenda for a new approach to tackling serious and organised crime.</p> <p>I see from the attendee list for today’s event that many of the key figures in the fight against organised crime are present, and I’m very pleased therefore to be discussing these issues with you.</p> <h3>National threats</h3> <p>The security of our country remains the first duty of Government. And one of the first actions as a Government was to establish a new National Security Council, chaired by the Prime Minister. It looks at the big threats to our country and assesses our response. This is a Government therefore that is focusing its attention where it should properly be. </p> <p>Last October we published a National Security Strategy and a wide ranging Strategic Defence and Security Review.  Taken together they set out what we consider the current and future threats to the security of this country to be – and how we should respond to them.</p> <p>As in other areas, there are tough choices to be made given the budget deficit we inherited. I think it’s important we do have a collective recognition of that.  Those choices must therefore be informed by a hard headed analysis of risks and prioritisation.</p> <p>In relation to terrorism, with very significant government investment we have seen the development of a strong, increasingly integrated, national police counter terrorism network – working effectively with the Security Service in combating the continuing threat.</p> <p>By comparison, though, our response to organised crime has lagged behind this threat.  Sir Paul Stephenson highlighted this in his powerful Police Foundation speech last year and the Government has responded accordingly.</p> <h3>Threat from organised crime</h3> <p>I’m conscious that I'm speaking to a knowledgeable audience. You are only too aware of the corrosive impact that organised crime has on individuals, communities, businesses and our economy.</p> <p>But it is worth pausing to consider and note the scale of that threat.  We estimate that organised crime is costing this country between £20 and £40 bn a year in social and economic costs – it means that it is costing almost as much as paying the interest on our current debt.</p> <p>The National Security Strategy highlighted a significant increase in organised crime as a key risk to our national security.  It also highlighted cyber crime and the security of our borders as significant concerns – both of which have an organised crime dimension.</p> <p>But unlike some other national security issues, we are not talking here about some distant threat. You know this only too well. We are talking about daily instances of criminality; about vulnerable people being victimised; about communities being cowed; and law abiding citizens losing out because money is fraudulently going into the pockets of criminals rather than supporting vital public services.</p> <h3>Current response</h3> <p>Thanks to the work being driven by many of you here – and I would like to pay particular tribute to Jon Murphy's leadership in this area – there have been genuine successes against organised crime targets. We know more about the nature of the problem now and who is involved in committing these crimes. </p> <p>The latest law enforcement estimate is that there are about 38,000 people involved in organised crime impacting on the UK, involving around 6,000 groups.</p> <p>But for all the good work being done by law enforcement agencies and their partners, there is a harsh reality which is this: too many of these criminals have shown themselves to be out of law enforcement’s reach. There are – to borrow a related phrase from a different era – too many 'untouchable' criminals. </p> <p>Law enforcement has not been properly supported by national Government.  HMIC have said that that our approach has been blighted by a 'lack of unifying direction'.</p> <p>I have spoken before about the paradox of policing in recent years. That is that central Government spent too much time interfering in matters which should properly be determined locally, yet paid insufficient attention to national issues, national threats and areas where policing needed to be co-ordinated more strongly on a national basis.  Organised crime is a prime example of this.</p> <p>So our determination is to reverse this position. The challenge is how to improve our overall response when set against the fiscal position that this country has inherited, and over which we have no choice.</p> <h3>New approach</h3> <p>I have already talked a little about the overall grip that we are showing on national security issues through the National Security Council.</p> <p>We published, earlier this year, a New Approach to Fighting Crime.  The key elements of this are:</p> <ul> <li>First, replacing bureaucratic accountability with local democratic accountability – the election of Police and Crime Commissioners being a manifestation of this. Bernard Hogan-Howe was right to note that despite the recent vote in the House of Lords, the Government does expect that Police and Crime Commissioners will be introduced across the whole of England and Wales, with the first elections taking place in May next year. That is because this policy was written into the coalition agreement.  It is therefore right to expect that this policy will be properly scrutinised and that the issue of checks and balances will be properly addressed. Nevertheless we do intend to go ahead with it and we expect the Commons to reinstate the policy. I want to talk a bit more in due course on the significance of this policy proposal.</li> <li>The second element in our new approach to fighting crime was that of increased transparency. The third element is engaged and active communities. And we see a link between these last two with the launch of the police.uk street-level crime mapping website, which has seen an astonishing 400m + hits since it was launched. This demonstrated the public's concern about crime in their neighbourhood, and not just low-level volume crime: we know that neighbourhoods are also affected by serious organised crime and its impact.</li> <li>We also set out how we intend to return discretion to professionals and how we want to drive efficiency across the criminal justice system.</li> <li>We talked about a focus on preventing crime happening in the first place.</li> <li>And we referred to the new focus on organised crime.</li> </ul> <p>Now these issues are all interlinked.  I will say a little more about the organised crime aspect in a second.  But our focus on improving our response to that criminality must be seen in a broader context. </p> <p>So let me highlight a couple of points:</p> <h3>Value for money</h3> <p>Reducing the budget deficit remains a priority. As I said repeatedly at the Police Federation Conference it is inescapable. The fight against organised crime is subject to the same need to maximise efficiencies as other areas of law enforcement.</p> <p>Nevertheless I was able recently to announce that we are providing £3m in 2011/12 to support improvements in the national coordination of organised crime policing.  We are also providing £19m in 2011/12 and £18m in 2012/13 to provide specific support for regional organised crime policing capabilities, including Regional Asset Recovery Teams, and I am pleased that this announcement has been welcomed by ACPO.</p> <p>The local/national balance and our overall police reform programme.</p> <p>There is a view, I know, that Police and Crime Commissioners will focus only on very local issues, on volume crime, to the detriment of threats which may extend to the national level. Some suggest that they will not focus on issues such as serious and organised crime.</p> <p>I simply don't accept this analysis.  Police and Crime Commissioners will be responsible for ensuring the effective delivery of the full range of policing services.</p> <p>We have an important principle in this country, which is that the chief constables are responsible for the totality of policing in the own force areas. That is the principle of the vertical integration of police forces, and those who hold chief constables to account are therefore responsible (in the case of current Police Authorities and in future Police and Crime Commissioners) for holding that totality of policing to account.</p> <p>To move away from that principle would be to suggest that there would be somehow a split in both the operation of our police forces and the way they were held to account. I do not detect an appetite either within the profession or indeed in any political debate for that. So let us hold on to that golden thread and recognise that there serious and organised crime runs right down to the neighbourhood policing agenda, just as in our response to terrorism.</p> <p>And I think we also have to accept that there is be an alternative model which some suggest would give a bigger focus on serious and organised crime, namely the creation of large regional forces. I accept that there are some who perfectly legitimately advocate that as a solution to dealing with these issues. But I simply need to occupy the space of real politick and repeat gently but firmly that there is no possibility of such a policy going through the House of Commons; the last Government had to abandon it in the face of opposition, and that is because there is no public support for it.</p> <p>Therefore what we have to do, given an acceptance that there are going to be 43 forces in England, is to consider how we ensure that there is a proper focus on national threats (including the issue of serious and organise crime), given that we have that number of forces which are vertically integrated with Chief Constables responsible for the totality of policing in their areas.</p> <p>And what I want to point out is that we have written into the bill that is currently before parliament some very significant changes that will assist in relation to the proper co-ordination of policing in this area.</p> <p>First of all the bill contains a new provision – a Strategic Policing Requirement which requires the Home Secretary to set out what, in her view, are the national threats, and the appropriate policing requirements to counter those threats. This is an important element of our overall approach to policing. Organised crime will feature as one such national threat. </p> <p>We are working constructively now with ACPO and our other partners on the detail of the Strategic Policing Requirement.  I want to get this right – and be very clear about the practical implications of it for chief officers and for Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>There will be strong duties on local forces to have regard to the Strategic Policing Requirement – it encapsulates exactly the reversal of the current position, so that in this area there will be stronger local co-ordination because there is a national threat.</p> <p>But let me be clear about this – the SPR is new but it deals with an existing problem. It is not being introduced because we believe a problem will be created by the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>The failure to 'close the gap' was caused by the existing model of policing governance.<br>The SPR is an important part of the package of policing reforms that we are introducing, and to characterise those reforms as simply being the introduction of local democratic accountability is to get only half of the point.</p> <p>The second important duty that we’re placing upon the local policing bodies is strong duties to collaborate. I recently set out in a speech up in Ryton why we think it is important to drive the agenda of collaboration, not just so as to drive stronger value for money in policing but also so to achieve greater operational effectiveness.</p> <p>This is an important necessity, given that we are not going to move towards the creation of strategic police forces. It is something which the Inspectorate has identified needs to happen at a far greater pace.</p> <p>So two statutory requirements are being placed upon local policing bodies: to collaborate and to have the regard to the Strategic Policing Requirement. In these lies the answers to those who believe that in future there will be an excessive focus on the local and on volume crime – there will not, there will be a proper balance, and it is right that there should be.</p> <h3>Focus on organised crime</h3> <p>Let me also say a little more about two elements of how our new focus on organised crime will manifest itself – firstly through a new strategic approach; and secondly through a new operational body – the National Crime Agency.</p> <p>We have signalled that we will publish as I mentioned a new strategy on organised crime.  There have, I know, been consistent calls for Government to set out a clear approach. </p> <p>We will set the unifying direction that HMIC have called for.  In doing so, we want to galvanise the work of all those with a responsibility to combat organised crime.  It is a big community – a range of government departments; a range of law enforcement agencies; their criminal justice partners; our security and intelligence agencies; local partners; business and the private sector.  And the public have a role too.</p> <p>We want, I think, to emulate what CONTEST has done for our response to international terrorism – though without the level of new funding which that strategy originally enjoyed.  But that strategy is an interesting benchmark.</p> <p>Alongside an emphasis on hard-edged enforcement, we want to put an emphasis in the strategy on prevention and self protection work.  This is about increasing the risks to criminals and the likelihood of them getting caught; while at the same time reducing vulnerabilities and criminal opportunities.</p> <p>We will want to talk about the importance of intelligence to our response; about ways to improve our operational capabilities; and how we can best develop our international response to what is a global threat. </p> <p>The strategy needs to work from the local to the global level.  The links are clear.  Our national security depends on having safe and secure neighbourhoods.</p> <p>I see the need for a strong communications effort in all this – to reach out in public messaging terms about the nature of the organised crime threat, and what we are collectively doing about it.</p> <p>The strategy reflects, again, this Government putting its focus and energy where it properly should be. </p> <h3>National Crime Agency</h3> <p>The strategy is inextricably linked to the establishment of the new National Crime Agency, the creation of which we signalled last year.  As I mentioned we will shortly publish details about how we see the new Agency operating.  But let me say a few things now.          </p> <p>As we’ve said – the NCA will spearhead our response to organised crime, will encompass work against child exploitation and improve the security of our borders.  It will harness and exploit the intelligence, analytical and enforcement capabilities and reach of SOCA and other agencies, as well as incorporating those capabilities which rest elsewhere at a national level.  It will build and maintain a comprehensive picture of the threats, harms and risks to the UK from organised criminals and be responsible for ensuring that those criminals are subject to a prioritised level of operational response.</p> <p>The NCA will be an integral part of the UK law enforcement landscape.  It will be led by a senior Chief Constable and have strong, two-way links with local police forces and other law enforcement agencies. </p> <p>Accountable to the Home Secretary, and underpinned by the Strategic Policing Requirement which I have mentioned, the NCA will reinforce the golden thread of policing. It will work with Police and Crime Commissioners, Chief Constables, devolved administrations and others to connect activity from the local to the international – in country, at the border, and overseas.</p> <p>There are improvements we can make before the NCA comes fully into being.  I support the work which law enforcement leaders are driving through the Organised Crime Partnership Board to improve our knowledge and mapping of the threat; and the coordination of the law enforcement response to it. </p> <p>These are critical building blocks as we establish the NCA.  And I want to reiterate that in developing both the organised crime strategy and our proposals for the National Crime Agency we have been in the closest consultation with ACPO and other relevant bodies. This is to ensure that we set out these very significant proposals on a properly grounded basis where we have involved right at the beginning of these ideas the most senior practitioners involved in law enforcement in the country.</p> <p> I also mentioned that the proposals for the NCA follow the call by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for a approach to dealing with Serious and Organised Crime that is significantly different. This is because it involves a national agency actually having a tasking responsibility in relation to Serious and Organised crime, something that we have not seen so far.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>As I‘ve said – more detail on the issues I’ve covered today will be forthcoming very soon.  So this is just a flavour. But I wanted to reiterate that as a Government, we are committed to fulfilling our national responsibilities to keep this country – and our communities – safe and secure. To fight crime, and that means serious and organised crime too.</p> <p>Organised criminals – as you well know – are agile and adaptable.  Our collective challenge is to match that. There should be no criminal untouchables.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/organised-crime-forum Nick Herbert Serious organised crime forum speech Monday, 23 May 2011 Home Office annual forum on serious organisaed crime
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">The Home Secretary delivered this speech at the Police Federation Conference 2011 on 18 May, 2011. This version is as spoken.</p> <p>'Thank you Paul.</p> <p>Let me be clear. Not all of you will like some of the decisions I have taken. And not all of you will like what I have to say.</p> <p>But it's not my job to duck the difficult decisions and to tell you what you want to hear.</p> <p>It's my job to tell it like it is, to take the difficult decisions that are needed to get the police through these tough times, and to put policing on a sustainable footing for future generations.</p> <h3>British policing</h3> <p>In Britain we have the finest police officers in the world. Our police don’t strut around with hand guns and dark glasses. You don’t stand back behind barricades.</p> <p>You treat the public with respect. You get out into the community. You treat people fairly and you presume they’re innocent until proven guilty. You go unarmed into dangerous situations. You put yourselves in harm's way to keep us safe. </p> <p>And for that, every single person in this country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude.</p> <h3>Defending the police</h3> <p>After the recent protests in London, I went to Parliament and praised the actions of the police officers who kept the rule of law on our capital’s streets.</p> <p>It’s easy to sit around with friends or, dare I say it, in the House of Commons, and criticise the police. But those people aren’t the ones confronting violent thugs armed with bottles, stones, flares and petrol bombs.</p> <p>The police officers who put themselves on the line to keep the streets of London safe did a magnificent job under the most extreme provocation.</p> <p>They didn't retreat behind barricades and fire tear gas. They held the line, face-to-face with those who would do them harm. That’s the British way of policing – and it’s the right way of policing.</p> <p>Policing of the public, by police who are the public. Policing built on the rock solid foundations of the office of constable. So let there be no doubt – we have the best police in the world.</p> <h3>Need for savings</h3> <p>But let me get to the point, to the thing you're all talking about.</p> <p>I know how worried you are about the cuts. I know how angry some of you are. I know the difficulties that spending cuts will mean.</p> <p>But let's remember why we've got to do this.</p> <p>We have just been through the gravest financial crisis since the Second World War. We now face the biggest budget deficit in our peacetime history. We have a deficit higher than Portugal – who have had to go cap in hand to the EU for a bailout. We have a deficit higher than Greece – who have had to go cap in hand to the EU for a bailout.</p> <p>Their experience shows that the risks of not dealing with the deficit are not imaginary. They are very real. Our strong and decisive action is taking Britain out of the danger zone.</p> <p>Some say there is an alternative. We could ignore the deficit. Delay the cuts. Put off the inevitable.</p> <p>But that would just mean more and more interest would be built up, meaning deeper cuts in the long term. It would mean more cuts to policing and more job losses.</p> <p>Even the politicians who claim they oppose what we’re doing, admit that they would cut £7 for every £8 that we are cutting this year.</p> <p>We are currently spending £120 million every single day just on paying the interest on the debt that the last government racked up. That’s more than we spend each day on policing, the courts, prisons and the probation service combined. It’s more than we spend on schools or on defence.</p> <p>And the longer we delay, the more the interest racks up.</p> <p>So let's stop pretending that any country can avoid balancing the books – no country and no organisation can afford to run such a high deficit for such a length of time.</p> <p>This isn't revenge, it's a rescue mission to bring the country back from the brink and to make sure the police come through not just intact but better equipped for the future.<br></p> <h3>We had to act</h3> <p>So that's why we had to act. Now, let me turn to how we are doing it. A lot of numbers have been talked about, but let’s consider the actual amount that police force budgets are likely to fall by. In four years time, if all areas increased the local precept in line with independent estimates, then forces will have on average 6 per cent less cash than they do now.</p> <p>That is a reduction that is challenging, but manageable.</p> <p>Across a range of areas - from back office and middle office efficiency, to procurement and IT, to frontline availability – we are working to make savings so that we can protect police officer jobs.</p> <p>Many forces are rising to the challenge.</p> <p>In Suffolk and Norfolk they are creating a shared service platform for their back office support functions - saving around £10 million per year.</p> <p>And in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire they have run continuous improvement programmes – led by constables and sergeants – which have cut the time taken to resolve crime from around 50 days, down to just 5.</p> <p>These examples show that it can be done – we can deliver savings while protecting, even improving, the frontline.</p> <p>I want to address something you often say Paul – that we are somehow singling out the police for cuts. This is simply not true.</p> <p>A huge number of private sector workers have already faced job cuts, redundancy, significantly reduced pay, longer working hours and higher pensions contributions.</p> <p>Many other workers right across the public sector are facing a two year pay freeze. And many other workers right across the public sector are facing higher pension contributions to put their pensions on a sustainable footing.</p> <p>But I know that doesn’t make things any easier. So let me address your concerns. In his report on public sector pensions, Lord Hutton acknowledged that the demands placed on officers are unique, and that the police pension age – the age at which you can retire and draw a pension – should reflect this. </p> <p>So I can announce today that I have agreed with the Chancellor that your pension age should be considered separately from most of the rest of the public sector. Your pay and conditions should be considered in the round, and we will consult on any changes to your pensions through the Police Negotiating Board.</p> <h3>Winsor review</h3> <p>Last year, I said accrued pension rights would be protected – and we’ve kept that commitment. In fact, when it was recognised that police officers should get bigger lump sums when they retired, we made this change immediately. That meant retiring officers could start getting more money in their pockets straight away. We didn’t delay, we didn’t argue – we did what was right.</p> <p>Last year, I told you that we would honour the remainder of the three-year pay deal – and we have, because it was the right thing to do. That means that basic police pay is now 2.55 per cent higher than this time last year.</p> <p>But I also said we would review pay and conditions to make them fair to you and fair to the taxpayer – and that’s what we’re doing.</p> <p>We are taking out costs, we are cutting bureaucracy, we are working with chiefs to focus on savings in the back office.  We are doing everything we can to protect frontline jobs and to minimise the effect of the spending reductions on pay.</p> <p>But the fact remains that changes to pay and conditions have to be part of the package. When 80 per cent of police spending goes on pay, they have to be part of the package. I am sure that every single person in this room – and indeed members of the public outside it - would prefer us to look at pay and conditions rather than lose thousands of posts.</p> <p>That's why I commissioned Tom Winsor to review police pay. I asked him not just to find efficiencies and to modernise the system, but also to design a system that recognises and rewards front line service.</p> <p>I don’t want expert officers, who are doing a tremendous job for the public, to feel they have to go into managerial roles to get ahead in their careers. That’s not right and it’s not fair. Fairness means a system that values your individual contribution, more than your length of service.</p> <p>It means a system that rewards people for what they do, for the skills that they have, and for the weight of the job. That's why Tom Winsor recommended that we should have extra pay for those who have to work unsocial hours – to recognise that many officers work demanding shifts that can affect you and your families.</p> <p>It's why he recommended a new payment to those with specialist skills.</p> <p>It's why he recommended introducing a national on-call allowance for all the Federated ranks.But it’s also why he recommended that police officers on mutual aid should be paid for the hours they work and travel, not some arbitrary standard rate.</p> <p>Tom Winsor's proposals are comprehensive, they're wide-ranging. And they are now being considered by the Police Negotiating Board.</p> <p>I know there are some things in there that you don’t like. But the report contains many proposals that I believe should be welcomed by officers on the frontline. Because overall, the report recommends that the majority of the savings identified should be ploughed straight back in to your pay.</p> <p>That would mean rewarding those with specialist skills, those who are working unsocial hours, and those who are on the frontline.</p> <h3>The deal</h3> <p>But I don’t want to just manage the cuts. I want to make the police service better – for the public and for you.</p> <p>You joined the force because you want to serve the public and fight crime. But you don’t get to spend enough of your time doing that. So let's change it.</p> <p>Police officers I speak to wherever I go tell me they hate acting as couriers for the courts service. They tell me it's not their job to be escorting mildly disruptive patients to hospital.</p> <p>When I visited St Ann's Police Station in Nottingham in March, I met an officer who said to me that he had been out that morning and had made an arrest. But he had had to come back to the station and spend some hours filling in forms when, to use his words, what he wanted to do was to get back out on the streets.</p> <p>I couldn't agree more. Your job is fighting crime – and that’s what I want you doing. When I spoke to you here one year ago, I offered you a deal - more freedom to do your work; in exchange for greater accountability to local people.</p> <p>I have stuck to that deal.</p> <p>So we've scrapped the policing pledge, the confidence target, the PSA targets, the key performance indicators, the local area agreements and all of the other targets that you hated.</p> <p>I know not every force has implemented these changes, but let me make my position clear - I want you chasing criminals, not chasing targets.</p> <p>We’ve given you back discretion over certain charging decisions.</p> <p>We’ve scrapped the national requirement for the stop and account form, and cut the reporting requirements for stop and search.</p> <p>And I’ve sent the message out loud and clear to Home Office officials and to every organisation across the Criminal Justice System – stop wasting police time.</p> <p>So HMIC will be reducing the burden of inspection on you and your forces.</p> <p>The Independent Police Complaints Commission will implement a new approach to handling complaints, which will mean supervising officers dealing with most complaints quickly and informally. And we've just launched a 'live links' video system between the police station and the court room so you can stay on duty, cut your travel time and cut out wasted effort.</p> <p>But all of this is just the start.</p> <p>Last week I announced a series of new reforms that will make a real difference to your day-to-day work. In total they could save well over 2.5 million hours of your time each year.</p> <p>First, we want to restructure your performance development review process, saving you time and improving the way you are managed.</p> <p>This could cut the time each of you spend on your PDR from 10 to 2 hours.</p> <p>Second, we are adopting a more sensible way of managing risks to the public.</p> <p>For example, more efficient call-handling could see more officers dispatched to the genuine priority cases, and could stop you being dispatched to incidents where you’re not needed.</p> <p>Third, we want to simplify crime recording, reducing the amount of data you have to collect.</p> <p>Fourth, we will reduce the guidance you are given from over 600 pieces to fewer than 100.</p> <p>Instead of guidance from on high, we will rely on you to use your professional judgement and common sense. You are the professionals, and you know best how to police our country.</p> <p>Fifth, we will pilot going even further in restoring charging decisions, eventually giving you responsibility for nearly 80% of decisions, including shoplifting cases. And we will look at postal charging to stop you having to bring suspects back to custody to charge them.</p> <p>Finally, we are considering some difficult and sensitive areas. Domestic violence is one of my key priorities and I am clear that it must be taken seriously.</p> <p>In recent years the police have made great strides in dealing with these crimes, with expert teams of officers now doing tremendous work.</p> <p>But some of the processes that have been allowed to grow up actually do not help the most vulnerable.</p> <p>The unnecessary form filling. The double entering of data. By ending these wasteful processes we can free officer time to reinvest in safeguarding those who need help.</p> <p>So we are working on a review of domestic abuse processes. We will then look to pilot proposals in a number of forces. If successful these improved measures will allow more police time to be spent on those most at risk and could potentially save lives.</p> <p>But my ambitions don’t end there. If any of you know of a piece of unnecessary government bureaucracy that we should get rid of then let me know it.</p> <p>Tell me where the red tape is and I will cut it.</p> <p>And my commitment must be matched by chief constables as well. A great deal of the day to day bureaucracy that you encounter is actually generated by your own forces.</p> <p>So I want your bosses across the country to follow our lead.</p> <p>If we've scrapped a form at national level, then there had better be a really good reason for your Chief to keep it at local level. If we’ve done away with a target nationally, then your chiefs should stop getting you to chase it locally. If we’ve got rid of a national regulation, then I don’t want Chiefs to bring in a local replacement.</p> <p>Particularly in these tough times, we need to cut out every possible cost and save every possible minute of wasted time.</p> <p>I said I'd be a Home Secretary who would get off your back, who would free you to do your job, and who would trust you – and I’m delivering on that promise.</p> <h3>Trusting professionals</h3> <p>Because that is what this government is all about. We don't put our trust in performance indicators, targets or regulations.</p> <p>We put our trust in you. We put our trust in the professionals.</p> <p>We won’t ask you to hit any targets or answer to any back-office bureaucrats. We’ll ask you to answer to the public. And for a public service, in a democracy, that's exactly how it should be.</p> <p>So for you that means you'll have to hold beat meetings with local residents – I know many of you do that already, and find it extremely worthwhile.</p> <p>And to make those meetings work, for the first time we have given people everywhere access to street-level crime maps so they can really know what is happening in their communities. </p> <p>For your chiefs, that accountability will mean being answerable to directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners from May next year.</p> <p>It is precisely because we are introducing Police and Crime Commissioners that we are able to dismantle all the bureaucracy and rip up all the red-tape.</p> <p>That's the other side of the deal. No more targets, much less paperwork, real power to you, and real accountability to the people you serve.</p> <p>Taking the tough decisions</p> <p>A lot of money went into policing over the last ten years. But too much of it went into making simple things very complicated. Creating an industry around performance management and league tables, and a forest of manuals and unnecessary bureaucracy.</p> <p>Too little money went on increasing visibility, reform and modernising the service; too much of it went on bureaucrats, auditors and checkers.</p> <p>We have a model of police accountability designed in the 1950s and a model of police pay designed in the 1970s. </p> <h3>Society has moved on</h3> <p>The way people work has moved on. And the way police officers operate has moved on. We need reform to reflect the modern world, modern people’s lives and modern policing. </p> <p>We need to build a 21st century police service, with the office of constable at its heart.</p> <p>The answer is not a Royal Commission. A Royal Commission is for when the problem is a long way off and you don’t know the answer. Well, we need change in policing now.</p> <p>We have a clear and comprehensive vision for the future of policing. The reforms we are introducing will give you the discretion to fight crime. They’ll cut bureaucracy, empower the public, strengthen the fight against organised crime and provide better value for money to the taxpayer.</p> <p>They are the right reforms at the right time.</p> <p>It’s easy for politicians to stand in front of you and tell you exactly what you want to hear – to tell you that they wouldn’t make any changes; that they wouldn’t make any cuts; that they agree with everything you say.</p> <p>Well I’m not that type of politician. I will never just tell you what you want to hear. What I will do is be straight with you.</p> <p>It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to give up, return to the old ways and put back in all the targets and the red-tape. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to ignore Winsor, to back down, to carry on with a system that everyone knows is wrong and needs change.</p> <p>It would be the easiest thing to do. But it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.</p> <p>I'm not here to tell you there aren't tough times ahead.</p> <p>I'm here to get the job done. Because I have a responsibility to the public who elected me to secure the long-term future of the police service.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>Policing is an incredibly difficult job, but it’s an incredibly important job.</p> <p>It's a job like no other. When I think about those officers who died in the line of duty –  young officers like Ronan Kerr, who put himself forward to serve the whole community – and officers like: Constable Ian Swaddling, Detective Sergeant Terry Easterby, Constable Scott Eastwood-Smith, Constable Gary Grieves, Constable Gareth Gallagher - when I think about those brave officers, my sorrow is tinged with pride. Pride that they died doing one of the most honourable and respected jobs there is.</p> <p>And I feel pride too when I visit forces and I talk to officers who are so dedicated, so committed, so passionate.</p> <p>It is these police officers who shield the vulnerable. It is these police officers who bring the guilty to justice. It is these police officers who defend democracy and protect the British way of life.</p> <p>I know it, and I'm going to make sure the public know it. I won’t be able to give you everything you want, I won’t be able to tell you everything you want to hear. I’ll do what’s right by the public and what’s right by the police.</p> <p>Less power to the politicians, more power to the public. Less interference from the bureaucrats, more professional discretion for the police.</p> <p>Less time chasing targets, more time chasing criminals.</p> <p>Because you are the finest police officers in the world and I trust you to get the job done. Thank you.' </p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/police-fed-speech Home Secretary Police federation speech Tuesday, 17 May 2011 Home Office Police Federation Conference 2011
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Thersa May on 16 May 2011. This version is as written, not as delivered.</p> <p>'I'm delighted that so many of you are able to be here today to celebrate the launch of UN Women.</p> <p>I think it’s appropriate that we are at the Royal Society of Arts – an organisation with a long history of supporting women’s rights. Indeed, in 1872 the Society launched a campaign to improve girls' education, so that poor girls would not be denied the opportunities afforded to more fortunate boys.</p> <p>Nearly 150 years later, many countries around the world have had women leaders – including of course the UK and Chile – where our distinguished guest, Michelle Bachelet, was the first woman to be elected President.</p> <p>So it is clear that many countries have come an awfully long way.</p> <p>But it is equally clear that many other countries still have an awfully long way to go.</p> <h3>Remaining challenges</h3> <p>Women still face the greatest share of the world’s development challenges.</p> <p>Almost two thirds of those who cannot read or write are women.</p> <p>Less than 40 per cent of those in paid employment are women; women are paid less; and they have less secure jobs than men.</p> <p>And in conflict zones, and even more disturbingly, often in their own homes, many women are still subjected to systematic violence.</p> <p>What the RSA realised in the 19th century is equally true today – improving the lives of women and girls is right economically, it's right socially, and it's right morally.</p> <p>In development, there are few better options than investing in women.</p> <p>In the Ivory Coast, for example, an increase of just $10 in women’s income achieves the same nutritional and health outcomes for children as an increase of $110 in men’s income.</p> <p>That is because women spend resources in ways that benefit future generations.</p> <p>And better educated girls and women earn more and have healthier children.</p> <p>Providing girls with an extra year of schooling can increase their wages by 10-20 per cent.</p> <p>And in Africa, children of mothers who have received 5 years of primary education are 40% more likely to live beyond the age of 5.</p> <h3>Creation of UN Women</h3> <p>So that is why the UK has put girls and women at the centre of our development efforts.</p> <p>It's why we have been such strong advocates of concerted international action to support women.</p> <p>And it's why we have been such vocal supporters of UN Women.</p> <p>We worked hard to help establish the agency and I want us to continue to work closely with UN women.</p> <p>I see Michelle's visit as a good opportunity to discuss how exactly we can work together to improve the lives of women and girls in this country and around the world.</p> <p>I also see it as an opportunity to consider how best we can engage with the many voluntary organisations and charities that do such tremendous work for women and who I know have lobbied hard for the creation of UN Women.</p> <p>UK and UN women's priorities</p> <p>It's heartening that UN Women’s priorities closely mirror our own domestic policy agenda and our priorities in international development. They include economic empowerment, political participation and preventing violence against women and girls.</p> <p>In the UK we have a comprehensive programme to address each of these areas.</p> <p>On the economic side, just this morning I launched a consultation on modern workplaces.</p> <p>This includes plans to increase the right to request flexible working to all – helping to shift behaviour away from the traditional nine to five model of work that can act as a barrier to so many people and that often doesn’t make sense for many modern businesses.</p> <p>The consultation also includes plans for a new system of flexible parental leave, which will allow parents to make the right choices for their family. And it will help end the state-endorsed stereotype of women doing the caring and men earning the money when a couple start a family.</p> <p>So if fathers want to take more of a role, they can. If mothers want to return to work earlier, they can. If parents want some time at home together at the birth of their child they can. What matters is that they will have a choice.</p> <p>On the political side, the UK has made great strides. We now have more women MPs than ever before. We have more women black and ethnic minority MPs than ever before. And we have the first Muslim woman to serve in the Cabinet.</p> <p>I know from the work I did to increase the number of women candidates, that we can achieve change without resorting to quotas or positive discrimination.</p> <p>But even though we now have the most diverse parliament in our history, it is clear that Britain still has a long way to go.</p> <p>Finally, tackling Violence Against Women and Girls is a key priority for me and for this government.</p> <p>That's why in March we published an Action Plan on tackling Violence Against Women and Girls.</p> <p>It's why we have provided over £28 million of stable Home Office funding until 2015 for local specialist services.</p> <p>It's why we have provided £900,000 until 2015 to support national helplines.</p> <p>And it's why we have implemented legislation for multi-agency Domestic Homicide Reviews after every domestic murder.</p> <p>I know my ministerial colleague at the Home Office, Lynne Featherstone, will be engaging closely with UN Women in her role as overseas champion for tackling violence against women and girls.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>The mandate of UN Women gives it the authority to make a real difference. And it gives UN Women a real chance to hold the international system to account.</p> <p>But most of all, it was crucial that UN Women had a strong leader, with the vision to make sure it has a real impact. Michelle will be that leader.</p> <p>I share Michelle's vision for the agency.</p> <p>We want to see UN Women getting things done on the ground, with a clear focus on delivery of the Millennium Development Goals.</p> <p>It also has a key role to play in advocacy and in ensuring the UN system delivers a more effective gender response.</p> <p>That is why we have provided transitional funding to support Michelle and her team as they get started on this important agenda.</p> <p>We look forward to funding UN Women's strategic plan once it has been adopted by the Executive Board in the coming weeks.</p> <p>As a government, we will support organisations that can deliver results and make a real impact on people's lives.</p> <p>UN Women can be that type of organisation.</p> <p>Thank you.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/un-women Lynne Featherstone UN women speech – Royal Society of Arts Monday, 16 May 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Theresa May on 16 May. This version is as written, not as spoken.</p> <p>'I'm delighted you are all able to join us to launch the Modern Workplaces Consultation.</p> <p>Today marks a significant step in the government's drive to transform and modernise our workplaces to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.</p> <h3>Current system outdated</h3> <p>All of us here in this room will appreciate in some way or other how much we need truly modern workplaces.</p> <p>And you will all realise that the current system has failed to keep up with the demographic and economic changes of the 21st Century.<br>People are working longer. More women are entering the workforce. There are more families with both parents working or single parent families where that parent is working.</p> <p>Right now, most people simply do not have the choice or flexibility they need to meet the demands of the modern workplace.</p> <h3>A new approach</h3> <p>We want a new approach – one where the state has less of a controlling hand over the way parents take their leave.</p> <p>Where employers and employees can sensibly discuss their plans and find a pattern of work that suits the family and the business.</p> <p>And where equality in the workplace is seen as critical to a successful business and a balanced economy.</p> <h3>Flexible working and parental leave</h3> <p>Take flexible working. Introducing the right to request flexible working for some was a positive step. But by limiting that right to parents and carers, it perpetuated the idea that flexible working is some form of special treatment.</p> <p>We want to extend the right to request flexible working to all. We want it to work for older people and people with disabilities or chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis – helping to shift behaviour away from the traditional nine to five model of work that can act as a barrier to so many people and that often doesn’t make sense for many modern businesses.</p> <p>Our new system of flexible parental leave will also allow parents to make the right choices for their family. And it will help end the state-endorsed stereotype of women doing the caring and men earning the money when a couple start a family.</p> <p>So if fathers want to take more of a role, they can. If mothers want to return to work earlier, they can. If parents want some time at home together at the birth of their child they can. What matters is that they will have a choice.</p> <p>But crucially, employers would have the ability to ensure that the leave must all be taken in one continuous period if agreement cannot be reached.</p> <h3>Equal pay</h3> <p>Our programme for modernisng our workplaces also tackles the injustice of unfair pay. Four decades after the 1970 Equal Pay Act, it is a travesty that women in full time work still earn over twelve percent less than men, or twenty two percent less if part-time employees are included.</p> <p>So it's clear that legislation alone is not enough. We have made equal pay a vital part of our agenda, and we believe transparency is the key tool for achieving it.<br>The Equality Act 2010 made gagging clauses that prevent employees discussing their pay unenforceable.</p> <p>Building on this we are currently working with employers to encourage voluntary, non-legislative action to improve transparency on pay and on equality more generally.</p> <p>Employers have made great strides in ensuring equal pay, and we must recognise and build on that progress.</p> <p>We also know that unequal pay is not just down to employers paying women less.</p> <p>The picture is much more complicated than that, and a proper approach to this issue needs to reflect this fact. That is why for example, we are improving careers advice – so that young people are aware of the financial consequences of the career decisions they make.</p> <p>Of course, tough action is needed where employers have not taken adequate steps to ensure they pay men and women fairly, and have clearly broken the law.</p> <p>So we will be requiring pay audits for firms that are found guilty of pay discrimination - unless they can show a good reason why one is not necessary.</p> <p>Changes will bring benefits to business</p> <p>I know there will be some who will question this focus on fairness and flexibility in the current economic climate.</p> <p>We disagree. This is not a burden, it's an opportunity.</p> <p>And some of the most successful companies in the world are leading the way. They are trailblazers, changing the culture of work.</p> <p>Of course, their not just doing this because it makes moral sense; they’re doing it because it makes good business sense.</p> <p>Look at BT - 80 per cent of their staff now work flexibly and as a result the company has saved £500 million on property costs. They’ve seen productivity up 20%, a marked decline in absenteeism and 97 per cent of mothers returning to work after maternity leave.</p> <p>So it is clear that a modern approach can really benefit modern businesses.</p> <p>We are of course aware of the need to avoid unnecessary burdens, particularly on SMEs. But I believe this approach does offer business what they need - access to a larger and more flexible pool of labour. In these tough economic times, companies need to be able to draw on all available talent.</p> <p>This matters to us all.</p> <p>That's why we are starting this consultation – because we want to listen to what you have to say. We want to make sure we find the answers that work for everyone – from board room directors, to entrepreneurs running small firms to parents worried about fitting in the school run.</p> <p>I hope all of you here today will contribute to that conversation, and will encourage others to do the same.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/modern-workplaces Theresa May Launch of the modern workplaces consultation Monday, 16 May 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech on police bureaucracy was delivered by Theresa May on 9 May 2011. This speech is as written, not as spoken</p> <p>'Last year in my very first speech as Home Secretary, I offered the police a deal - more freedom to do your work; in exchange for greater accountability to local people.</p> <p>It is now one year since I made that pledge. Today, I want to update you on what we have done so far; and I want to talk about the next steps in fulfilling that deal.</p> <h3>Progress in Public Accountability</h3> <p>We have made good progress. </p> <p>The legislation for Police and Crime Commissioners has passed through the House of Commons and will shortly enter committee stage in the House of Lords.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners will bring real public accountability to policing.</p> <p>Unlike invisible police authorities, your commissioner will be somebody you’ve heard of; somebody you’ve voted for; somebody you can hold to account; somebody you can vote out if they don’t help the police to cut crime.</p> <p>But they will in no way affect the operational independence of the police. </p> <p>Commissioners will not manage police forces and they will not be permitted to interfere in the day-to-day work of police officers.</p> <p>A protocol setting out the relationship between Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables will make this clear – we will publish a draft of the protocol to inform discussion of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill during committee stage in the House of Lords.</p> <p>Let me be clear - the duty and responsibility of managing a police force will fall squarely on the shoulders of the chief constable – as it always has done. </p> <p>Indeed, we are giving chiefs more power to appoint their top teams. If they are going to be the ones held to account for their force’s performance, then they should have genuine responsibility for their force.</p> <p>The new model of democratic accountability for the police will begin in May next year.</p> <p>But for neighbourhood police officers we’re making this public accountability happen right now.</p> <p>We are mandating forces to hold regular neighbourhood beat meetings. </p> <p>These meetings will give local people the chance to scrutinise the work of their local police. People will be able to raise their concerns: what are local officers doing about the drug dealing in the local park? What’s happening about the pub where all the trouble is? And the police will have to respond.</p> <p>Beat meetings will make the new sense of public accountability a day to day reality for people up and down the country. And they’ll make public accountability a day to day reality for tens of thousands of police officers as well.</p> <p>To make this accountability work, we have already given the public access to the country’s first-ever nationwide street-level crime maps. Armed with this information, people will really be able to hold their officers to account for their performance.</p> <p>Since launching in January, the police.uk website has received over 410 million hits. </p> <p>That just shows the enormous appetite the public have for information about policing and crime in their local area. And it shows just how desperately keen people are to play their part in keeping their communities safe.</p> <p>These reforms add up to a massive transfer of power from the government, to the people.</p> <p>They will be in charge, and every police officer – from chief constables, to the officer on the street – will have to answer to them.</p> <p>For a public service, in a democracy, that is exactly how it should be.</p> <h3>Progress in slashing bureaucracy</h3> <p>But giving power to the people is only half of the deal. This new, democratic accountability means we can do away with the bureaucratic accountability of the past. So we will free the police to do their job. And we’ve made progress here too.</p> <p>I have said loud and clear that the days of the bureaucrats controlling and managing the police from Whitehall are over. </p> <p>The Home Office will no longer scrutinise and supervise police performance and come up endlessly with new schemes and initiatives.</p> <p>So I've responded to incidents like the Cumbria and Northumbria shootings, not with a gun crime summit, or some hasty new legislation, but by respecting the operational independence of the police.</p> <p>And I've responded to the violence at protests in London, not by criticising the police or coming up with some new draconian anti-protest Bill, but by letting the police get on and do their job. Indeed, the police do an excellent job, as we saw again during the Royal Wedding.</p> <p>I’ve also put in place plans to end the ring-fenced funding which restricts the police’s flexibility. From 2013, when police and crime commissioners will set their first budgets, I will end the ring-fencing of all of the central policing grants that we have not already stopped, save only for counter-terrorism.</p> <p>And I’ve scrapped the Policing Pledge and confidence target, the PSA targets, the key performance indicators and the Local Area Agreements. I want police officers chasing criminals, not chasing targets. So I’ve given the police just one single objective – to cut crime. </p> <p>After years of bureaucratic control from Whitehall, which wrapped the police up in red tape and undermined their professional judgement, the message to the police is clear – this government trusts you to fight crime.</p> <p>That’s why we have already restored police discretion over certain charging decisions, saving up to 50,000 police hours per year.</p> <p>That’s why we’ve scrapped the national requirement for the stop and account form, and cut the reporting requirements for stop and search, saving up to an estimated 800,000 police hours per year.</p> <p>And that’s why we’ve issued new health and safety guidance that supports officers who do the right thing – when police officers put themselves at risk to protect the public, they shouldn’t be worrying about breaching the rules.</p> <p>We’ve also given a clear signal to our partners across the Criminal Justice System – and this message is getting through.</p> <p>So Sir Denis’s own organisation - Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary – will now focus on light touch monitoring and inspection and on incentivising local accountability and transparency. They will reduce the burden of inspection on forces by acting as a single gateway.</p> <p>We’ve worked with the Independent Police Complaints Commission to implement a radical new approach to police complaints.</p> <p>This will encourage front line supervising officers to deal with most complaints quickly and informally themselves, rather than relying on lengthy bureaucratic procedures that so often fail to satisfy the public. Most of the time people want a simple apology – not a lengthy form to fill in.</p> <p>And we’ve also started a programme with the Ministry of Justice, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Courts to streamline the processes across the system that generate unnecessary paperwork and waste police time in the station and at court.</p> <h3>Commitment to go further</h3> <p>But this is just the start. I’m determined to go further and faster.</p> <p>I want to get rid of even more of the grinding bureaucracy that wears officers down and stops them doing their important work.</p> <p>Dealing with a simple burglary can require 1000 process steps and 70 forms to be completed as a case goes through the Criminal Justice System. That can’t be right.</p> <p>Today I can announce a raft of reforms that we estimate could save over 2.5 million police hours every year. That’s the equivalent of more than 1,200 police officer posts.</p> <p>These reforms are a watershed moment in policing. They show that we really mean business in busting bureaucracy.</p> <p>First, we have restructured the police performance development review process. This move will not only save time, but will also improve police management. And it could save up to 1.5 million police hours per year. </p> <p>This month we will launch an 'assumption of competence' model. This is based on the simple premise that most trained and experienced police officers and staff are competent and their line manager’s observation will therefore provide most of the management evidence needed.</p> <p>This shorter and more straightforward PDR process will change a bureaucratic burden into a sharp and meaningful conversation about performance, development and skills.</p> <p>If this is accepted by all forces we estimate it could cut the time spent on each officer or staff member’s PDR from 10 to 2 hours each year.</p> <p>We’re also working with the police to streamline other aspects of their HR. For example, until January there were over 35,000 different role profiles – definitions of skills, standards and qualities – for officers and staff across the service. And the role profile for a constable alone could reach up to 70 pages.</p> <p>The new Policing Professional Framework is drastically reducing the number of profiles and is also simplifying them so that now the role profile of a constable can fit on to one side of A4.</p> <p>Second, risk management. We need to move away from the tick box, cover your back culture – where the response is rigidly prescribed according to the type of problem reported. And instead we need to adopt a more sensible way of managing risks to the public.</p> <p>For example, more efficient call-handling, often by staff rather than police officers, and active assessment of risks could mean more effective grading of incidents.</p> <p>This would see more officers dispatched to the genuine priority incidents; allowing less urgent matters to be resolved by phone, or by an officer attending at a later time. </p> <p>Of course, if something is urgent it should be treated as such, but we estimate that a more sophisticated approach to assessing and managing risk could save up to 860,000 hours of police time.</p> <p>Third, we will champion a simplified crime recording process. As a starting point, this means challenging forces to simplify their own practices, but I don’t want to stop there. </p> <p>At my request, the National Statistician is currently reviewing crime statistics. I do not want to pre-empt her report, and indeed she is discussing her emerging findings with experts today, but I specifically want to look at reducing the number of crime categories and merging some similar crime types.</p> <p>This would help officers when they come to fill out crime reports, saving them time and reducing the amount of data they have to collect for more minor crimes.</p> <p>We estimate that this could save up to 95,000 hours of police officer time each year.</p> <p>I am clear that the public need to have transparent and trusted information on crime – and our crime maps have already helped with that – but we need to be smart about how we deliver it.</p> <p>Fourth, Sara Thornton, the Chief Constable of my own local force Thames Valley, is leading work on behalf of ACPO to review the police service’s doctrine and guidance. This work, which will be completed by March 2012, is likely to reduce over 600 pieces of current guidance to an approved set of fewer than 100. This should lead to significant savings for officers as they will no longer have to read and learn all of this guidance.</p> <p>But just as important, it will send a clear signal that the professional judgement of individual officers is valued and it is expected. </p> <p>This is a great example of a service led contribution to cutting police paperwork. </p> <p>But let me make clear, individual forces must not respond to this valuable work by re-inventing 43 versions of the national guidance that has been scrapped – we are not removing these burdens only for them to be reintroduced at local level.</p> <p>Fifth, we will pilot going even further in restoring charging decisions to police officers, a step we are taking because of the Crown Prosecution Service’s views of the positive and effective ways in which the police have responded to the reforms I announced last year. </p> <p>Rising to the challenge, the CPS and the police have worked together to ensure that officers are properly supported and victims are properly protected as we cut back bureaucracy.</p> <p>And across the country, instead of waiting around in custody suites, officers are already saving time because of the changes we have made.</p> <p>So now, following discussions with the CPS and the police, we will go further.</p> <p>We will pilot doubling the number of charges transferred to police officers, giving them responsibility for nearly 80% of charging decisions, including shoplifting cases.</p> <p>This will save even more officer time, stopping them from having to ring up the Crown Prosecution Service to make the decision for them, or having to bail the offender to come back at a later date.</p> <p>This dramatic shift would further enhance officers’ discretion and once again demonstrates the trust we put in our police officers. </p> <p>If the pilot is successful and is rolled out fully, it could save up to an estimated 40,000 more hours of police officer time.</p> <p>We are also looking at introducing a range of measure to provide a new, simpler and potentially quicker way of bringing a defendant to court for a prosecution. This includes postal charging and requisitioning. </p> <p>For appropriate police bail cases, this will allow officers to send a written charge by post, requiring the defendant to attend court on a specific date to answer the charge, rather than calling the suspect back to the police station for charging. This could save up to another 40,000 police officer hours annually.</p> <p>Finally, if we’re serious about tackling police bureaucracy, that will also mean looking at some difficult and sensitive areas.</p> <p>Let me be clear - I will always put public safety first. But some of the processes that have been allowed to grow up do not help the most vulnerable.</p> <p>Domestic violence is one of my key priorities. That’s why in March we published an Action Plan on tackling Violence Against Women and Girls. That’s why we have provided over £28 million of stable Home Office funding until 2015 for local specialist services. That’s why we have provided £900,000 until 2015 to support national helplines. And that’s why we have implemented legislation for multi-agency Domestic Homicide Reviews after every domestic murder.</p> <p>I am clear that domestic violence must be taken seriously. In recent years the police have made great strides in how they deal with these crimes, with expert teams of officers who do tremendous work.</p> <p>But the bureaucratic burden of existing processes too often stop those experts from giving help to all of the victims of this awful crime.</p> <p>Too often officers have to spend time filling in forms which may not be necessary or double entering data that could and should have been captured just once. </p> <p>They can only do so much – they can only help so many victims – when there is so much duplication, double-entry and wider bureaucracy.</p> <p>By ending these wasteful processes we can free officers to reinvest time and resources in safeguarding those who need help - including those, like domestic abuse victims who are under 18, who may have previously been neglected.</p> <p>This isn’t about saving money – it’s about delivering a better service to vulnerable people. </p> <p>This sort of approach would enhance public protection, not lessen it; it would improve the police response to these crimes, not hamper it.</p> <p>ACPO have initiated a review of police domestic abuse processes with other relevant organisations. We will work with them to ensure best practice is effectively shared and seized upon by forces. And we will of course be working with NGOs with expertise in this area.</p> <p>The next step will be to pilot the proposals in a number of police forces. If the pilots are successful, and if these improved measures are then rolled out across the country, they could achieve significant benefits, allowing more police time to be re-invested in those most at risk.</p> <h3>Overall Package</h3> <p>The overall package of reforms I have outlined today is a radical leap forward for policing.</p> <p>I know Home Secretaries and Policing Ministers have talked about cutting bureaucracy in the past.</p> <p>But they have not followed it through, and the police have seen more bureaucracy, not less.</p> <p>The progress we have made in the last year, and the detail of the measures I have announced today shows that we are serious about slashing bureaucracy</p> <p>As I said, these measures could realise savings of over 2.5 million police hours – or more than 1,200 police officer posts - every year.</p> <p>They will make a real difference to real police officers in their real work.</p> <h3>Working with the Police</h3> <p>The reforms I have announced today have been developed in close partnership with police professionals. Many of the suggestions stem from work by HMIC and, of course, Jan Berry has previously made excellent suggestions in this area. Chris Sims, the Chief Constable of the West Midlands, is now leading for ACPO on the reducing bureaucracy agenda and he is doing an excellent job. </p> <p>Tomorrow, the Policing Minister Nick Herbert will be addressing a joint Home Office/ACPO conference, alongside Chris.<br>At that conference Nick will be discussing with police officers exactly how we can make these changes happen in every one of our 43 forces.</p> <p>Because it will be key for the reforms I have outlined to be carried through by individual forces and individual officers at the local level. The potential rewards for the police are enormous, but they must make them happen.</p> <p>Nick will also be making further new announcements about the wider bureaucracy and efficiency savings we are planning across the Criminal Justice System as a whole. </p> <p>This is the great benefit of having a Minister who spans the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice – he can look strategically across the whole system to redesign the processes that waste so much officer time.</p> <h3>Challenge to Chiefs</h3> <p>I have made a clear commitment today that the government is determined to get rid of the unnecessary bureaucracy generated from the centre.</p> <p>But this commitment must be matched by police forces themselves. </p> <p>I have instructed my officials to exhaustively check each and every requirement that the Home Office generates, so that I am satisfied that there is nothing – and I do mean nothing – that my department does which unnecessarily adds to the burden. </p> <p>Any police officer that knows of government bureaucracy that we should get rid of should write to me or to Nick Herbert and we will make sure it is looked at.</p> <p>But a great deal of the day to day bureaucracy that police officers encounter is actually generated by their own force.</p> <p>So I want police forces across the country to follow our lead. Every single senior police officer should be asking themselves what they personally are doing to rid their officers of red tape. </p> <p>If we’ve scrapped a form at national level, then there had better be a really good reason for keeping it at local level. If we’ve done away with a target nationally, then stop chasing it locally. If we’ve got rid of a national regulation, then don’t bring in a local replacement.</p> <p>That goes for police forces, but it will also apply to Police and Crime Commissioners, Community Safety Partnerships, the Courts, the Crown Prosecution Service, Probation and everyone else in the Criminal Justice System.</p> <p>Particularly in these tough times, we need to cut out every possible cost and save every possible minute of wasted time.</p> <p>And that challenge extends beyond bureaucracy. </p> <p>Because of the financial crisis left behind by the last government, police forces are having to make savings in their back and middle office functions to protect their frontline crime fighting capabilities.</p> <p>But this must be done intelligently – there’s no point in a police force cutting its HR function if that just means the burden falls on warranted officers instead – that is not a saving at all. Forces need to remove the burden altogether.</p> <p>There are examples across the country of chief officers who are already making sensible savings to protect the frontline: in Avon and Somerset they are using outsourcing to make significant savings. Essex and Kent are sharing IT directors. Hampshire and Thames Valley Police are doing the same.</p> <p>These are all examples of chief officers using their professional judgement to best deploy their resources in the fight against crime.</p> <p>They didn’t wait for the Home Office to tell them what to do – they got on and did it.</p> <p>This is the challenge to chief officers. But it’s also an enormous opportunity. </p> <p>Because they’ll no longer have the Home Office looking over their shoulder, they will be truly freed to show what they and their forces can do. Because there will be much less paperwork, they’ll be able to get their officers back on the fight against crime.</p> <h3>Changing the Culture</h3> <p>Dealing with police bureaucracy isn’t just about cutting out unnecessary forms – as important as that is. It’s also about redesigning whole systems and whole ways of doing things. That sort of transformative change can come from the bottom up – from forces themselves – as well as from the top down.<br> <br>But even more than this, it’s about changing the prevailing culture.<br> <br>When the first response of the previous government to a tragedy was to change the law, have an inquiry, write more guidance, second guess the officers involved – it’s no wonder that we ended up with a tick-box, compliance culture in policing.<br> <br>Well times have changed.<br> <br>I know that police officers can only ever judge a situation as they find it. When they confront a violent offender, when they go into a dangerous situation unarmed, when they put their lives on the line to protect the public, police officers have to make split second judgements under the most extreme pressure. If police officers do something wrong then they will always be responsible for their actions, but this government will always back officers who do the right thing.<br> <br>The police are in the business of stopping tragedies before they happen. And it’s those successes that happen day in, day out that never get reported in the media. But unfortunately, despite the police’s best efforts, sometimes things do go wrong. I understand that and I will never blame the police for making decisions that they believed at the time were right.<br> <br>We’ve stopped the weary cycle of over-reaction, inquiries, blame, legislation, codes and guidance, and blanket remedial training for all. We will take a different approach – we will trust the police.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>So we’re delivering on the deal.</p> <p>We’re keeping our promise to the police to get the government out of the way of policing, and we’re keeping our promise to the public to put them back in charge.<br> <br>We’ve done away with the diktats, we’ve scrapped the central targets, and we’re ripping up the red-tape.<br> <br>We’re giving power back to the people through directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners, beat meetings and crime mapping.<br> <br>But this is not the end of the road, it’s just the beginning.<br> <br>We won’t change cultures, attitudes and processes over night. Getting rid of the paperwork is as hard and grinding a task, as actually filling out the pointless forms in the first place.<br> <br>But I am absolutely determined to see this through.<br> <br>I will lead, but police Chiefs need to lead too.<br> <br>I want to see a police force trusted by the public, responsive to their needs; professional, respected and effective.<br> <br>I want officers out from behind their desks and back on the streets.<br> <br>I want to see police officers with the discretion to do what they think is right; free from the interference of Whitehall, free to do their job, free to fight crime.<br> <br>Thank you.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/one-year-on Theresa May The deal: one year on Monday, 09 May 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Home Secretary Theresa May on 29 June, 2011. This version is as delivered, not as spoken. Content deemed political has been removed.</p> <p>'I'm delighted to be here today to open this important Reform and KPMG summit on value for money in policing.</p> <p>I accepted Reform and KPMG's invitation to come here because this is such a vital subject.</p> <p>KPMG have done some tremendous work over the last few years, in partnership with the Home Office, through the groundbreaking Operation Quest programme.</p> <p>Operation Quest has improved value for money and generated savings of more than one hundred million pounds per year, while at the same time driving improved frontline performance.</p> <p>For the police, Quest has meant savings of, on average, £10 for every £1 invested. For the public, Quest has meant improved handling of their calls for help, better quality criminal investigations and more offenders brought to justice.</p> <p>Reform is now one of the UK's leading think tanks. And let me just say up-front that I am not just here because of what Reform has said recently about the Home Office.</p> <p>In Reform's 2011 scorecard they described our policing policy as 'a model package'.</p> <p>Reform went on: 'The government is making police services accountable in the right way, to their local electorates. It is conducting an independent review of the pay and conditions of the police workforce. It is arguing that the police should deliver value for money and that there is no simple link between resources and crime.'</p> <p>Fine words, and I just hope that every noble Lord in the upper chamber has heard them!</p> <p>It's the first of Reform’s statements that I believe is the most important - our policing reforms truly are a package. That package addresses the major problems in British policing today.</p> <p>But equally important for this conference to understand, is that the primary purpose of our policing reform package is not about saving money. It is about cutting crime and protecting the public.</p> <h3>Problems</h3> <p>Our reforms are designed to address a series of linked problems. First, crime is still too high. Despite spending more on criminal justice than any other comparable nation, Britain remains a high-crime country.</p> <p>Second, for too long local people have been excluded from local policing decisions.</p> <p>Police forces are public services, operating in a democracy. They should be accountable to local people.</p> <p>Third, red tape has tied up police officers and stopped them doing their job - fighting crime.</p> <p>Fourth, at the same time as it meddled in local policing and imposed more and more paperwork on officers, central government neglected national and international level crime.</p> <p>And fifth, we now face all of these problems at the same time as we have to deal with the largest deficit in our peacetime history.</p> <h3>Reducing crime</h3> <p>Britain has some of the finest and most courageous police officers in the world.</p> <p>A Conservative Home Secretary, Robert Peel, gave us the model of modern day policing.</p> <p>Policing by consent.</p> <p>Policing of the public, by police who are the public.And policing built on the foundations of the office of constable.</p> <p>That model has served us well.</p> <p>But Peel also laid down the principle that the best proof of the complete efficiency of the police should be the absence of crime.</p> <p>Well, we certainly do not have that.</p> <p>We currently spend 2.8 per cent of GDP on criminal justice and policing. That is more than any other country in the OECD.</p> <p>And yet last year the British Crime Survey suggested there were 9.5 million crimes in England and Wales, and the risk of being a victim of crime was over 20per cent.</p> <p>Added to that, the level of violent crime remains unacceptably high. The police are recording more than 1,000 incidents of grievous bodily harm or actual bodily harm and about 100 incidents of serious knife crime every day. Muggings and stranger violence remain stubbornly high – more than 1 million offences last year according to the British Crime Survey. </p> <p>So crime remains too high.</p> <h3>Public accountability</h3> <p>The old approach to dealing with this persistent crime was to try to take control of everything from the centre. And so came the targets, initiatives and bureaucracy. And yes, bucketfuls of public money too.</p> <p>That approach was as misguided as it was unsustainable.</p> <p>The default approach of throwing more money at the problem is simply no longer an option. Quite the contrary, as everyone at this conference will know.</p> <p>But that policy approach was as damaging to policing as the fiscal approach was damaging to our economy.</p> <p>The obsession with targets and bureaucracy led to officers carrying out activity that was frankly bizarre and sometimes even counter-productive.</p> <p>There are examples from the vaguely amusing – like snowball fights being recorded as violent crimes - to the more serious – like the recording of attempts to force open doors or windows, not as burglaries, but as criminal damage in order to keep burglary figures down. Or the massaging of violent crime figures by officers stopping dealing with offenders for public order offences, which count as violent crime, and dealing with them instead for being drunk and disorderly, which falls outside recorded crime altogether.</p> <p>Targets drive perverse incentives; accountability drives improved performance.</p> <p>So we are transforming police accountability.</p> <p>Instead of bureaucratic accountability to Whitehall, we will introduce true democratic accountability to the public through directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners will ensure that local policing priorities are focused on what local people want, not on what central government thinks they want.</p> <p>This simple fact, combined with neighbourhood beat meetings and street level crime mapping, will truly connect the public back with their local police.</p> <p>And as the Police and Crime Commissioner will also set the police budget, and the level of council tax precept that local people will pay towards policing, they will have a strong incentive and a real mandate to drive efficiencies and to secure value for money.</p> <h3>Reducing bureaucracy</h3> <p>But the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners means we can get the Home Office off the backs of the police.</p> <p>That's why I've put in place plans to end the ring-fenced funding which restricts the police's flexibility.</p> <p>From 2013, when police and crime commissioners will set their first budgets, I will end the ring-fencing of all of the central policing grants that we have not already stopped, save only for counter-terrorism.</p> <p>It's why I’ve scrapped the Policing Pledge and confidence target, the PSA targets, the key performance indicators and the Local Area Agreements. I want police officers chasing criminals, not chasing targets. So I've given the police just one single objective – to cut crime.</p> <p>And it's also why I have announced a whole series of measures aimed at scrapping police bureaucracy and restoring officer discretion.</p> <p>We've already scrapped the national requirement for the stop and account form, and cut the reporting requirements for stop and search, saving up to an estimated 800,000 police hours per year.</p> <p>We've also restored police discretion over certain charging decisions, saving up to 50,000 police hours per year.</p> <p>And we've issued new health and safety guidance that supports officers who do the right thing.</p> <p>But I'm determined to go further.</p> <p>That’s why in May I announced a series of new measures that show we really mean business in busting bureaucracy.</p> <p>They include streamlined HR and crime recording processes, better risk management, a bonfire of doctrine and further charging discretion handed back to officers.</p> <p>In total they could save well over 2.5 million hours of police time each year.</p> <p>That’s time that can be better spent on the frontline.</p> <p>And I want to see Chief Officers following my lead and making it a personal priority to cut their officers’ bureaucracy.</p> <h3>National crime</h3> <p>As we get central government out of the way of local policing, we can place the focus where it should have been all along – on the fight against national and international level crime.</p> <p>Sir Paul Stephenson said last year that our current law enforcement response is only impacting in a meaningful way on 11 per cent of the estimated 6000 organised crime groups operating in the UK.</p> <p>That is not good enough.</p> <p>So I have announced the creation of a new National Crime Agency, a powerful body of operational crime fighters.</p> <p>The NCA will tackle organised crime, secure our borders, fight financial and economic crime, and protect vulnerable children and young people.</p> <p>The NCA will harness intelligence and analysis. It will have specialist capabilities and enforcement powers.</p> <p>Accountable to the Home Secretary, and with a senior chief constable at its head, the NCA will be an integral part of our law enforcement community, with strong links to local police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners, the UK Border Agency and other agencies.</p> <p>We will back up that enhanced operational capability by publishing the country’s first ever cross-government organised crime strategy.</p> <h3>Savings</h3> <p>So it is clear that while many of our reforms will lead to savings, that is not the driving force behind them.</p> <p>We are introducing Police and Crime Commissioners to better connect police forces with the communities they serve.</p> <p>We are scrapping bureaucracy so police officers can focus on fighting crime.</p> <p>And we are introducing the National Crime Agency to improve the fight against national and international level crime.</p> <p>But when we face the largest budget deficit in our peacetime history, it is clear that the police service must play its part in making the savings necessary to secure our economic future.</p> <p>That is the final pillar of our reform programme.</p> <p>Our starting point is HMIC's report Valuing the Police. That report found that £1.15 billion per year – or 12 per cent of national police funding - could be saved if only the least efficient police forces brought themselves up to the average level of efficiency.</p> <p>But I say that all forces must raise themselves up to the level, not of the average, but of the most efficient forces.</p> <p>That could add another £350 million of savings to those calculated in HMIC's report.</p> <p>But HMIC also did not consider all areas of police spending. They didn’t consider IT and procurement for example.</p> <p>It makes absolutely no sense for the police to be procuring things in 43 different ways. It makes absolutely no sense for the police to have 2,000 different IT systems across 43 forces, as they do at present.</p> <p>With a national, joined-up approach, with better contracts, more joint purchasing, a smaller number of different IT systems and greater private sector involvement we could save another £350 million and again, that is over and above the savings which HMIC have identified.</p> <p>There is significant work underway in the Home Office and in the police service at the moment to decide how we can realise these savings. I will announce further details during the summer.</p> <p>HMIC also did not consider pay, because it was outside their remit.</p> <p>But in an organisation like the police, where £11 billion – 80 per cent of total revenue spending – goes on pay, there is no question that pay restraint and pay reform must form part of the package.</p> <p>That is why we believe – subject to any recommendations from the Police Negotiating Board – that the there should be a two year pay freeze in policing, just as there has been across the public sector.</p> <p>That would save at least £350 million – again, on top of HMIC's savings.</p> <p>At the same time, Tom Winsor is reviewing police pay and conditions to make them fair to police officers and fair to the taxpayer.</p> <p>The first part of Tom Winsor’s report proposed rewarding those with specialist skills, those who are working unsocial hours, and those who are on the frontline.</p> <p>The proposals are being considered by the police negotiating bodies and we will consider their recommendations carefully.</p> <p>If implemented, Tom Winsor’s proposals would give the police service the flexibility it needs to operate in the modern era.</p> <p>The proposals would enable modern management practices to be implemented.</p> <p>They would help the leaders of the service to manage their budgets, maximise officer and staff deployment to frontline roles, and enable frontline services to be maintained and improved.</p> <p>So the Winsor report is categorically not just about making savings – it’s about reforming the police to give chiefs the flexibility to lead.</p> <h3>Fundamental reform</h3> <p>Better ICT and procurement, greater frontline, back office and middle office efficiency and a two year pay freeze - these savings together amount to £2.2 billion a year. That is more than the £2.1 billion real terms reduction in central government funding to the police, and even that does not include the potential savings from Winsor or the additional funding that individual forces get from the local precept.</p> <p>But – and this is crucially important – all of these savings can be made without reducing frontline services. The challenge for the police – and for this conference to consider – is to actually implement those savings.</p> <p>I do not underestimate the scale of that challenge.</p> <p>Minor improvements here and there will not be sufficient. Doing what has always been done, but just a little bit better, won’t be enough.</p> <p>What is needed is a fundamental systems approach – looking from top to bottom at whole policing processes.</p> <p>That should start with knowledge of what the public actually want – and Police and Crime Commissioners will hugely help with that.</p> <p>That knowledge should be combined with police officer’s experience of what is effective at cutting crime and what services are really needed.</p> <p>It must then consider how those services can be most efficiently delivered, from the start of the process, through to the very end.</p> <p>That's exactly what they’ve done in West Yorkshire, where they have freed up almost half of their Neighbourhood Policing Team from wasteful activity, so they can instead do proactive work with the public.</p> <p>It’s what they’ve done in Devon and Cornwall, where they are saving more than 5,000 officer hours per year through improved deployment.</p> <p>And it’s what they’ve done in Greater Manchester, where they have cut the average time between when a crime is reported and when the case is closed from over 50 days, down to just 6.</p> <p>Today you are going to hear about three more case studies that show that saving does not automatically have to mean a reduced service – they show that savings can go hand in hand with a better service to the public.</p> <p>I’m not saying it isn't difficult. And I’m not saying that Quest is the answer to everything. But the Quest approach is an example of the sort of change I am talking about.<br>The right response to budgetary pressures is not just blind cuts. The right response is transformative change.</p> <p>The right response is to look at all the tired old ways of doing things with a fresh pair of eyes - it's to not accept the answer “but that’s the way we’ve always done things”.</p> <p>The right response is to make changes that save money and improve services.</p> <p>Salami slicing of budgets is not what’s needed. What’s needed is fundamental reform.</p> <p>The result will not only be monetary savings. It will be lower crime, safer communities and a more satisfied, more confident and better served public.</p> <p>This is key. I don’t just want to see the cuts managed. I want to see policing improved.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>Our policing policy is a complete package of reforms.</p> <p>We will place power in the hands of local people, giving them a proper say in how their area is policed. We will place trust in police officers, giving them back their discretion and freeing them to fight crime.</p> <p>We will place government’s emphasis where it should be, giving a focus to national and international level crime. And we will place the needs of the country first, giving priority to making savings, while protecting the frontline police services that are so vital to our communities.</p> <p>Local problems prioritised. Public accountability enhanced.Bureaucracy scrapped. National crime tackled. And value for money secured.</p> <p>That is a clear, coherent and comprehensive package.</p> <p>It will deliver savings. But most of all, it will help the police cut crime.</p> <p>Thank you.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/vfm-policing Theresa May Value for money in policing summit Wednesday, 29 Jun 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was delivered by the Home Secretary on Tuesday 12th July 2011. This version of the speech is as written.</p> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>Thank you Jonathan for that introduction.</p> <p>The first duty of any government is to protect the British public.</p> <p>And it is my privilege, as Home Secretary, to work every day with people like Jonathan who have dedicated their lives to discharging that duty.</p> <p>Last week, I attended the memorial for the victims of the 7th July London bombings.</p> <p>There is no more powerful reminder of the gravity of the threat we face as a country.</p> <p>Today, we publish a new counter-terrorism strategy that is our response to that continuing and evolving threat.</p> <h3>Strategic Context</h3> <p>2011 has been a momentous year in counter-terrorism.</p> <p>We have witnessed dramatic events – events that are, as we speak, changing the nature of the threat we face.</p> <h3>Change in North Africa and the Middle East</h3> <p>The "Arab Spring" has shown that the desire for dignity, democracy, and a decent standard of living are universal. They cannot be held back.</p> <p>The exposure of that simple fact is an enormous threat to Al Qa'ida. It exposes its ideology as a sham.</p> <p>Al Qa'ida’s ideology has long held that the only way to overturn the existing governments in the Arab and Muslim majority world was through indiscriminate violence.</p> <p>The Arab Spring has shown how wrong that is.</p> <p>As people struggle for their rights in countries across the region, they have recognised a simple truth - they will not achieve the freedom and prosperity they want by murdering civilians. Al Qa'ida has been utterly irrelevant.</p> <p>The governments of Tunisia and Egypt were not overturned by violence or by terrorism, but by popular protest, by the public rising up and saying "no more".</p> <p>In other, more modern and more moderate states we are seeing governments starting to adapt to the wishes of their people. They are now engaged in a process of constructive change.</p> <p>But in some countries like Syria, Libya and Yemen we are seeing more prolonged struggle. Their regimes are too entrenched to make concessions, their methods too brutal, and their rulers too despotic and too militant for them to even consider change. But the will of the people is clear.</p> <p>There remains a long way to go in this story, and we must remember that change for the better is not inevitable. In fact, change presents a risk as well as an opportunity. There is a chance that the Arab Spring does not bloom; that new repressive regimes replace old ones; that they give way to new and more dangerous regimes; or that terrorists gain the space and power that they lacked under the autocratic regimes of the past.</p> <p>In Libyan airspace, British forces are in action, alongside our allies, fighting to make sure this does not happen.</p> <p>But we know that the instability in Libya has enabled Al Qa'ida’s North African affiliate, Al Qa'ida in the Maghreb, to seize weapons from military sources.</p> <p>In other countries where the state fails, like Yemen, there may also be new opportunities for terrorist groups.</p> <p>Al Qa'ida’s regional affiliate, Al Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, already has something of a safe-haven within areas of southern Yemen.</p> <p>Now, the breakdown of law and order in parts of the country, and the departure to Saudi Arabia of President Saleh on 4 June this year, has enabled AQ-AP to seize further territory, weapons and material from the Yemeni armed forces.</p> <p>So the Arab Spring brings with it huge opportunity – for us and for the people of the region - but it also carries risks.</p> <p>It has significantly damaged Al Qa'ida’s ideology of violence as the only solution.</p> <p>And in the long-run, political and economic development may well mean fewer angry and dispossessed young men turning to terrorism.</p> <p>But in the meantime, the further breakdown in law and order might be exploited by terrorists.</p> <h3>Death of Bin Laden</h3> <p>Six months after the start of the Tunisian uprising, the results of the Arab Spring are still not certain.</p> <p>And two months after the death of Osama Bin Laden, the full impact of his demise is, also, still not entirely clear.</p> <p>For many years now, coordinated international action has been weakening Al Qa'ida.</p> <p>The leadership group of Al Qai'da, based primarily in Pakistan, is now weaker than at any time since 9/11.</p> <p>Their ability to conduct terrorist attacks has been reduced severely by American military and security operations – specifically drone strikes – as well as by the operations of the Pakistani military and security agencies, and our coalition allies in Afghanistan.</p> <p>Many have been killed, captured, or dispersed.</p> <p>Communications, training and operational planning has been significantly disrupted.</p> <p>They have been forced to rely on other terrorist groups in the region for support and for basic supplies.</p> <p>Intelligence tells us that Bin Laden's death has only added to this disruption.</p> <p>Al Qa'ida’s operations and decision making have been further damaged. Bin Laden was a more central figure and more pivotal leader than we knew. A gap has been left which might never be filled.</p> <p>As we expected, Ayman al-Zawahiri has been named as Bin Laden’s successor. But the length of time taken to formally appoint al-Zawahiri – who was for many years Al Qa'ida's number two – suggests that he is a somewhat divisive and mistrusted figure.</p> <p>Though it has proved resilient in the past, Al Qa'ida as a centralised command and control organisation may not survive the fall of Bin Laden and the rise of democracy in the Arab and Muslim majority world.</p> <p>But, increasingly, the threat to Britain comes not just from Al Qa'ida's core leadership itself, but from these so called Al Qa'ida's affiliates – in places like Yemen and North Africa, that I have already mentioned – and from associated groups like Al Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.</p> <p>That is why yesterday’s change to the domestic threat level does not mean the overall threat we face has fallen.</p> <p>The domestic threat level from Al Qa'ida inspired terrorism is now judged to be substantial, meaning an attack is a strong possibility and could occur without further warning.</p> <p>But the threat level we face from other countries is higher. A key principle of CONTEST is that we must tackle that threat at source, rather than waiting for it to come to our shores.</p> <p>And we must also remember that the threat level to Great Britain from Northern Irish Related Terrorism remains substantial.</p> <p>We already know, from the attempted bombing over Detroit in Christmas 2009 and the cargo bomb plot which was stopped at East Midlands airport last October, that the threat to the UK from Al Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula – based in Yemen – is very real.</p> <p>We know that people from Britain are travelling to Yemen and Somalia to engage in terrorist related activity.</p> <p>And we know from recent convictions that AQ-AP is also active within the UK itself.</p> <p>These groups may use the Al Qa'ida name but they often appear to operate without reference to the Al Qa'ida leadership.</p> <p>Therefore, the loss of Bin Laden may not significantly affect their operational capability – they will continue to seek to strike within Yemen, the wider region and against the West.</p> <h3>CONTEST</h3> <p>So it is clear that we are at a moment of significant change. That change brings opportunities and it brings threats. At the same time as we seek to seize the opportunities, we must also guard against the threats.</p> <p>That is why our new counter-terrorism strategy is so important.</p> <p>It is both comprehensive and wide-ranging. It deals with grand strategic issues and detailed technological points.</p> <p>The new CONTEST remains based on the familiar four Ps of Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare, but there will be significant changes within the strategy.</p> <p>It shows we will continue to work hard, including with our international partners, to maintain our intelligence coverage of the threats we face.</p> <p>It sets out how we will seek to prosecute more of those we know are engaged in terrorist related activity.</p> <p>It gives us a better targeted and more effective Prevent programme; it learns the lessons from 7/7, Mumbai and other attacks; and it prepares us for the Olympics.</p> <h3>Identifying and Prosecuting Terrorists</h3> <p>The intelligence reports I receive every day make clear the seriousness of the threat we face.</p> <p>There has been progress over the last few years.</p> <p>Collaboration between the police and the security and intelligence agencies has continued to get better.</p> <p>And at a local level the Police Counter Terrorism Network gives a strong interaction with local police forces, local Government and, crucially, local communities.</p> <p>But technological change and the diversification of the threat, is making maintaining proper intelligence coverage increasingly difficult.</p> <p>And the police and the security service continue to identify far more people engaged in terrorist related activity in this country than we have been able to successfully prosecute and convict.<br>These are real concerns.</p> <p>And that is why our new strategy places improving intelligence coverage and prosecuting terrorists at the heart of our approach.</p> <h3>Prosecution</h3> <p>Between January 2009 and December 2010 over 600 people were arrested for terrorist related offences in the UK.  That is more than in any other European country.</p> <p>But not all of those arrested can be prosecuted. And not all of those identified covertly can even be arrested.</p> <p>In many cases, there is plenty of intelligence but not much hard evidence that we can put before a jury.</p> <p>The difficulty is deciding how to deal with those people who we know from intelligence are extremely dangerous, but who we do not have enough evidence to prosecute and convict.</p> <p>If they are foreign nationals, we will try to deport them. But if they face the real risk of torture on their return then, given our human rights obligations, we cannot remove them.</p> <p>Even when they do not face, in our judgement, a serious risk of mistreatment on return, then Court interpretations of the European Convention of Human Rights have sometimes prevented us from returning dangerous terrorists to their countries of origin.</p> <p>And if they are born and bred in Britain, then obviously we can’t just send them away.</p> <p>What to do with people in these circumstances has been a matter of great controversy in our politics for some time.</p> <p>Our approach will combine tough, targeted restrictions under the new Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures with significantly increased resources for covert surveillance and investigation, new measures to support prosecutions, and a renewed effort to get assurances from foreign governments to allow us to deport foreign terrorist suspects.</p> <p>The TPIMs package gives us the public protection measures we need, combined with increased resources for the police and Security Service, which are aimed at producing more evidence for use in possible prosecutions.</p> <p>Added to this will be a new effort to gain public and verifiable assurances from foreign governments that suspects will not be mistreated. This will allow the return of more foreign terrorist suspects to their home countries. We will use existing assurance arrangements; agree new assurance arrangements with more countries; and, where appropriate, seek assurances for individual cases, rather than relying solely on over-arching agreements, which can be difficult to negotiate.</p> <p>We must also do more with foreign governments to help them prosecute terrorists. In those countries where Al Qa'ida is most active, prosecution of terrorists is almost non-existent. We can help them to do better.</p> <p>At the same time, we will support prosecution at home by making use of measures such as post-charge questioning.</p> <p>This means police and prosecutors will be able to build a more robust case against terrorist suspects where further substantial evidence emerges after charges have been brought. We will make amendments to the Codes of Practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to allow this.</p> <p>And we have asked the Privy Council Group to look again at finding a practical way to place intercepted communications material – such as telephone calls and emails – in front of a jury. This will not be easy, but it is something we must consider.</p> <p>The combined effect of these new measures will be a major new focus on prosecution and conviction. That's because I believe the right place for a terrorist is a prison cell.</p> <h3>Intelligence Coverage</h3> <p>As we seek to prosecute terrorists, we must also seek to maintain the intelligence coverage which leads us to their activity in the first place.</p> <p>This is a real challenge. There is nothing automatic about it.</p> <p>The continued diversification of the terrorist threat, which I have already discussed, means we must work more closely with our partners overseas.</p> <p>And advances in technology mean our response must improve to keep pace.</p> <p>Terrorists are increasingly using online technology, including Google Earth and Street View for attack planning.</p> <p>Ahead of its attempted aviation attacks, AQ-AP used commercial systems to allow air mail to be tracked in real time – we can speculate that this was to detonate a device over a particular city, to maximise casualties, or perhaps over a particular country, to maximise the political fallout.</p> <p>The marauding attacks in Mumbai in 2008 were directed by people using off-the-shelf secure communications technology to stay in contact with each other.</p> <p>Software to encrypt mobile phone voice and text functions is widely available and improving.</p> <p>Peer-to-peer networks can be used to distribute files and information rapidly and securely.</p> <p>Cloud computing offers new means for storing, sharing and distributing material on-line. It can be encrypted and configured to work with mobile devices, leaving little or no trace of the data behind. </p> <p>And while radicalisation continues primarily to be a social process, terrorists are making more and more use of new technologies to communicate their propaganda.</p> <p>Estimates of the number of terrorism-related websites, made by experts in the field, range from several hundred to several thousand. It is clear that a few dozen are highly influential and frequented by active terrorists.</p> <p>To tackle these new and emerging threats our own technology must constantly evolve and adapt. That’s why we are investing in new systems and new capabilities.</p> <p>Our Communications Capabilities Development Programme will ensure that our investigative capabilities are maintained in the face of rapid changes in digital technology.</p> <p>Legislation will be brought forward to put in place the necessary regulations and safeguards to ensure that the response to this technological challenge is both proportionate and appropriate.</p> <p>But I am absolutely clear: this investment is vital to our national security.</p> <h3>Prevent</h3> <p>As well as doing more to identify, prosecute and convict suspected terrorists, we also need to do more to stop people being drawn into terrorist related activity in the first place.</p> <p>That will require a new approach, across government, to integrating our divided communities, as the Prime Minister set out in Munich in February.</p> <p>And in counter-terrorism, it will require a more effective and better targeted programme to tackle radicalisation in this country and overseas. Al Qa'ida's ideology may be discredited, but it can still be used to radicalise.</p> <p>That's why last year I launched a review of the existing counter-radicalisation strategy – known as Prevent. Last month, I announced the conclusions of that review and outlined our new approach.</p> <p>The new Prevent strategy has a broader scope than the programme we inherited.</p> <p>That means, for the first time, tackling the non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit.</p> <p>We will do that through executive action, for example by excluding from this country those who seek to spread division and hatred.</p> <p>We will do it through civic action, like challenging extremist views.</p> <p>And we will do it by isolating extremists, placing them at the fringes of society - where they belong.</p> <p>If organisations do not support the fundamental values of democracy, human rights, equality before the law, participation in society - if they do not accept these fundamental and universal values - then we will not work with them and we will not fund them.</p> <p>At the same time, the strategy also has a tighter focus.  It is complementary to, but distinct from, work on integration led by the Department for Communities and Local Government.</p> <p>Of course, a successful integration strategy makes it less likely that individuals will want to attack this country.</p> <p>No one who is happy and comfortable with living here would seek to attack their fellow citizens.  But integration alone will not meet our counter-terrorism objectives. And our integration programme should go much wider than just security and counter terrorism.</p> <p>So our new Prevent strategy will have three objectives.</p> <p>First, Prevent will respond to the ideological challenge and the threat from those who promote it.</p> <p>That will mean working with people and organisations to make sure moderate voices are heard.</p> <p>It will mean robustly defending our institutions and our way of life.</p> <p>And, where propagandists for terrorism break the law in encouraging or approving terrorism, it will mean arrest and prosecution.</p> <p>Second, the new Prevent will stop individuals from being drawn into terrorism and will ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support.</p> <p>We will do this by building on the successful multi-agency 'Channel' programme, which identifies and provides support for people at risk of radicalisation. But we want to be more rigorous in our choice of partner organisations, more systematic in assessing their performance, and more meticulous in the analysis of outcomes.</p> <p>Third, we will work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation and where there are opportunities for counter-radicalisation projects.</p> <p>That includes education and healthcare providers, universities, faith groups, charities, prisons and the wider criminal justice system.</p> <p>We will also work much harder to tackle the particular challenge of radicalisation on the internet.</p> <h3>Learning the Lessons of 7/7, Mumbai and Other Attacks</h3> <p>I believe our new Prevent strategy and a much greater emphasis on the identification and prosecution of terrorist suspects at home and overseas, will be effective.</p> <p>But we can never assume that it will be 100% effective. A terrorist attack will always be a possibility, whatever measures we take to prevent it.</p> <p>So we must properly prepare for an attack.</p> <p>A key part of that must be learning the lessons from previous attacks, as well as putting in place plans to deal with whatever new and sinister methods the terrorists may employ.</p> <p>Everyone in the country remembers where they were on the 7th July 2005. What happened that day is seared into our national consciousness. The victims will never be forgotten.</p> <p>The inquests into the deaths of the 52 innocent people who died that day have been invaluable in helping us to learn the lessons that we must.</p> <p>I have now sent the Government’s formal response to the Coroner’s report to Lady Justice Hallett.</p> <p>For legal reasons, I am constrained in what I can say about it before publication, but I intend it to be a positive response and I believe it will be recognised as a positive response. I have made clear to the Security Service and to my officials that we should respond in full, learning every lesson.</p> <p>As well as fulfilling our legal duty to respond to the Coroner’s specific "Rule 43" recommendations, we will also respond to the Coroner’s comments and concerns where she did not attach formal recommendations. </p> <p>And CONTEST sets out new work to go further to resolve issues around what is known as "interoperability" between the emergency services - that is, improving how they work together and communicate with each other.</p> <p>It is clear that on July 7th, and in several counter-terrorism exercises since, interoperability has not been good enough.</p> <p>Under the last government and under this government, improvements have been made, and must continue to be made.</p> <p>I am determined we learn every possible lesson from 7/7. No whitewash. No sweeping anything under the rug. Just a better response in future.</p> <p>We cannot assume that any future terrorist attack will be like the last. Terrorists are nothing if not resourceful.</p> <p>From truck bombs in 1998, to aeroplanes with suicide pilots in 2001, to rucksack bombs in 2005, liquid bombs in 2006 and printer bombs in 2010, their capacity to devise novel attack methodologies is one of their defining characteristics.</p> <p>But we must learn lessons from attacks that have happened elsewhere and prepare for the possibility that they could be replicated here. So our new strategy is open about our work to prepare for a Mumbai style attack in the UK.</p> <p>Police firearms officers now have access to higher calibre weaponry, and enhanced tactics and training to deal with this kind of assault.</p> <p>For the first time, we have given British Transport Police officers access to firearms.</p> <p>There is now permanent additional police firearms capacity in major cities and improved procedures to provide rapid back-up from neighbouring areas.</p> <p>And the military can now respond more quickly and with new capabilities to help the police.</p> <p>These new capabilities were tested in a major national counter-terrorism exercise in February 2011 which looked at our overall response to such a 'marauding' terrorist firearms attack.</p> <p>That exercise identified important lessons, including better procedures for identifying this type of attack, mobilising resources and managing risks at the scene. CONTEST spells out some of those improvements; some, by necessity, must be kept secret.</p> <p>Learning from other plots, the strategy also sets out steps to properly secure our borders.</p> <p>Fulfilling a key pledge in the Coalition Agreement, I have already announced the creation of a National Crime Agency, with a Border Policing Command to coordinate the activity of all the agencies operating in and around the border.</p> <p>We will also respond to recent threats to aviation security with new scanning technology, new watchlisting, new non-fly procedures and a new push, which I am leading within Europe, to use Passenger Name Records to track terrorist travel.</p> <p>And we are implementing the recommendations of the comprehensive review of cargo security which I ordered after the attempted attack on cargo aircraft last October.</p> <h3>Olympics</h3> <p>Finally, the London 2012 Olympics will be the largest peacetime security operation in Britain’s history. </p> <p>It will take place over more than 30 venues, involving nearly 15,000 athletes, 10,000 officials and 20,000 journalists.</p> <p>There will be over 10 million tickets available for the Olympics and Paralympics – though I know those who entered the ballot may not believe it!</p> <p>The Olympic Park will receive some 350,000 visitors per day – that’s the population of a city the size of Cardiff descending on a small area of East London every day for some 45 days.</p> <p>And all of this will be watched by billions around the world.</p> <p>The challenge is unprecedented.</p> <p>That is why we have protected the Olympic security budget. In fact, we protected the overall counter-terrorism policing budget.</p> <p>All our thoughts and all our efforts over the next year will be dedicated to making sure the games pass off without incident.</p> <p>We start from a strong base. The UK has a long history of hosting major events safely and securely - from 3000 league football matches a year, to major events ranging from the Notting Hill Carnival, to state visits and world summits.</p> <p>Our track record is one of the reasons we won the bid.</p> <p>But we know the Olympics are likely to be an attractive target for terrorists. They are an iconic event, and they therefore represent an iconic target.</p> <p>The eyes of the world will be on London. And we know that terrorists crave publicity more than anything else.</p> <p>That is why our security operation is so important.</p> <p>When we entered government, we carried out an audit and review of Games security planning.<br>That review concluded that appropriate arrangements have been and are being put in place and that security planning is on track.</p> <p>Our approach to securing the Olympics is consistent with and dependent on CONTEST.</p> <p>It will draw on the capabilities and expertise that the police and the security and intelligence agencies have developed over many years.</p> <p>What will be key over the next few months is to thoroughly test our plans. We are carrying out a minimum of ten counter-terrorism exercises – maybe more if needed. They will include "live play" exercises, with the police, the military and the emergency services carrying out real operations to test how they would deal with a crisis.</p> <p>Learning the lessons from these exercises – including through independent scrutiny – will ensure that we leave nothing to chance.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>The message from the last year is stark – Al Qa'ida is failing.</p> <p>Its weakened and beleaguered leadership is becoming more and more irrelevant.</p> <p>We have an opportunity to exploit; and a continued challenge to guard against. </p> <p>Al Qa'ida's ideology is discredited; but it endures.</p> <p>Its leaders are dying; but the threat remains. We know it is diversifying and continues to be dangerous.</p> <p>That is why our new counter-terrorism strategy is so important.</p> <p>It's why we need a new focus on identifying, prosecuting and convicting terrorist suspects.</p> <p>It's why we need a new more targeted and more effective Prevent programme.</p> <p>It's why we need to learn the lessons from 7/7, Mumbai and other attacks.</p> <p>And it's why we need to prepare for the challenge of the Olympics.</p> <p>We face a continuing threat, but we have an unprecedented opportunity. This strategy will help us to exploit it.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/contest-speech Home Secretary CONTEST speech Tuesday, 12 Jul 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by immigration minister Damia Green on 7 July at Regent's college. This version of the speech is as spoken.</p> <p>Thank you very much for inviting me here today. I know from the sheer size and weight of my postbag that the changes we are making to Tier 4, and especially those most affecting private providers of further and higher education, are of a significant interest to these parts of the education sector.  I wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity to address you today to explain first hand why the changes we are making are vital if we are to tackle abuse of the student immigration system.</p> <p>Immigration controls are usually portrayed as a problem for this sector.  But I strongly believe that the changes we are making will enhance the reputation of the UK’s education sector as a whole.  They will do this by raising the quality of international students and by eliminating poor quality colleges.  The QAA’s involvement in the new educational oversight requirements will seek to ensure that the same high standards are achieved in all institutions offering higher education, regardless of whether or not they are in receipt of public funding.</p> <p>The UK is world-renowned for the quality and range of opportunities available across our education sectors, and the students that choose to study here from across the globe bring numerous cultural, social and economic benefits, both to the UK and to their own countries when they return.</p> <p>But the student visa system isn’t up to scratch – it has failed to control immigration, failed to select the brightest and best and failed to protect legitimate students.  The primary motivation of too many users of the student immigration system is not to receive a high-quality education but to live and work here instead.  And too many of the institutions that have managed to obtain a sponsor licence under Tier 4 are essentially providing an immigration service, not an educational one.</p> <p>We have endless examples of institutions and so-called students working the system to get around changes made to try and reduce the levels of abuse – such as the initial introduction in 2010 of language requirements and rights to work and bring dependants. We have seen numerous colleges that provide minimal or no tuition or classroom study.  We have encountered students barely able to hold a conversation in English turning up to 'study' degree-level courses. </p> <p>In 2010, Tier 4 represented 14 per cent of visas issued but Tier 4 visa holders were responsible for 41 per cent of port refusals. The equivalent figures for Tiers 1, 2 and 5 visa holders were all less than one per cent.</p> <p>The student route is a temporary one, and once a student has completed their course, we expect them to return to their countries of origin.  But this is not happening – a Home Office Research Study ‘The Migrant Journey’ published last year found that just over one-fifth (21 per cent) of the 2004 student migrant cohort were still here five years later.  The same report showed that in 2009, settlement was granted to more than 23,000 people who originally came to the UK in a study route – this represents 13% of all those to whom settlement was granted that year.  And we know that about 110,000 students already here are extending their visa each year, some several times.  That’s why we are going to limit the time a student can spend in Tier 4.</p> <p>Reducing net migration is as much about increasing the number of people leaving the UK after their initial stay as it is reducing the number of people coming in.  That is why we are now consulting on proposals for the reform of employment-related settlement rules, drawing a clear line between temporary routes and those that may eventually lead to settlement.</p> <p>But we now need to move forward and put in place a stable and secure system which meets all our needs.  We want genuine students coming to attend courses of high educational value at legitimate and responsible institutions.  The UK needs to maintain its international reputation for providing top quality education and we want the very best students to stay in the UK on completing their studies.  This is exactly what the Government’s proposals are designed to deliver. </p> <p>Following completion of our review of the economic routes to the UK, focus turned to the student routes, as one of the key commitments of the Government was to minimise abuse in this (as well as other) immigration routes.  Between December last year and the end of January this year, we consulted on a number of proposals to support our objective of minimising abuse of the student visa system, and in addition supporting work we had started in other areas to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands over the course of this Parliament. </p> <p>We received over 30,000 responses to the online questionnaire and a further 300 or so full written responses.  The volume of responses alone indicated the strength of feeling towards at least some of the reforms, and we listened to those responses.</p> <p>The system of accreditation that was introduced when Tier 4 was first  being set up – essentially to ensure the quality of education provision offered by institutions operating in the largely unregulated privately funded sectors of further and higher education and English language schools – was a key concern to me in the review of the student system.  That is why one of the proposals in the consultation document was concerned with improving standards within the private sectors.</p> <p>Almost two-thirds of respondents to the question on this in the consultation document agreed – and this suggested to me that a more radical solution, rather than simply tinkering around the edges of an already broken system, would be needed to see the necessary change in education quality within these parts of the education sector.</p> <p>There is no doubt in my mind that there are pockets of very high quality provision within the private sectors – including, but not limited to, very specialist providers operating in niche areas.  But at the same time, of the 64 institutions whose Tier 4 licences were revoked by the UK Border Agency for serious non-compliance since Tier 4 was launched, they were exclusively institutions operating within the private sectors.</p> <p>I do not believe it is a mere coincidence that those whose education provision is subject to a form of statutory oversight – whether because of the receipt of public funding, or the award of degree awarding powers, or because they are independent schools bound by stringent regulations relating to the education of minors – are performing better in relation to their immigration duties as licensed sponsors.</p> <p>Better educational oversight arrangements were therefore a key part of the Home Secretary’s announcement of 22 March about reform of the student system. The themes of these reforms are:</p> <ul> <li>stricter sponsor requirements</li> <li>tougher entry requirements</li> <li>limiting entitlements to work and sponsor dependants</li> <li>ensuring students return overseas after their course</li> <li>simpler procedures for checking low risk applications  </li> </ul> <p>We have moved quickly to press ahead with our reforms.  On 31 March, I published a Statement of Intent which set out the changes we plan to make to reform the student route between then and the end of 2012. </p> <p>On the same date, I laid before Parliament the first set of amendments to the Immigration Rules, and the UK Border Agency published accompanying guidance which came into effect on 21 April.</p> <p>In this first group of changes, we announced new educational oversight and immigration compliance requirements.  For those that do not already meet these requirements, we introduced an interim limit on the allocation of the number of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, or CAS, given to these sponsors.  Each sponsor’s limit is based on the number of CAS institutions used during the previous year.  The limit responds to the urgent need to tackle abuse, allows sponsors time to adjust to the new system and prevents surges in applications from high-risk sectors.</p> <p>In addition to the changes we are making to strengthen the sponsor register, we are also taking a number of steps to ensure that only international students with a genuine intention to study their chosen course are able to use Tier 4.</p> <p>To this end, we have raised the bar on entry requirements.  Since 21 April, all sponsors of students coming to study degree-level courses must ensure they are able to speak English at an upper intermediate level, i.e. B2 on the Common European Framework. Others will have to speak English at an intermediate level – B1.  And if students cannot answer basic questions in English about their course, UKBA officers will refuse them at the border.  Most will be required to have passed a secure English language test, but in recognition of the greater compliance and range of established methods for testing language ability, higher education institutions are able to choose their own methods of language assessment. </p> <p>On 13 June, I laid before Parliament the second set of changes to Tier 4 following on from the review.  These changes took effect on Monday, and largely seek to sort the students who are driven by the desire to study, from those whose motivation may not be academic.</p> <p>I have introduced more rigorous checks to ensure students’ funds to support themselves are invested in a reputable financial institution and continue to be genuinely available to them once they get here.</p> <p>Students' primary motivation should be to study, not work.  Those applying for entry clearance or leave to remain since 4 July will only be given permission to work if they are studying at higher education institutions and publicly-funded further education colleges.</p> <p>As an aside, I have been told that denying permission to work to students studying in the private sectors is the single most damaging change to have come out of the review for private providers.  To my mind, an international student’s motivation in coming to the UK should be to study, not to work – whether during or after their studies.  Even for those who have permission to work, actually finding work in the UK is by no means guaranteed so I think the assertion that being able to work has been and is a key pull factor is to – say the least – questionable.</p> <p>Taking this one step further – a student’s motivation in coming to the UK should be to study, not to bring spouses and partners who may be given permission to work, and not to bring children who can access our state education system.  So now, only students studying at higher education institutions, for at least a year at postgraduate level, and Government sponsored students studying for longer than six months are now able to bring their dependants with them.  We will allow family members of students who have already spent time in the UK to extend their stay in certain circumstances. </p> <p>We have also streamlined the application process for students who are nationals of a low-risk country and who are coming to study with a Highly Trusted Sponsor.  These students will no longer routinely need to present original financial and educational documents which will make the application process significantly easier for these applicants.</p> <p>From a sponsorship perspective, the most recent changes now require education providers to confirm that any further study a student is undertaking represents genuine academic progression.</p> <p>We are also preparing to make further changes which we will implement next April.  Study in the UK should, for the vast majority, mean a temporary stay.  Only in exceptional cases should students stay for prolonged periods or remain after their course.  That is why, from April next year, we will set a maximum time of five years in Tier 4 studying at degree level and above, with exceptions for some courses and PhD students. We plan to undertake a further, focussed consultation on this with institutions to understand where else there is a legitimate reason for students to remain longer than five years.</p> <p>From next April we will also reduce the amount of work that can be done on work placement courses for non-university students to two-thirds study, one third work, to refocus the route as one where study should take up the majority of a student’s time in the UK. And we will close Tier 1 Post Study Work, maintaining a route into skilled sponsored employment through Tier 2.</p> <p>Overall, this package of reforms targets the least compliant students and institutions.  For too long, the privately-funded education sector has been essentially unregulated.  And yet evidence is clear that some of these institutions pose the biggest risk to immigration control.  In a sample of Tier 4 students studying at private institutions about which the UK Border Agency had concerns, up to 26 percent of them could not be accounted for.  I strongly believe that the lack of regulation within the private sector has led to a deficiency in the quality of sponsorship, and this is what we are trying to remedy through the changes we are making.</p> <p>The very fact you are here at this conference today suggests to me you believe you have a high quality educational offering to give to international students, and you are keen to know what will be required of you in order to remain able to bring international students to the UK under Tier 4 in the future.</p> <p>Sponsorship is at the very heart of Tier 4.  As responsible licensed education providers, you will be all too aware of the fact that the system of sponsorship relies heavily on the decisions you make when recruiting international students.  It is your responsibility as a licensed sponsor to assess the intentions and ability of a prospective student. We need to make absolutely sure that sponsors are exercising their powers responsibly; and that is what our reforms are designed to achieve.</p> <p>Since April, all education providers applying for a Tier 4 sponsor licence must now be vetted by one of the approved inspectorates – either Ofsted and its devolved equivalents, the Quality Assurance Agency or the relevant independent schools inspectorate – and all must become Highly Trusted Sponsors.  We will announce shortly details of the changes we are making to the criteria that will need to be met in order to qualify for Highly Trusted Sponsor status.  In due course, all sponsors will be required to have been vetted by one of a number of bodies in order to remain on the sponsor register after the end of 2012.</p> <p>Existing sponsors must also now meet both our immigration requirements and high standards of educational provision.  Institutions that do not meet these requirements already are subject to a limit on the number of students they can bring in.  To stay on the sponsor register in the longer term they must achieve Highly Trusted Sponsor status by no later than April 2012 and have received a satisfactory review or inspection by the relevant agency by the end of 2012.  We are well on track to deliver a sponsorship system the public can trust.</p> <p>Since the initial announcement, we have been working very closely with the eight bodies to finalise their respective roles and level of involvement in this area of work.</p> <p>On 13 June, we announced further information, providing details of the bodies that would be extending their current activities to review or inspect education providers operating within the private sectors.</p> <p>The Quality Assurance Agency will work across the UK to review the educational standards applied in private institutions offering predominantly higher education, with the Independent Schools Inspectorate working in the privately funded further education and language school sectors.</p> <p>The QAA and the Independent Schools Inspectorate have been working together behind the scenes to ensure a commonality of approach, where this is applicable bearing in mind the differences between the sectors they will respectively review or inspect.  Their clear understanding of each others' roles and good working relationship assures me that there will be no opportunity for an institution to hedge its bets by applying to both bodies for review – in the hope that both might inspect, with one applying less rigorous methods than the other.  It is clear which institution type falls to which body, and in any event, the way in which their experienced staff will review or inspect the standards applied by education providers will ensure that only those genuinely meeting the grade will be judged as doing so. </p> <p>The QAA was established with the objective of safeguarding quality and standards in UK higher education.  The QAA is therefore the natural 'home' and an authoritative voice as an educational oversight body when it comes to the review of private providers operating within the broad banner of higher education.  Up to now, the QAA’s activities have focussed on the review of institutions delivering education which ultimately leads to the award of UK degrees.  In this role, the QAA already has a broad experience of the methods employed in and interaction between both the publicly-funded and private funded sectors.</p> <p>The QAA is driven by its key objective, and seeks to preserve and enhance the highest educational standards and quality in higher education across the UK. I have been very impressed at the way in which the QAA has embraced this extension of their activities – all too aware of the importance the task ahead of them, but relishing the opportunity to be the UK’s single body responsible for reviewing standards in higher education.</p> <p>I am very grateful for all the work they have done so far in preparing for their role as an educational oversight body for Tier 4 purposes, and of course for the hard work they have put into organising this event today.</p> <p>I am certain that the QAA’s knowledgeable reviewers have the wealth of experience required in order to undertake thorough, objective reviews of private higher education providers – after all many of them will have visited these providers in assuring the quality of universities who have partnership arrangements with private sector providers.</p> <p>Just a fortnight ago, there was widespread coverage of the QAA's recent review of the validation processes followed by the University of Wales.  Their review identified serious shortcomings which will need to be addressed as a matter of urgency – shortcomings which apparently led to the Welsh Education Minister saying the University had brought the nation into disrepute.  The coverage brought home to me how important a good reputation is to education providers – how difficult to acquire but easy to lose.</p> <p>But it also assured me that the QAA is the right body to be reviewing all providers of higher education in the UK.  Their review process is objective and transparent – and publication of the report at the end allows all those who are interested to read it in full.  Whilst clearly not afraid to draw attention to areas in which standards have not been met, the QAA also demonstrated sensitive and careful handling of the issues relating to the University of Wales, conscious, I’m sure, at all times of the wider implications on the reputation of UK higher education.</p> <p>They and I wholly appreciate just how significant this piece of work will be in reshaping the Tier 4 sponsor register – but we must not forget the additional positive effect QAA’s involvement will have on private institutions wishing to compete with universities, in view of the changing higher education landscape in relation to domestic students.  The value of a QAA review, as the experts in UK higher education provision, can only assist in setting apart private providers employing the highest standards from competitors within both the private and publicly-funded sectors.</p> <p>So, going back to what I said earlier, far from seeing our reforms as a threat, I think in the long run they offer a real opportunity for the best providers within the private higher education sector to show students, not just international students but those closer to home as well, what they have on offer.</p> <p>I believe the changes we are implementing to the educational oversight requirements, alongside the requirement for all sponsors to demonstrate the highest levels of immigration compliance by obtaining Highly Trusted Sponsor status, will result in a far strengthened register of licensed Tier 4 sponsors.</p> <p>Taken alongside the numerous other changes we are making to Tier 4 which were set out in the Statement of Intent on student visas, I am confident we will deliver the student immigration system that the country needs, whilst enhancing the UK’s world-class reputation in delivering high quality education to international students.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/qaa-conference Home Secretary QAA conference speech Thursday, 07 Jul 2011 Home Office Regent's college
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by equalities minister Lynne Featherstone on 6 July 2011. This version of the speech is as spoken.</p> <p>'I'm delighted to be here today at the launch of this important report and I'm even more delighted to see so many people here who are dedicated to helping women.</p> <p>In the UK, we have seen very great progress on women's rights.</p> <p>As recently as 1975 it was legal to pay women less than men for exactly the same work.</p> <p>Now we have senior women in parliament and government, in business, in science and the arts.</p> <p>But there is still a great deal more we can do to improve women's rights in Britain.</p> <p>Shockingly, there remain in Britain over one million victims of domestic abuse each year; over 300,000 women sexually assaulted each year and 60,000 women raped.</p> <p>And, overall, one in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, often accompanied by years of psychological abuse.</p> <p>That is not acceptable.</p> <p>And that's why the Home Secretary and I have been absolutely clear that tackling Violence Against Women and Girls is one of our top priorities.</p> <p>In March we published a cross-government action plan.</p> <p>Amongst other things, that action plan commits us to providing over £28 million of stable Home Office funding until 2015 for local specialist services.</p> <p>It commits us to providing £900,000 until 2015 to support national helplines.</p> <p>And, for the first time, it commits us to putting funding for rape crisis centres on a stable footing. We're providing more than £10 million over three years to support their work and we will open new centres where there are gaps in provision.</p> <p>But women's rights don't stop at the borders of  the UK. As this report makes clear, some of the grossest inequalities that still exist are in developing countries, and the UK should be just as committed to tackling those as we are to the rights of women here.</p> <p>That's why we have been such strong supporters of the work of Michelle Bachellet and the work of UN women and it's why we are doing so much directly to help women overseas.</p> <p>So now I want to hand over to Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, to talk about what we are doing to support UN Women, and the great work we are doing ourselves to help women across the globe.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/un-women-speech Lynne Featherstone UN women speech Wednesday, 06 Jul 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Thie speech was delivered by the Home Secretary on 4 June 2011. This version is as spoken.</p> <p>'I am delighted to be here this evening at this important event. This government's priority is to get our economy back in shape. That means dealing with the deficit. And it means stimulating growth.</p> <p>Giving all women the opportunity to achieve their full potential must be at the heart of our approach to economic growth.</p> <p>Better use of women’s skills could be worth fifteen to twenty three billion pounds to our economy each year.</p> <p>If women were setting up new businesses at the same rate as men we would have 150,000 more companies in the UK.</p> <p>We can no longer afford to keep missing out on the economic benefits that greater gender equality could bring.</p> <p>We need to not only do more to help women starting out in their careers, and those who want to start their own businesses, but we must also do more to help those women who aspire to the very top.</p> <p>As you know, last year, only 12.5 per cent of all FTSE 100 board members were women.</p> <p>That is simply not good enough</p> <p>And that is why organisations like the 30 per cent club are so important.</p> <p>For many years I have championed the cause of hard working, talented women.</p> <p>When I was Conservative Party Chairman we had the option of using all women shortlists to increase the number of women MPs we had. We decided not to take that route.</p> <p>Instead, we focused on reaching out to talented women who hadn't considered entering politics before and on providing support, advice and training to women who wanted to enter Parliament. The proportion of women MPs in the party has now doubled, although admittedly it is still too low.</p> <p>Achieving change in this way is hard work and progress can be slower than everyone would like.</p> <p>Of course quotas offer a short cut or a quick fix to increase female representation.</p> <p>And on the specific issue of women on boards, some countries have decided to use quotas. But others have not and they have still had real success. </p> <p>Australia’s 'if not why not' model shows that good progress can be made without resorting to quotas.</p> <p>Change has more of an impact and is more long lasting if it comes from positive action, not positive discrimination.</p> <p>That lasting change will only happen when women know what opportunities are open to them, when they have the skills and training to take up those opportunities, when businesses know the benefits of having more diverse boards and when the whole process is clear and transparent.</p> <p>That's why we are making policy changes that will really help women to get on in business.</p> <p>Our policy to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees will help shift attitudes and shift behaviour away from the traditional nine to five model of work that can act as a barrier to many women and that also doesn’t make sense for many modern businesses.</p> <p>Our policy to introduce a new system of flexible parental leave will help all working women who want to have children. For the first time, it will allow both parents to choose what is right for them and what is right for their family.</p> <p>Women friendly employment policies like these will make a real difference. But I also want policies that specifically help women get into the boardroom.</p> <p>That's why Vince Cable and I commissioned Lord Davies to look at how we can increase the number of women on company boards.</p> <p>Since Lord Davies reported in February 2011. We have made good progress in implementing his recommendations.</p> <p>In May, the Financial Reporting Council launched a consultation on changes to the UK corporate governance code in order to help to achieve more diverse and more effective boards.</p> <p>The head-hunting industry has agreed a voluntary code on diversity.</p> <p>And we are beginning to build a strong sense of ownership and action in FTSE 100 companies. We have agreed with them a plan for how company aspirational targets should be published by September. I would urge all companies and organisations to meet the September deadline to outline their own targets for female representation on their boards and management teams by 2013 and 2015.</p> <p>The latest figures suggest there has already been an improvement in FTSE 100 companies.</p> <p>Some 21 per cent of new board members appointed since Lord Davies’ report have been women, up from just 13% last year, and the number of male-only boards has dropped from 21 in October to 14.</p> <p>I'm delighted that businesses and organisations like yours are taking such a lead role in making change happen.</p> <p>And we want business to lead change in tackling the gender pay gap as well.</p> <p>That's why we chose not to use the powers taken by the previous government in the Equality Act to require companies to report on their gender pay gap. Instead, we have been working with business and others – in a collaborative and cooperative way - to develop a voluntary approach to improving transparency on pay and on wider issues around women’s representation in the workforce.</p> <p>We’ll formally launch this new approach later in the year and I hope many 30% Club members will want to engage with us.</p> <p>Because I believe giving women opportunities in business must be business led. We can’t have government just simply imposing decisions – you need to take the initiative, you need to drive change, you need to grasp this agenda.</p> <p>And our most forward thinking businesses are grasping the agenda. They’re doing that because they know it makes good businesses sense to do so.<br> <br>Inclusive and diverse boards benefit from the fresh perspectives, new ideas and broad experience that successful women can bring.</p> <p>And a company board that better reflects its customers is more able to understand its customers’ needs.</p> <p>There’s growing evidence that companies with more women on their boards do indeed outperform their male-dominated rivals. No wonder.</p> <p>So this is not equality for equalities' sake – this is about making your company better.</p> <p>I know you all know that.</p> <p>But, together, we must spread the message to every company in the country – more women in your top team, can help your business be the best.</p> <p>Thank you.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/thirty-per-cent Home Secretary 30% Club speech Monday, 04 Jul 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">The Home Secretary gave this speech in Harrogate on 4 July 2011. This version is as spoken, not as written.</p> <p>'As Home Secretary, I have to deal with some of the highest profile and most important public protection issues there are.</p> <p>When events happen, like the Hookway court judgment, there is a clear need to act fast to make sure we put things right for the police.</p> <p>That's why an hour after receiving ACPO's legal advice last Thursday, Nick Herbert went to the House of Commons and announced that we would be introducing emergency legislation. </p> <p>There is no question that I will always give the police the tools and powers they need to catch criminals, investigate crimes and protect the public.</p> <p>But as well as responding to events, we also have to act strategically to put British policing on a secure footing for a generation.</p> <p>Today, I want to talk to you about one of the most fundamental questions in modern day policing: what should be done nationally, with leadership and support from central government, and what should be done locally by local police forces.</p> <p>Some have characterised our approach as leaving everything up to local forces and individual Chiefs. That is far too simplistic a view: I am not a doctrinaire localist.</p> <p>What we are doing is giving responsibility, decisions and powers to the most appropriate level.</p> <p>So we believe that local priorities should be determined locally, by the local public – that is only right – and it is why we will introduce Police and Crime Commissioners from May 2012 to ensure local people’s views are properly represented.</p> <p>On national level crime, we are establishing the National Crime Agency, to coordinate a more effective national response.</p> <p>On collective decisions – like what IT systems to buy - we aren’t buying white elephant super computers. Instead, we are taking advantage of the economies of scale that 43 forces can enjoy if they work together.</p> <p>And on individual decisions we are giving police officers back their discretion to do what they think is right, using their own professional judgement, rather than relying on diktats from on high.</p> <h3>Reconnecting Police with Communities</h3> <p>When I spoke to the Police Federation in Bournemouth I said that in Britain we have the finest police officers in the world. Be in no doubt that I mean it.</p> <p>The British way of policing is the right way of policing.</p> <p>Policing by consent.</p> <p>Policing of the public, by police who are the public.</p> <p>Policing built on the rock solid foundations of the office of constable. These principles have served us well for nearly 200 years.</p> <p>They were introduced by a Conservative Home Secretary, and this Conservative Home Secretary has no intention of doing anything to weaken them.</p> <p>In fact, our reforms are about strengthening the British model of policing.</p> <p>That model fundamentally relies on understanding, connecting and interacting with the public.</p> <p>But for too long our police became disconnected from the public they serve.</p> <p>You know that better than I do. And the public know better than any of us.</p> <p>It’s fair to say that the return of neighbourhood policing has done a great deal in starting to restore that link. We support neighbourhood policing - but we will go much further.</p> <p>We will mandate beat meetings with local residents for neighbourhood police officers. I know many of you already task your officers to hold these meetings, but I want to see them in every town and every community right across the country.</p> <p>And to make them really work, we have introduced the country’s first ever nationwide street level crime maps.</p> <p>They give the public, for the first time, a true picture of the crime and disorder in their communities. And the public have responded – since launching in January the police.uk website has received over 420 million hits.</p> <p>Even after the enormous initial excitement, the site is still receiving over 100,000 hits a day. That just shows the level of appetite amongst the public to know about crime and policing in their communities.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners will, at last, give the public the level of control over local strategic decision making that they deserve.</p> <p>The Police and Crime Commissioner will set the local policing budget, including the local precept level. As the elected representatives of the people, it is only right that they should decide how much their electorate is willing to pay for local policing services.</p> <p>The Police and Crime Commissioner will also have the democratic mandate and the local knowledge to set local policing priorities.<br>And they will have the power to hold chief constables to account for their performance. </p> <p>But the duty and responsibility of directing, leading and controlling a police force will – as always - fall on the chief constable.</p> <p>We will, for example, give you more power to appoint your top teams. If you’re going to be held to account for your force’s performance, then you should have full responsibility for it.</p> <p>I know you have been paying close attention to the Bill as it goes through Parliament.</p> <p>I am clear that the principle of the reforms will remain – so we will restore Police and Crime Commissioners with elections in May 2012 to the Bill when it returns to the Commons.</p> <p>But we have listened to the Lords and the professionals. And it is undoubtedly true that we will end up with a better piece of legislation thanks to Parliamentary scrutiny.<br>We have beefed up the role of Police and Crime Panels.</p> <p>We have added safeguards around the dismissals procedure for Chief Constables.</p> <p>We are revising the regulations on chief officer appointments so they remain open and transparent.</p> <p>And we have published a draft protocol setting out the relationship between Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables.</p> <p>That protocol makes clear that your operational independence is sacrosanct. I know that has reassured many of you. And I would like to thank Sir Hugh, Adrian Lee, Sir Paul Stephenson and Tim Godwin and all the others for the work they have done in helping to draft the protocol.</p> <h3>Police Officer Discretion and Bureaucracy</h3> <p>But as well as giving more power to local people, we are also giving more power to individual police officers.</p> <p>That is what I mean when I talk about “the deal”: more freedom to do your work, in exchange for greater accountability to local people.</p> <p>Police officers are the professionals. You are the ones with experience, training and expertise. You should be given back the discretion to do what you think is right.</p> <p>So here, again, decisions need to be devolved down.</p> <p>The old approach of controlling everything from the centre with targets, initiatives and bureaucracy took power and discretion away from chiefs and your officers.</p> <p>It created a culture of dependence that discourages senior managers from realising their full potential as leaders.</p> <p>It treated you as little more than box tickers, form fillers, administrators.</p> <p>We take a different approach.</p> <p>We trust the police.</p> <p>We know you are the experts at fighting crime.<br>So we will give you the flexibility to manage your forces.</p> <p>And we will give your officers the discretion to do the right thing. This is about taking power from the centre, and giving it back to you and your officers.</p> <p>So, for Chiefs, that means giving you more flexibility to spend your money as you see fit, by ending all the ring-fenced funds, save only for counter-terrorism.</p> <p>It means looking at Tom Winsor’s proposals to help you put in place modern management practices, manage your budgets, and maximise officer and staff deployment to the frontline.</p> <p>And it means stopping government telling you how to do your jobs by scrapping the Policing Pledge and confidence target, the PSA targets, the key performance indicators and the Local Area Agreements.</p> <p>Instead I’ve given you just one objective – to cut crime.</p> <p>When the tragic shootings in Cumbria and Northumbria happened, I didn’t respond by calling you all to Whitehall for a gun crime summit. I responded by respecting the operational independence of the police.</p> <p>When we saw violent protests on the streets of London, I didn’t respond by criticising the police or coming up with some new draconian anti-protest legislation. I responded by going to the House of Commons to defend the actions of the officers who kept the rule of law on our streets, under the most extreme provocation.</p> <p>And for the London Olympics, I’ll continue to respect your operational independence and your expertise.</p> <p>For your officers and staff it means restoring their discretion and scrapping all of the grinding bureaucracy that wears them down and stops them doing their job – fighting crime.</p> <p>So we have already restored police discretion over certain charging decisions, saving up to 50,000 police hours per year.</p> <p>We’ve scrapped the national requirement for the stop and account form, and cut the reporting requirements on the stop and search form, saving up to an estimated 800,000 police hours per year.</p> <p>And we’ve issued new health and safety guidance that trusts your officers to do the right thing.</p> <p>But I want to go even further.</p> <p>That’s why in May I announced a series of new measures that in total could save well over 2.5 million hours of police time each year.</p> <p>That’s time your officers can better spend on the frontline.</p> <p>Those measures include streamlined PDR and crime recording processes, better risk management, improved handling of domestic violence cases, ACPO’s work to reduce the volume of national guidance, and the handing back to your officers of further charging discretion.</p> <p>It is the implementation of those reforms that will be key. With Chris Sims’ Reducing Bureaucracy Programme Board, we have already made progress.</p> <p>So on police PDRs for example, the new guidance has now been launched - saving an estimated 1.5 million police hours per year.</p> <p>But we won’t stop there. The Programme Board is looking at further measures which could save hundreds of thousands more hours by placing the focus back on managing people rather than simply managing a process.</p> <p>On crime recording, we have already made significant changes to the Annual Data Requirement and staff in forces who are filling in data returns for the Home Office have told us our changes are having an impact.</p> <p>The new data hub means that a substantial number of old fashioned data collection forms are now being replaced by automatic data collection from your forces.</p> <p>Further work to tackle crime recording bureaucracy at force level is also now underway and will be complete by the end of July. This will be used to share best practice on crime recording across the service.</p> <p>On risk management, Chief Constable Brian Moore is leading work to develop a simple decision-making tool to better manage risk. ACPO has also now published ten risk principles.</p> <p>In June, Brian also attended an inter-ministerial group, which I chaired, to present the Reducing Bureaucracy Programme Board’s proposals on reducing unnecessary bureaucracy in domestic violence cases. </p> <p>From July, pilots will be set up and independently evaluated, with a view to testing the new model in a group of forces from the autumn.</p> <p>Sara Thornton’s work for ACPO on reducing guidance is also progressing well with the identification of core practice due to be completed by the end of 2011 and associated specific practice to follow soon after.</p> <p>Finally, on charging decisions, the first phase of transferring additional charging decisions from the CPS to the police was completed on schedule in June. Potential pilot forces for the second phase have now been contacted and plans are being drawn up to start pilots over the summer.</p> <p>So you can see we really mean business in busting bureaucracy.<br>And I’m sending this message out loud and clear to Home Office officials and to every organisation across the Criminal Justice System – stop wasting police time.</p> <p>So I’ve instructed my officials to check each and every requirement that the Home Office generates, so that there is nothing that unnecessarily adds to your officers’ burden.</p> <p>This work is now well underway and I will report back on the detailed findings after the summer.</p> <p>But they have already come up with some more reporting requirements to get rid of.</p> <p>So, for example, previously the Home Office monitored a target for all forces to drug test at least 95% of those arrested for a trigger offence. Well, I’ve scrapped that target so you no longer need to submit a monthly arrest figure and you can decide who to drug test.</p> <p>When more than two thirds of tests are negative – up to 140,000 a year – there’s clearly a lot of your officers’ time that can be better spent.</p> <p>All of this work is aimed at freeing your officers to fight crime.<br>But here’s the problem – not all of you are following my lead. Some of you are still setting your forces targets that we’ve scrapped nationally.</p> <p>And it’s not only one or two chiefs who are reinstating targets and forms we have eliminated. Officers up and down the country are telling me they’re still having to record information at local level that we’ve stopped asking for at national level.</p> <p>And I’ve heard that local replacements are being brought in for defunct national regulations.</p> <p>That’s not right.</p> <p>I know that change like this can be difficult. When something goes wrong – and in the real world things do go wrong – then showing you’ve complied with a process can be reassuring.</p> <p>But if those processes waste time, then they’re not improving public protection.</p> <p>If they’re impeding your discretion and common sense, then they’re not serving the public.</p> <p>So we need police chiefs to rise to the challenge. Your officers need you to rise to the challenge.</p> <p>I have made a clear commitment to reduce bureaucracy. You have got to match that commitment.</p> <p>Particularly in these tough times, we need to cut out every possible cost and save every possible minute of wasted time.</p> <p>Some Chiefs are rising to the challenge.</p> <p>For example, Peter Fahy in Greater Manchester has sent a clear message to his officers to use their professional judgement, to challenge accepted ways of doing things, and to focus on the genuine needs of victims and the wider community.<br>I couldn’t agree more.</p> <p>NCA<br>But our approach isn’t just about devolving decisions down. In fact, on national and international level crime we are increasing the focus of central government and enhancing national level structures.<br>That’s because organised criminals as you know do not respect police force boundaries, just as they do not respect international borders. So our response too must cross organisational and geographical boundaries.</p> <p>So we are establishing a National Crime Agency, a powerful new body of operational crime fighters to tackle organised crime, secure our borders, fight financial and economic crime, and protect vulnerable children and young people.</p> <p>Accountable to the Home Secretary, and with a senior Chief Constable at its head, the NCA will be an integral part of our law enforcement community, with strong links to local police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners, the UK Border Agency and other agencies.</p> <p>That work will be underpinned by the new Strategic Policing Requirement, which will make clear to Chief Constables and PCCs what we expect of them in their response to national threats.</p> <p>And this new operational capability will be backed up by the country’s first ever cross-government organised crime strategy, which we will publish shortly.</p> <p>I want to illustrate how the new National Crime Agency might operate and how it might interact with local forces.</p> <p>Police officers have told me about organised crime groups, based in the North West, that import Class A drugs through the ports and then traffic them across the country to sell on streets hundreds of miles away.</p> <p>The addicts they sell these drugs to, fund their habit through burglaries and muggings, causing harm in local communities that are far removed from where the criminal gang importing and selling the drugs are based.</p> <p>Police officers have also told me about organised crime groups that use the profits from their criminality to buy guns that they then use to intimidate rivals, enforce debts and consolidate their power and status.</p> <p>Those guns are imported by other organised crime groups from Eastern Europe.<br>You’ve told me about the innocent men, women and children who have been tragically caught in the crossfire when these guns are fired.</p> <p>And police officers have told me about the lavish lifestyle that the heads of the criminal gangs lead, having laundered the proceeds of their crimes through front businesses such as massage parlours and car washes.</p> <p>You have told me about the frustrations of local communities – the frustrations of seeing drug-dealers on their streets, of seeing criminals acting like untouchables beyond the reach of the law, of working hard to earn an honest income, while criminals swan around in luxury.</p> <p>I know your officers and other agencies already do a great deal to tackle gangs like these. But too often your success tends to be in spite of our organisational structures, not because of them.</p> <p>All too often the geographical spread of these gangs’ activity means they fall below the radar of any one police force or agency.</p> <p>Any one may not see the full picture of the harm they cause. Or their drug trafficking may not be large scale enough to meet SOCA’s threshold criteria.</p> <p>Gangs such as these are often the subject of several separate investigations, each unaware of the other’s existence. All of them could be missing key evidence, intelligence and enforcement opportunities.<br> <br>Even worse, they could be subject to no law enforcement activity at all.</p> <p>The NCA will change all this. For the first time, a single national agency will be capable of pulling together the complete intelligence picture on organised criminal gangs.</p> <p>For the first time, one agency will have the authority to coordinate and task a national response. For the first time, one agency will have responsibility for securing our borders, tackling organised criminals, and preventing economic crime.</p> <p>To tackle the sorts of gangs I have talked about, the NCA might commit its own specialist assets, including sophisticated intelligence gathering techniques, to help build a clearer and more extensive intelligence picture.</p> <p>Working with regional policing teams, such as TITAN in the North West, the NCA might help target surveillance and investigative resources against the right people.</p> <p>Its Border Policing Command might coordinate action to stop drug imports or it might task the UK Border Agency to investigate the immigration status of employees in the front businesses.</p> <p>Its Economic Crime Command might coordinate financial investigation work to recover criminals’ assets and to break the flow of profits from drug money being laundered through fraud.</p> <p>The NCA would then draw together all of the forces and agencies involved to agree a coordinated course of action, including arrest by police forces and eventual prosecution.</p> <p>By joining up agencies and forces, by coordinating activity and by targeting limited resources where they can have the most impact, the NCA can help put criminal gangs such as these out of business, it can help build evidence for prosecutions and, most importantly, it can help local communities break free from the grip of crime, intimidation and fear.</p> <h3>The Problem</h3> <p>So you can see the coherence of our reforms: national decisions made nationally; local decisions made locally; and individual decisions made individually, by police officers.</p> <p>But there are clear cases in policing where collective police decision making is needed.</p> <p>One absolutely crucial area is on Police Information and Communications Technology.</p> <p>Good ICT systems and services are vital for modern policing. ICT supports the police on the front line, through items like portable radios and PDAs.</p> <p>It supports the middle office, through things like criminal records databases, intelligence and crime mapping. And it supports the back office, through HR, finance, accounting and payroll systems.</p> <p>To access these crucial tools, the police currently spend some £1.2billion per year on ICT.</p> <p>That is a very large sum. I wouldn’t be concerned about the size of that sum if I were convinced that it represented good value for money.  But it does not. </p> <p>The way we do things now is confused, fragmented and expensive.<br>We know, for example, that one supplier now has over 1,500 contracts across all the forces. This would simply never happen in the commercial world.</p> <p>Across the police service there are around 5,000 staff, working on over 2,000 ICT systems, across 100 data centres. This is clearly not sensible.</p> <p>And the current approach of each force procuring their services individually pushes up costs for all.</p> <p>It means that ICT suppliers have to bid for individual contracts across 43 forces, pushing their bidding costs up. Those bid costs are, of course, simply tacked on to the price of the next contract with the police that the company wins.</p> <p>When you consider that the cost of bidding for a major contract from a police force can cost a company upwards of £1 million, and that there are usually at least two or three companies bidding for each contract, the ultimate cost to the public purse of all this bidding activity is significant.</p> <p>Looking at it from the point of view of police customers, the situation is even worse.  The capabilities and skills required to negotiate and manage large, complex ICT contracts are scarce. The professional skills required to maintain the procured systems are scarcer still. Spreading them around the 43 forces makes no sense.</p> <p>It inevitably requires chief officers to spend far too much time on ICT matters; that’s time they should be spending fighting crime.</p> <h3>Principles of the Solution</h3> <p>It is absolutely clear that the current system is broken.</p> <p>So we will help the service to set up a police-led ICT company to fix it. It will free chief constables from having to spend so much time on ICT matters while giving them better systems and better value for their ICT money.</p> <p>I will not be prescribing what that company should look like. But its design should be based on a number of fundamental principles.</p> <p>First, the company should be – as I say – police led.</p> <p>Because no one else knows what ICT systems the police need to fight crime.</p> <p>Government doesn't know.</p> <p>Civil Servants don’t know.</p> <p>The police know.<br> <br>Officers have told me about IT systems that require multiple keying of the very same information, are incompatible with systems doing the same basic job in neighbouring forces, or are even incompatible with other systems in their own force.</p> <p>So the police need to be at the heart of defining what systems and services they need. They must have a fundamental and a controlling interest in the new police ICT company.</p> <p>Second – and equally – the company needs to be staffed by ICT professionals. The police are experts at fighting crime and in using ICT to fight crime, but they are not ICT professionals.</p> <p>Police officers are the best in the business at catching criminals. They are not the best in the business at negotiating contracts for major ICT systems, or managing these contracts or even managing these systems once they’re up and running.</p> <p>So the new police ICT company should be staffed by world class professionals.  It will be negotiating and managing contracts worth many billions of pounds – this is not a job that can be given to amateurs who have a flair for computing. </p> <p>It must be done by hard-headed professionals who can take on some of the world’s biggest companies on their own terms.</p> <p>Third, and linked to this, the new company must have a culture that allows it to attract and retain individuals with the skills and capabilities we need, and that encourages those individuals to innovate and to deliver success.</p> <p>It must have the incentives in place to drive a more commercial and more efficient approach that will save public money. This must not, however, come at the expense of public safety, public security and public protection. These will remain paramount.</p> <p>Fourth, the new company must exploit the purchasing power of the police service as a whole.   It can do this by aggregating the requirements of as many forces as possible, preferably all 43 forces.</p> <p>That’s the way to achieve the largest economies of scale and the best value for money.</p> <p>Taken together, these principles will inevitably reduce the amount spent on ICT across the police, while at the same time delivering a superior service.</p> <h3>Police-led</h3> <p>Police-led, professionally staffed, innovative and high performing, aggregating purchasing power and driving down costs - these must be the principles of reform.</p> <p>But the Home Office will not prescribe the solution.</p> <p>That first principle – that the company must be police led – really is the guiding light of this whole exercise.</p> <p>I don’t want this to be PITO mark 2 or NPIA mark 2, with all the same old mistakes and the same old problems repeated.</p> <p>I want this time to be different.</p> <p>I want you to own the solution.</p> <p>I want you to decide what you need.</p> <p>So the new Police ICT company will be police-led and police-owned. I expect the Home Office, and possibly the private sector, will also own shares in the new company alongside police forces.</p> <p>It is our intention that the new company will be formed and constituted by spring 2012.<br>I have asked Gordon Wasserman, who is the Government’s adviser on policing and criminal justice, to lead the work of setting up the new company. </p> <p>As most of you know, he has had long experience of police ICT on both sides of the Atlantic. </p> <p>He will be chairing an interim or shadow board of the new company on which all stakeholders will be represented and on which Ailsa Beaton, the Chief Information Officer of the Metropolitan Police and the ACPO lead on IT, has agreed to serve as the senior police IT professional.</p> <p>Of course, both Police Chiefs and Police and Crime Commissioners will need to work closely and collectively during the implementation phase and when the new company is up and running.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>For too long, every single policing decision was grabbed by the centre.</p> <p>Then came the targets, the regulations and the initiatives. And the link with the public was lost.</p> <p>At the same time, officers lost their discretion; they weren’t trusted. Instead, they were burdened with bureaucracy.</p> <p>While local crime was nationalised, national crime was ignored.</p> <p>And the opportunity to buy collectively ICT equipment that forces desperately need was wasted.</p> <p>Our policing reforms will put these problems right.<br> <br>It is all too easy to sit at the sidelines and make gloomy and baseless predictions about the future.</p> <p>To those who say spending cuts can wait, I say look at what is happening to Greece. To those who say cuts mean reform must wait, I say cuts mean reform is all the more urgent.</p> <p>And let's remember the facts. Counter-terrorist policing and Olympics funding protected.</p> <p>A National Crime Agency to focus more on serious and organised crime than ever before.</p> <p>A strategic policing requirement to ensure local forces have regard to national priorities.</p> <p>Reforming police pay - something no other government has managed - so you can lead your forces as best you can.</p> <p>Accountability to your communities, not the Home Office. No more targets, just trust in your leadership. </p> <p>Sir Hugh, police reform should be a cause for optimism for police chiefs, not fear.</p> <p>Local issues decided locally. National issues decided nationally. Collective issues decided collectively.</p> <p>And individual issues decided by trusted, professional, courageous police officers.</p> <p>If we get decision making right, we will get crime fighting right. And that, I know, is what we all want to see.</p> <p>Thank you.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/acpo-summer Nick Herbert ACPO summer conference speech Monday, 04 Jul 2011 Home Office Harrogate on 4 July 2011
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Home Secretary Theresa May on 16 August. Content deemed political has been removed. This version is as spoken.</p> <p>One week ago, the whole country saw what a noble profession policing is.  When there was violence and disorder in our towns and cities, police officers from across the whole of Britain stepped forward, put themselves on the line, and used their skills and training to return order to our streets.</p> <p>Some officers worked 18 hours straight through. Some were off-duty, but when they saw trouble erupt in their community, they rushed to put themselves in harm's way, without protective equipment and without backup. Many officers who were supporting other forces through mutual aid ended up sleeping on police station floors. In some cases, forces doubled and tripled the number of officers on duty and more than 230 sustained injuries.</p> <p>We owe all police officers a debt of gratitude. They are brave men and women, drawn from their community, living as part of their community, defending their community.They risk their own safety day in, day out to protect ours. And we should not forget the many police officers and staff who worked around the clock, staffing gold and silver command, operation rooms and call centres.</p> <p>So let me be clear. When we ask how successful a policing operation has been, when we want to make things better for the future, when we ask questions about how the police can become more effective, more efficient, or more accountable to the public, that is not an attack on the men and women of our police force.  On the contrary, if we neglect to ask those questions, we will let down not just the public but tens of thousands of police officers and staff up and down the country.</p> <p>So today I want to ask those questions. How successful was last week's response? How do we make things better for the future? How do we ensure police forces are effective, efficient, robust, well-led and accountable to the people they serve?</p> <p>First, last week’s response. I don’t intend to give yet another forensic examination of everything that happened last weekend, but as chief officers themselves have said, when faced with an unprecedented situation, the immediate police response was not enough.  Following the violence in London on Sunday night, the Metropolitan Police doubled the number of officers on duty on Monday, but it still wasn’t enough to restore order. On Tuesday night, West Midlands Police and Greater Manchester Police suffered similar experiences.  It was only when the police surged in even greater numbers – 16,000 in London's case – backed by a tougher arrests policy and earlier intervention to disperse crowds, were they able to restore order.</p> <p>And I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our police leaders, who made those changes that led to the restoration of order on our streets. They worked tirelessly in leading their officers through a difficult time, and they deserve much credit for that.</p> <p>Many of the questions that have been posed since then actually reflect the questions we have been asking ourselves in the Home Office since last May.  How do we make sure that the police are as effective as possible in cutting crime?  In these tough economic times, how do we make our forces efficient enough to cut crime on a tighter budget?  What powers do the police need to cut crime?  How do we make sure forces are well-led by single-minded crime-fighters?  And how do we make sure the police are accountable to the public?  I will take each in turn, because I believe the experience of the last ten days makes the case for police reform more urgent than ever.</p> <h3>Effective</h3> <p>As Home Secretary, I've been clear from the beginning that the test of the effectiveness of the police, the sole objective against which they will be judged, the way in which communities should be able to hold them to account, is their success in cutting crime.  I haven’t asked the police to be social workers, I haven’t set them any performance indicators, and I haven’t given them a thirty point plan, I’ve told them to cut crime.</p> <p>How police chiefs go about cutting crime is up to them.The last government tested to destruction the idea that you can set policing plans and targets from Whitehall for communities as different as Brixton and Berkshire, Salford and Surrey, Lewisham and Lincolnshire.  So the responsibility for policing local communities will be kept local.  I will turn to accountability later, but that too will be kept local, through beat meetings, crime maps and directly-elected police and crime commissioners.</p> <p>This devolution of responsibility in policing is the better-understood side of our reforms, but it is only half the picture.  Because as last week showed, while crime is mostly local, the police sometimes face challenges that cross force boundaries, or require forces to work together. That is why, alongside the devolution of powers in our police reforms, we are establishing for the first time a Strategic Policing Requirement. This will require local chief officers to have regard to national threats, as set out by the Home Secretary, and the need to maintain a national policing capability to meet those threats.</p> <p>It is also why we will establish a National Crime Agency, an operational crime-fighting body, charged with taking on serious and organised crime, economic crime, border policing and child protection.  Like the Strategic Policing Requirement, the NCA will have a crucial role alongside ACPO in making sure that localised policing doesn’t come at the expense of regional, national and international crime-fighting.  And that at times of need, forces can pool resources and allow the kind of surge capacity that we saw work to such good effect from last Tuesday onwards.</p> <p>And this brings me on to police numbers. It's often said that policing is necessarily a numbers game, and, to a point, that is true.  We saw the proof of it last week, when order was restored after a massive show of police strength on the streets.  But what that proved is the need to be able to turn out officers where they’re needed in large numbers.  What matters is not the total number of officers employed, but the total number of officers deployed, and how effectively they are deployed.</p> <p>I am clear that even at the end of this spending period, forces will still have the resources to deploy officers in the same numbers we have seen in the last week.  But even in normal economic times, such large scale deployments are not sustainable for any length of time.</p> <p>The importance of how officers are deployed is made crystal clear when you consider that, according to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, only twelve per cent are visible and available at any one time.  Now of course that doesn’t mean that 88 per cent of police time is wasted, but it's clear to me that we can improve the visibility and availability of the police to the public.</p> <h3>Efficient</h3> <p>It's more important than ever that we do so, because we are asking the police to fight crime on a tighter budget.  Let’s remember why budgets will need to be smaller.  We’re not cutting police spending because we want to, because we’re on some kind of ideological mission to cut the size of the state, or because somehow we have it in for the police.  We’re doing it because we have to.</p> <p>We have just been through the gravest financial crisis since the Second World War. We face the biggest budget deficit in our peacetime history. We have a deficit higher than Portugal and Greece, both of whom have had to go cap in hand to the EU for a bailout.  Even the United States of America has had its credit rating downgraded.  The risks of not dealing with the deficit are plain for all to see.  And it is only our decisive and unwavering action to reduce the size of our budget deficit that is taking Britain out of the financial danger zone.</p> <p>And as we cut the deficit, the police are going to have to take their share of the burden. People often say there will be twenty per cent police cuts.  And that’s true, if you’re talking about central government police funding, in real terms.</p> <p>But police forces get their money from the local precept too. And when you take into account the Office for Budget Responsibility’s precept forecasts, the real terms reduction is fourteen per cent.</p> <p>But even this doesn’t quite give the full picture, because eighty per cent of police spending is on pay, and as we're likely to freeze police pay for two years, the cash terms figures are actually closer to the reality than the real terms figures. </p> <p>And in cash terms, once precept forecasts are taken into account, we’re talking about a six per cent reduction in total over four years.  </p> <p>I'm not saying that police budgets in this spending period aren’t challenging, but they are achievable. So we are working with the police to find savings and efficiencies that, eventually, could save more than the total spending reductions we are asking the police to make. </p> <p>For example, we know from HMIC's work that if the least efficient forces brought themselves up to the average level of efficiency, we could save £1.15 billion per year.  And we know that if all forces caught up with the most efficient forces, we could save a further £350 million. </p> <p>We also know that money can be saved through better procurement. The police are a fragmented customer, buying the same things in 43 different ways from different suppliers, spending more than they ought and getting less than they deserve. We have already introduced regulations to join up procurement, with better contracts, more joint purchasing and greater private sector involvement. And I have already set out plans to create a police-led ICT company to help the police to buy equipment and systems together and achieve economies of scale.</p> <p>I have already said we plan – subject to the recommendations of the Police Negotiating Board – to freeze police pay for two years, and that would save £350 million.  But I have also commissioned Tom Winsor to review police pay and conditions. Again, this isn’t because I want to reduce police pay packets, but because I want to protect officers’ jobs, I want to see frontline service rewarded, and I want to keep resources focused on getting the police out onto the streets.</p> <p>Too often, police officers tell me, they make an arrest and then they get stuck at the station for hours processing forms, when all they want to do is get back out there.  So we’re also taking action on police bureaucracy.</p> <p>We have already scrapped the stop form and we've scaled back the stop and search form, saving up to 800,000 police hours per year.  We’ve restored police discretion over some charging decisions, saving up to 50,000 hours per year. Now we're streamlining performance management, crime recording processes, risk management, improving the handling of domestic violence cases and going even further on charging discretion. In total, that could save a further 2.5 million police hours every year. That is the equivalent of 1,200 police officers, out there policing your streets.</p> <h3>Robust</h3> <p>So we are reforming the police to make sure they are effective in fighting crime, and efficient to fight crime on a budget. But one of the questions raised in the last week was whether the police have the right powers to fight crime and keep order.</p> <p>Many people in the room today will know that HMIC have been reviewing public order policing since 2009.  Their last report, published earlier this year, established that we are in a new era of public order policing – one that is faster moving and more unpredictable – and that police tactics will have to be as adaptable as possible to keep up.</p> <p>Following last week's events, I have written to Sir Denis O’Connor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, and asked him to provide clearer information to forces about the size of deployments, the need for mutual aid, pre-emptive action, public order tactics, the number of officers trained in public order policing, and an appropriate arrests policy.</p> <p>Throughout last week, we said we would do what was necessary to bring the disorder to an end, and we meant it.</p> <p>We made it clear to the police that there was nothing to stop them using baton rounds if they judged it necessary, and water cannon stationed in Northern Ireland was made available on 24 hour standby. The police were clear that they did not want to use them, and, in the end, what restored order was officers on the streets and robust policing with the help and support of local communities.  We risk that important public support if we rush to use things such as rubber bullets.</p> <p>But on a more day-to-day level, the police need strong, enforceable powers to help them deal with anti-social behaviour, criminality, gangs and disorder.</p> <p>Last week, dispersal orders – which allow the police to move young people away from specific places – were used to good effect.  They form part of the anti-social behaviour regime which we are currently reforming to make it more streamlined, effective and enforceable.  It’s clear to me that as long as we tolerate the kind of anti-social behaviour that takes place every day up and down the country, we will continue to see high levels of crime, a lack of respect for private property and a contempt for community life.</p> <p>We have already said that we will give the police new powers, including new gang injunctions for young people and the right to remove face coverings, as well as considering new curfew powers.  For example, under existing laws, there is no power to impose a general curfew in a particular area, and while curfew conditions can be placed on some offenders as part of their ASBO, criminal sentence or bail conditions, there are only limited powers to impose them on somebody under the age of sixteen.  Those are the sorts of changes we need to consider.</p> <p>So we will make sure the police have the powers they need.  But we also need to be clear that when they use them, and when they deliver the kind of robust policing that worked this week, they have the support of the politicians and the public.</p> <p>Officers I met last week told me that because of criticism of police tactics in the past, they’re not sure they do have our backing: too often in the past the police have been damned if they do and damned if they don't. </p> <p>I want police officers to hear this message loud and clear: as long as you act within reason and the law, I will never damn you if you do.</p> <h3>Well-led</h3> <p>So the police need to have the legal powers to take robust action against criminals.  They also need strong leaders, single-minded crime fighters who get to the top and measure their own performance on nothing but taking the fight to lawbreakers. Too often in the past, the test of a police chief has been whether they ticked boxes, followed their performance indicators and hit their government targets. That is no longer the case.</p> <p>And we need to open up the talent pool. This is one reason why, in addition to his work on pay and conditions, I commissioned Tom Winsor to produce a second report into the long-term future of policing.  As part of this second report, I asked him to consider how we can introduce direct entry into the police – including the most senior police ranks – so that suitably qualified outsiders may apply.</p> <p>I also want him to look at how to encourage police officers who want to stay out there on the frontline to go for promotion.</p> <p>Too often promotion means coming off the streets and sitting behind a desk, becoming a manager and no longer a police officer.</p> <p>Too many talented officers turn down promotion as a result.  That’s a dreadful waste of ability, and we need to put an end to it. </p> <p>Policing is a vocation, so I want to see promotion opportunities for officers who want to stay out on the frontline and who are the best in their field.</p> <h3>Accountable</h3> <p>For that is what the public want from their police.  And the final principle of our police reforms is to make sure that the police are directly accountable to the people.</p> <p>From May next year, the public will be able to elect a police and crime commissioner for their police force area, who will have the power to set the policing budget, determine the policing plan and hire and fire the chief constable.  They will have a key role working with local community safety partnerships and bringing together all the local agencies with an interest in crime.  If local people are unhappy with the performance of their police force, or if they think crime is too high, they will have the ultimate sanction of booting out from office their local police and crime commissioner.</p> <p>And I thought that was another lesson from last week’s events.  In London, the Mayor was on the streets of his city, working with the Acting Commissioner and representing Londoners to central government. The contrast with unaccountable, unelected and invisible police authority chairmen in other parts of the country could not have been clearer.</p> <p>It is also clear that this desire for transparency goes further.  When I visited Manchester last week, one of the problems the chairman of the police authority raised with me was the apparent need for anonymity in the cases of young offenders involved in the disorder.  So when I chaired Cobra on Friday, I asked that the CPS reinforce that prosecutors can and should request, in the public interest, that the Courts lift the anonymity of young offenders once they have been found guilty.</p> <p>Building on this public desire for transparency and accountability, I am keen to take crime maps on to the next level as soon as possible.  From May next year, the public will be able to see, at street level, what has happened after a crime has been committed. In addition,  Leicestershire Police are exploring how to develop online case tracking systems for individual victims so they can monitor the progress of their case online. Once this change has been trialled, I am keen to see it implemented across the whole country as quickly as possible.</p> <h3>Urgent need for police reform</h3> <p>The violence and disorder we saw in our towns and cities one week ago showed Britain’s police officers at their best: brave, selfless and determined to protect the public.</p> <p>But they also showed that the case for radical reform of the police is more urgent than ever.</p> <p>We need police forces to be as effective as possible in fighting crime.</p> <p>Efficient enough to cut crime even as we cut budgets.</p> <p>Robust enough to take the fight to the criminals.</p> <p>Well-led by single-minded crime fighters.</p> <p>And accountable to the communities they serve.</p> <p>Thank you.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/urgent-need-reform Theresa May The urgent need for police reform Tuesday, 16 Aug 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">The Home Secretary, Theresa May, gave this speech to the House of Commons on 11 August. This version is as spoken.</p> <p>'Mr Speaker, the last five days have been a dark time for everybody who cares about their community and their country.  Violence, arson and looting in several of our towns and cities – often openly in front of television cameras – has destroyed homes, ruined livelihoods and taken lives. As long as we wish to call ourselves a civilised society, such disorder has no place in Britain. </p> <p>I know that the House will join me in paying tribute to the bravery of the police men and women who have worked to restore order to our streets.  In particular, I know that Hon Members will want to lend their support to the police officers who have suffered injuries in the course of their duties.</p> <p>And I know that the whole House will want to send their condolences to the families of the three men so senselessly killed in Birmingham on Tuesday night.</p> <p>The violence of the last five days raises many searching questions, and the answers to those questions may be painful to hear and difficult to put right. Why is it that so many people are prepared to behave in this way?</p> <p>Why does a violent gang culture exist in so many of our towns and cities? Why did the police find it so hard to prevent or contain the violence? It will take time to answer those questions fully and adequately, but I will take each of them in turn.</p> <p>First, the reasons behind this behaviour. We must never forget that the only cause of a crime is a criminal.  Everybody, no matter what their background or circumstances, has the freedom to choose between right and wrong. Those who make the wrong decision, who engage in criminality, must be identified, arrested and punished – and we will make sure that happens.</p> <p>But nobody doubts that the violence we have seen over the last five days is the symptom of something very deeply wrong with our society.  Children celebrating as they smash their way into shops.  Men in sports cars arriving at stores to steal goods. Women trying on trainers before they steal them.  A teaching assistant caught looting.  Thugs pretending to help an injured young man, in order to rob him. They are all shocking images, but they are in fact symbols of a deeper malaise in our society.</p> <p>Almost two million children are brought up in households in which nobody works. One in three children leaves primary school unable to read, write and add up properly. We have the highest level of drug abuse in Europe.  There are almost a hundred knife crimes committed every day and nearly a million violent crimes every year.  Half of all prisoners reoffend within a year of their release from prison.  These are serious social problems and we can’t go on ignoring them.</p> <p>Nobody is pretending that there are easy answers to such deep-rooted problems, but they are the reasons why the reform of welfare, schools and the criminal justice system cannot wait.</p> <p>I want to move on, now, to the gang culture in many of our towns and cities. Six per cent of young people are thought to belong to a gang of one kind or another.  Gangs are inherently criminal: on average, entrenched gang members have eleven criminal convictions and the average age for a first conviction of a gang member is just fifteen. </p> <p>They are also inherently violent: gangs across the country are involved with the use and supply of drugs, firearms and knives.</p> <p>Talking to chief constables who have dealt with the violence of the last few days, it is clear that many of the perpetrators – but by no means all of them – are known gang members.</p> <p>So we have to do more to tackle gang culture.  Over the course of this year and next we have already announced plans to provide £4million in funding to London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands to tackle their gang, guns and knives problem.</p> <p>We are providing a further £4 million over two years to community organisations working to stop young people becoming involved in gangs, help young people get out of gangs, and support parents to help their children.</p> <p>And we are working with the Prince’s Trust to support young people who want to prevent gang violence through the new Ben Kinsella Fund.</p> <p>We need to do more to help local communities share ideas and expertise on how they can tackle their gang problem. Working with ACPO we will establish an Ending Gang Violence team, of experts drawn from across the country – from the police service, local councils and the voluntary sector – to provide an up-to-date map of the scale of this problem and provide practical, on-the-ground expert advice to areas wanting to get on top of their gang problem.</p> <p>In January, we launched gang injunctions, which give the police the power to impose tough sanctions on adult gang members, like barring them from entering certain parts of town, appearing in public with dogs or wearing their gang colours or emblems.  As the Prime Minister said in his statement earlier today, we will now go further, and introduce gang injunctions for young people under the age of eighteen, not just in pilot form but across the whole country.</p> <p>And as the Prime Minister also said in his statement, I will present a report to Parliament in October on a cross-government programme to combat gangs.</p> <p>I now want to move on to the questions about the police reaction to the violence. I know that Hon Members, like members of the public, are concerned about the speed and quality of the police response.  That response has changed over the course of the last five days, and has been different in different parts of the country.  We need to appraise it honestly, bluntly, and learn the lessons where things have gone wrong.</p> <p>In London, the first disturbances began in Tottenham on Saturday night. The police operation began with the originally peaceful protest about the death of Mark Duggan.  Officers were understandably cautious about how they policed the protest, but as the violence began, the police lost control and a fully-fledged riot followed. </p> <p>On Sunday night, with Tottenham calm, the police managed to nip in the bud trouble at Oxford Circus, but the violence spread to Enfield and Brixton.  On Monday night, the number of officers deployed in London increased to 6,000 – two or three times more than a normal evening. But still, that wasn’t enough and with the violence reaching Hackney, Peckham, Croydon, Ealing, Lewisham and Clapham, officers were overwhelmed.  In Clapham, the mob ran amok for more than two hours before the police regained control.</p> <p>That is simply not acceptable. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister and I held a meeting with the Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner in which he set out a new approach.</p> <p>During the day, the ringleaders were identified, arrested and taken out of circulation.</p> <p>Officers took a tougher approach and intervened earlier to disperse groups before trouble began.</p> <p>All leave was cancelled and all special constables were mobilised. Mutual aid was stepped up. In total, up to sixteen thousand officers were deployed. </p> <p>Officers took a more robust approach to tackling disorder and making arrests.</p> <p>There are tricky days and nights ahead, but thanks to the efforts of those thousands of officers, order has, in large part, been restored.</p> <p>In other parts of the country, though, we saw more disorder. In towns and cities including Manchester, Salford, Nottingham, Wolverhampton and – for a second night – Birmingham, there was further violence.</p> <p>In Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, despite the best efforts of officers, we saw for a while streets that were in control of the thugs and not the police. </p> <p>In Winson Green in Birmingham three young men were killed when they were hit, apparently deliberately, by a car. </p> <p>The whole House will want to pay tribute to Tariq Jahan, the father of one of the victims, for his dignified call for calm, which undoubtedly did much to calm  community relations.</p> <p>Yesterday, I convened and chaired a conference call with chief officers from every force in the country. We agreed the mobilisation of all special constables, the cancellation of police leave across the country and the adoption of the tactics deployed by the Metropolitan Police in London.  Again, there are difficult days and nights ahead, we are not complacent, but at this stage order has been restored.</p> <p>We said that we would do everything necessary to bring the disorder to an end, and we meant it. We made clear to the police that there was nothing to stop them using  baton rounds if they judged it necessary.  We put the water cannon stationed in Northern Ireland on standby to be deployed within 24 hours.  The police made it clear to me that they did not want to use them.  And, as things stand, what is working is officers on the streets, robust policing and the help and support of local communities – which we would jeopardise if we rushed to use things like rubber bullets.</p> <p>Policing by consent is the British way. But the police will only retain the confidence of the wider community if they are seen to take clear and robust action in the face of open criminality. </p> <p>On Monday night, it was clear that simply not enough officers were on duty. The largest event in London is the Notting Hill carnival, and the same number of officers were deployed as would be for the carnival.</p> <p>And it is clear to me that the original police tactics were insufficient. After criticism of previous public order operations for excessive force, some officers appeared reluctant to be sufficiently robust in breaking up groups. </p> <p>Many arrests were made, but in some situations, officers contained suspects in a specific area, free to commit criminal damage and steal, instead of intervening and making arrests.</p> <p>I want to make clear to the House that in making these points, I am not criticising the police themselves. Too often, the police are damned if they do and damned if they don't. And nowhere is this truer than in public order policing.</p> <p>Well, I want to be clear: as long as officers act within reason and the law themselves, this Home Secretary will never damn the police if they do.</p> <p>Another way in which the police response could have been better is in the harnessing and sharing and analysis of intelligence.</p> <p>Even in the best of economic times, we would not have the resources to keep up this level of deployment continuously.  So public order planning and intelligence will need to be considerably better.</p> <p>This is not the first time that criminals with plans to disrupt life in our towns and cities have used technology to plot their crimes.</p> <p>Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and messaging services like Blackberry Messenger have been used to coordinate criminality, and stay one step ahead of the police. </p> <p>I will convene a meeting with ACPO, the police and representatives from the social media industries to work out how we can improve the technological and related legal capability of the police. </p> <p>Among the issues we will discuss is whether and how we should be able to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. </p> <p>A further difficulty – not just in this recent disorder but in other recent operations – has been the issue of face coverings by criminals.  The police already have a power to require people to remove face coverings in certain, limited, circumstances.  Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act allows officers to force their removal only in a specific geographical location for a limited time, linked to a threat of violence.  This doesn’t leave discretion to individual constables and it doesn’t allow officers to nip trouble in the bud early on. </p> <p>So we will change the law to allow police officers to remove face coverings – if they have reasonable belief that they are related to criminal activity – under any circumstances.</p> <p>And as the Prime Minister said, we will also look at the use of existing dispersal powers and whether any wider power of curfew is necessary.<br>Mr Speaker, we often say in this House that there can be no liberty without order, and the events of the last five days have shown that more clearly than ever.  The tide is turning, and order is returning to our streets. </p> <p>Since Saturday, more than 1,200 people have been arrested and more than 400 have been charged.  Courts in London, the West Midlands and Manchester have worked throughout the night and we are already starting to see the offenders prosecuted. </p> <p>I am clear that the perpetrators of this violence must pay for their actions, and the courts should hand down custodial sentences for any violent crimes.</p> <p>The tide is turning because communities up and down the country have said enough is enough. </p> <p>It's turning because the thugs are being arrested and locked up.</p> <p>And it is turning because of the bravery and dedication of the men and women of our police forces.</p> <p>So I will just end Mr Speaker with this thought. We ask police officers to put themselves in harm’s way on a routine basis.  We ask them to go into dangerous situations that most of us would hope we will never experience.</p> <p>We have the best police officers in the world, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/riots-speech Theresa May Theresa May: speech on riots Thursday, 11 Aug 2011 Home Office House of Commons
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Nick Herbert gave this speech on Wednesday 28 September 2011. The text should be checked against delivery.</p> <p> </p> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>My thanks to the Police Foundation for inviting me to speak today at the close of your annual conference.  Currently there could not be a more apposite subject for discussion than police effectiveness in a changing world.  I would like to contribute to this debate by setting out the challenges I believe an effective police service should meet, and how the Government’s reforms support that endeavour.  But my focus today will be on the aspects of reform that affect the people who work in policing and, in particular, what this means for police leadership.</p> <h3>The challenges</h3> <p>Despite significant reductions, crime is too still far too high.  We know there are particular challenges at either end of the scale.  Anti-social behaviour has sometimes seemed too small a matter to tackle head on, but affects the public deeply, whilst organised crime has been too big and complex to take on fully.</p> <p>At the same time, the deficit which this Government inherited has left us with no choice but to reduce funding to police forces.  The daily financial news makes the risks of failing to tackle the deficit ever more clear.</p> <p>I'm not going to enter here into a discussion about whether police budgets should be cut by £1 billion or £2 billion a year.  Nor am I going to humour the sophists who dispute what should be a non-contentious proposition that the core mission of the police is to cut crime.</p> <p>There are many challenges for the police service, but they are obviously framed by the necessity to reduce crime while budgets fall: cutting crime while cutting costs.</p> <h3>The Government’s reforms</h3> <p>The Government’s reforms help police forces fight crime by changing the terms of trade externally and internally.  Externally, bureaucratic accountability is giving way to democratic accountability, bolstered by a new commitment to transparency.  Internally, the bureaucratic approach to police work must yield to a culture which emphasises professional discretion and common sense.</p> <p>Let me start by highlighting two key structural reforms we have put in place already – crime mapping and Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>Our crime mapping website, <a title="External link opens in a new window" rel="external" href="http://www.police.uk/">www.police.uk</a>, has been a phenomenal success, attracting over 430 million hits since its launch at the beginning of this year.  From next May, justice outcomes will be added so that people can see not just the crimes, but how they are dealt with.</p> <p>The recent passage of the Act to elect Police and Crime Commissioners next year represents another key reform.  PCCs will make policing more accountable and I believe more responsive.</p> <p>These reforms mark a major change in the way that the public and the police will connect with each other.  They will strengthen the essential bridge between the police and the people, and give the public a stronger voice while protecting the operational independence of the police.  They represent a major shift of power from Whitehall to local communities. </p> <p>There has been full debate about Police &amp; Crime Commissioners, and Parliament has spoken.  Now is the time to focus on transition to the new system and, in the interests of policing, to make the reform a success.  In particular, we should see the PCC's wider responsibilities for community safety as an opportunity to ensure effective local partnerships to prevent crime.</p> <p>Meanwhile, we are bringing together for the first time the work of all those tackling organised crime in a new strategy which we set out this summer.  Going further, we are creating a powerful new body of operational crime fighters – the National Crime Agency – to make the UK a hostile environment for serious and organised criminality.</p> <p>Just as forces will be accountable to their Police and Crime Commissioner, the NCA will be accountable to the Home Secretary.  The NCA will have a culture which is open, collaborative and non-bureaucratic.  From the outset, a key NCA objective will be to demonstrate its impact publicly, including to local communities.</p> <p>So this is a strong and coherent agenda, creating appropriate structures at both force and national levels to address the challenge of reducing crime while cutting costs.  These are powerful elements of the first phase of police reform.  They reflect our determination to empower the public, boost transparency, create strong accountability and remove bureaucracy.</p> <p>None of this would have happened if, instead of driving reform, we had set up a Royal Commission or a committee of inquiry.  As the independent Inspectorate of Constabulary has made clear, the fiscal challenge is urgent: there is no time for delay.  It's right to seek professional guidance and independent views in specific areas - and we have.  But we cannot contract out political leadership or funk the big challenges which must be grasped.  And it is little use setting up committees of wise men if you don't even acknowledge that there's a problem to be solved.</p> <p>And let me be clear about how we should approach the changes that are needed.  Public service reform must be driven first of all by the interests of the public.  The changes we are making to reduce bureaucracy and enhance professional discretion will help the police.  This is a positive agenda for them, and I am committed to it.  We will consult the professionals and we will listen.  But we cannot rely on committees of experts consulting other experts.  Our reforms will give the people a voice.  And where tough decisons are needed, including changes to ensure a fair deal to the taxpayer and a voice for the consumer, we will take them.  The public interest will come first.</p> <h3>Reform and the people in policing</h3> <p>If the important structural changes we are making are the first phase of police reform, we now enter the second phase, focusing on the most valuable asset in policing: its people.</p> <p>Let’s be clear about our starting position.  This country has the most diverse, most academically qualified, and best trained police service we have ever had.  The British way is that the police are part of the public and derive their legitimacy from the public – a huge strength.  The can do approach of police officers is a strength, too.  So is the British model of impartial policing, admired around the world - and with good reason.</p> <p>These are strong foundations to build on.  But they can't be a reason to conclude that there's no need for change.  Let me identifty four key areas in particular which I believe point to the need for changing the way in which police forces work.</p> <h3>Challenges and opportunities for police leadership</h3> <p>First, recent events have raised questions which must be answered.  Phone-hacking led to resignations at the top of the Met, and has raised serious questions about the relationship between the police and the press.  There are troubling issues relating to police conduct in other parts of the country as well.  HMIC is doing work on police integrity.  But it's important that we can have a frank debate about the lessons to be learnt, particularly around how openness reinforces integrity and is the ultimate guarantor of the values we need at the top of policing.</p> <p>In response to rioting, police officers put themselves in harm’s way for the public, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.  Again, it's sensible and right to have a debate about tactics in the wake of such events, and HMIC will advise us.  This need not mean criticism.  Some lessons will be positive, such as the response of the public and of the criminal justice system.</p> <p>Other police forces around the world are experiencing the new phenomenon of flash mobs using social media to commit crime.  The world, as the title of this conference acknowledges, is changing.  It simply makes sense to consider how to adapt.</p> <p>This debate should be conducted without rancour or defensiveness.  To recognise the problems, and to consider the changes needed in response, is not destructive criticism of the service.  Any healthy organisation and its leaders need challenge and support.</p> <p>It is the responsibility of politicians to hold public services to account, to ensure proper arrangements for governance, and to ensure that operational leaders are equipped to meet contemporary challenges.</p> <p>The second driver for change relates to the need to deal with bureaucracy.  Bureaucratic control led to front line officers and police leaders responding to Whitehall rather than the public.  It defined an era when officer numbers and police spending rose dramatically – but when crime reduction actually slowed compared with preceding years.</p> <p>I am glad to say that the bureaucratic approach is changing.  Just as accountability to the public needs to shift from being bureaucratic to being democratic, we need to see through a corresponding shift in how police officers and staff are allowed to work.  This agenda is one which can be immensely empowering to officers and staff, where innovation is encouraged, discretion is allowed and professionals are trusted.  But in an era where we take a new view of the assessment and management of risk, new leadership is needed.</p> <p>The third reason for change relates, again, to resources.  Falling budgets mean that there is a requirement for transformation in policing.  Police forces need to re-think how they provide their service, protecting but re-shaping frontline service delivery and bearing down ruthlessly on cost in non-essential functions.  They need to question the unnecessary deployment of sworn officers, the most expensive police resource, in back and middle office functions rather than in frontline roles.  They need to move away from deploying their people in ways which have grown up over time but bear little relation to what the public needs. </p> <p>Police leaders need to drive the organisational changes and the changes in culture that will enable these better approaches.  They need to inspire their officers and staff with relentless focus on crime-fighting.  That should not be a difficult or unwelcome message to deliver.  Officers and staff joined policing, in the main, inspired to serve the public and fight crime.  The problem is that the day-to-day bureaucracy and over emphasis on procedure for its own sake has obscured that aim.  We need police leaders who will return to the focus on crime-fighting which the public and Police and Crime Commissioners will certainly demand.</p> <p>I often hear that, when budgets are falling, government must tell the police what they should stop doing.  Let me answer.  We don't run the police or tell officers how to do their job.  But I do want forces to stop doing things - stop their officers filling in unnecessary forms, stop inefficient processes, and stop the bureaucracy that wastes police time.  And I will do everything I can to support those changes.  I don't want the police to stop providing key services, salami slice provision rather than re-think it, or believe that the answer is to ration demand.  And they don't need to.</p> <p>We remain in the midst of a poor political debate about policing, where too many politicians and commentators still measure success by the size of inputs and assume that less spending inevitably means poorer service.  But it is outcomes that count, and the effective deployment of officers matters at least as much, if not more, than overall numbers.  This generation of police leaders must deliver a service that becomes stronger even as it becomes leaner.</p> <h3>The Winsor Review</h3> <p>The fourth requirement for change is that we need a workforce which is structured, rewarded and motivated to respond to modern demands.</p> <p>The Home Secretary has of course commissioned Tom Winsor to provide two reports which will be central to the people side of police reform.  His first report is currently in the Police Negotiating Board process.  So it would not be appropriate for me to comment in detail.</p> <p>But I do want to draw attention to Tom Winsor’s principles, which he set out in his first report and which the Home Secretary has already accepted.  Amongst these, he set out that fairness is an essential part of any new system of pay and conditions – fairness to the public and fairness to police officers and staff.</p> <p>Winsor said people should be paid for what they do, the skills they have and according to how much they contribute.  His principles noted that while rewarding officers for the onerous demands of front line policing, the police service also needs to recognise the contribution made by police staff.</p> <p>The Winsor principles send a clear message in support of fostering professionalism and discretion in policing.  I would urge all bodies with an interest in policing to contribute fully and in detail to Tom Winsor’s work on his second report.  This work will map the way forwards for policing over the medium and long term.  It represents an opportunity for change which comes only once every 25-30 years.  That opportunity must not be missed.</p> <h3>Criteria for police leadership reform</h3> <p>So the police need to cut crime and cut costs, and they need to tackle big agendas relating to governance, reducing bureaucracy, transforming their organisations and managing their workforces through a major programme of change.</p> <p>This is a significant challenge, and it will require real leadership.  My job is to provide the clear framework and support which the service needs to help them through.  But in the end the public, through their elected Police and Crime Commissioners, will rely on police leaders to deliver.  So I think it's right to ask what we want from the next generation of leaders - and I don't just mean senior leaders - in policing.</p> <p>• First of all, I believe we need to maintain the positive characteristics of current police leadership – such as the 'can do' spirit found in the police service as a whole.</p> <p>• We must maintain the British model of operationally independent, impartial policing.</p> <p>• The public will want to see inspirational leaders who drive a relentless focus on crime-fighting.</p> <p>• They will want a police leadership which they can trust.</p> <p>• We need a police service and leaders, as Chief Constable Steve Otter and I argued two weeks ago, who are properly representative of the public they serve ...</p> <p>• ... and a service that is open to all and attractive to the best.</p> <p>• We need to ensure that police forces have the management capacity and skills to control costs.</p> <p>• Related to this, we need leaders who can drive transformational change, in particular to the way their officers and staff work, moving to a culture of professional discretion.</p> <p>• And we need to underpin all this with values of integrity of conduct combined with openness to challenge and to new ideas.</p> <p>I don't believe that these set of requirements should be controversial.   Indeed, it strikes me that forward thinking police leaders are already espousing them.  Bernard Hogan Howe has done so in his first week as Metropolitan Police Commissioner.</p> <h3>Talking points</h3> <p>So then we come to the steps needed to promote these criteria.  We need a good debate about these.  But let me offer a few talking points.</p> <p>• Policing should not deny itself access to talent from whatever suitable source.  That’s why we've asked Tom Winsor to look at direct entry to policing at ranks above constable, and accelerated promotion within policing.  I know that direct entry in particular is controversial in the service, and operational issues must be addressed.  But outward-looking and self-confident organisations should welcome the ability to attract good people, from all backgrounds and at various points in their careers.</p> <p>• Similarly, openness must underpin the approach to the selection, training and development of leadership from within the service.  We need to expose police leaders to learning from other sectors, making training more flexible and more open.  We need to broaden skills through more secondments out of the service, and indeed more varied careers which see rising stars moving in and out of the service.</p> <p>• We need to foster a more open appointments system.  Too often we are seeing competitions for chief officer posts which are scarcely competitions at all.  An outward-looking and self-confident service should welcome more open approaches.  Direct entry is one solution, but there are broader cultural issues around selection and promotion to address.</p> <p>• We need to consider how police forces should meet – and show they meet – high standards of corporate governance as they are held to account by Police and Crime Commissioners.  That can sound a dry area – but what it means is that the way a force top team works must provide good management and leadership, and follow the key values of policing.</p> <h3>A professional body for policing</h3> <p>We now need the right vehicles for delivering these changes in the future.  We have consulted on Peter Neyroud’s Review of Police Leadership and Training which sets out a vision of a professional body for policing.  We are considering the response, and we will set out our proposals shortly. </p> <p>But the NPIA will be phased out next year.   So I do want to be clear that the destination should be a new professional body for policing which has responsibility for training, standards and leadership.  We will, of course, talk about the detail.  We must get the governance right: there must be accountability to the local, in the form of elected Police &amp; Crime Commissioners, as well as to the national.  It must be a body that speaks for the whole of policing, staff and officers.  But it is time that we collectively lifted our sights and saw the huge and positive opportunity which creating an inclusive, professional policing body would bring to the whole service, including rank and file officers and staff.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>I want to take this work forward collaboratively, in dialogue with the service.  But let me conclude by repeating the challenges which I set out:</p> <p>• The continuing need to cut crime;</p> <p>• The need to cut costs;</p> <p>• The need to learn positively from recent events, and</p> <p>• The need to equip leaders to meet these contemporary challenges.</p> <p>These are indisputably challenging times.  I appreciate that forces, officers and staff are being confronted with difficult decisions.  But I remain optimistic about the future of policing, not least because of its huge institutional strengths:</p> <p>• The British model of impartial policing, where the police are part of the public not separate from it, a model which is rightly envied around the world, and</p> <p>• The values of the people who work in our police service – who, overwhelmingly, joined policing inspired to serve the public and fight crime.</p> <p>The benefits of change, to the public and police professionals alike, are too important to lose, and a failure to act would be damaging.  So we will continue to drive reform.  There is room for debate, but no time for denial.  The world is changing.  Successful organisations will change with it.</p> <p> <br> </p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/police-foundation-speech Nick Herbert Police Effectiveness in a Changing World Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Immigration Minister Damian Green gave this speech on Wednesday 28 September 2011.</p> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>It is a great pleasure to be invited here by the University’s Centre for Migration Studies, a department that is quickly gaining a world-wide reputation for excellence in migration research.   I plan to talk today about recent changes to the UK’s migration policy - and what they mean for Ghanaians wanting to work, study, or join family there.</p> <p> <br>We have a proud history of Ghanaian migration to the UK – from the post-independence arrivals of the late 1950s and 1960s, to those coming to pursue work and study opportunities in the last decade.  Last year, an estimated 53,400 journeys were made by Ghanaians to the UK, including 1,120 journeys to study, 850 for family reasons, and 595 for work.</p> <p> <br>Ghanaians represent one of the UK’s largest and longest standing communities.  An estimated 84,000 people born in Ghana are resident there.  Those born in Ghana or with a Ghanaian heritage have made an enormous contribution to the UK’s economic and cultural life.  They include famous faces as diverse as fashion designer Oswald Boateng, TV presenter June Sarpong, and a chap called Essien – who I understand is quite popular back here in Ghana!  In my own Conservative Party two new Members of Parliament with Ghanaian parents – Kwasi Kwarteng and Sam Gyimah - were elected in 2010, and are already making quite an impact in our national political life.</p> <p> <br>And of course, this prestigious institution – the oldest and largest of the 13 Ghanaian universities, with its historic links to the UK as an affiliate college of the University of London in the years between 1948 and 1961 – also enjoys the benefits of immigration, with around 1000 international students every year arriving to study at one of Africa’s very best institutions.</p> <p> <br>So managed well, we know that immigration brings great benefits.  Industry, fashion, sport, music – all these thriving UK sectors, and many more, owe a great debt to those who have brought their talents to Britain.  </p> <p> <br>Uncontrolled immigration put serious pressures on communities and public services across the country.  In the last decade, net migration to Britain – that is the numbers coming to live in this country for a year or more, less those leaving to live abroad – stood at up to 200,000 a year.  Between 1997 and 2009 it totalled more than 2.2 million people – nearly 10% of Ghana’s current population. </p> <p> <br>That is why, over the last year, the new UK Government has taken a series of measures to bring immigration down.  Our approach has been to tighten the system, tackle abuse and support only the most beneficial migrants who can strengthen our economy and society - good immigration, not mass immigration.  We are taking action across all the main routes of entry to Britain: work, family and study.  I will talk in a moment about the fundamental reforms being made in each of these areas.</p> <p> <br>We will continue to welcome the brightest and best to our workplaces and universities.  Britain remains open for business, study and visits.  And we will ensure that those committed to working hard and contributing to their community can make a life in the UK with their families.  But we will not tolerate those who sidestep our laws or try to play the system.  Our new controls have set us on a road to sustainable immigration levels.  We expect to see a significant fall in net migration to the UK from the hundreds of thousands we have seen in recent years, to tens of thousands, as we bring a sense of fairness back into the system. </p> <h3> <br>Work</h3> <p>In reforming the employment route into the UK we have ensured that we remain able to retain and attract the brightest and best, while reducing numbers overall. </p> <p> <br>We have imposed an annual limit on the number of economic migrants able to come to the UK from outside Europe, and closed down the route for those without a job offer.  At the same time we have made it easier for investors and entrepreneurs to come, and last month we opened a new Exceptional Talent Route for recognised leaders in their field.   So far, our work visa limit has been undersubscribed each month – proving wrong those who said restrictions would damage our economy.  If applications do exceed our limit, we will prioritise those with job offers in shortage occupations, as well as the researchers and scientists destined for employment in the sectors where Britain excels.  And the senior business roles covered by the Intra Company Transfer route, serving some of the biggest and most profitable firms in the UK, will not be affected by our limit.</p> <h3> <br>Family and settlement</h3> <p>On the family route, we are also imposing tighter controls. All those applying for a marriage visa must now show a minimum standard of English, and we have focused enforcement resource on tackling sham marriage. </p> <p> <br>The Government is currently consulting on further measures, aimed at reducing abuse, promoting integration and social cohesion and reducing burdens on the taxpayer.  Proposals include harsher penalties for those involved in bogus weddings, stricter checks that relationships are genuine and enduring, and extending the time migrants must spend in the UK before they can bring family members to join them.  Family members may also need to wait longer before getting a permanent right to stay – five years, rather than the current two.  We have also proposed wider and more stringent English language testing, a higher minimum income threshold for those sponsoring family to live in Britain, and restricting appeal rights for those refused a family visit visa.</p> <p> <br>Finally, we are seeking views on how we can be more selective about who is given a permanent right to make their home in the UK.  It is currently too easy to move from a short-term stay to permanent settlement.  Last year nearly 300,000 people did so, the highest number since the 1960s.  Settling in Britain should be a privilege not a right, and the measures in our consultation are aimed at breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration.</p> <p> <br>hese are sensitive issues, but ones the UK Government is determined to tackle.  Our changes are aimed at protecting the family route from abuse, and making sure family migrants play a full role in Britain’s economic and community life.  As before, we will continue to extend a warm welcome to legitimate visitors and those committed to building a successful life in the UK with their loved ones.</p> <h3> <br>Study</h3> <p>Finally - and of particular interest to University members here today - the UK Government has embarked upon root and branch reform of student visa regime.  Students represent the largest proportion of non-EU immigration to the UK. In 2010, the student route accounted for 59% of total non-EU immigration, with 178,000 arriving for a year or more.  So we cannot bring down net migration without addressing the numbers arriving as students.</p> <p> <br>As well as the very real benefits international students bring - £2.2bn in 2008/9 in tuition fees alone; an immeasurable contribution to keeping our best universities at the top of the international league - the new Government uncovered widespread and sometimes shocking abuse of this route.  From a sample of 231 dependants of students, only 25% genuine.  Up to a quarter of those outside our publicly funded system of universities not complying with the terms of their visas.   Bogus colleges bringing in migrants with no English, whose primary motivation was not to study but to work and settle in the UK.  And poor quality colleges exploiting genuine students by taking their money and offering little in return in the way of teaching, campus life or student support. </p> <p> <br>As with the other areas of our reforms, the brightest and best have nothing to fear.   The British Government will continue to support our world-class institutions in their efforts to attract the most promising students, and the top researchers and academics for whom there is intense global competition.  We will continue to welcome those genuine students who want to further their prospects with a high quality course of study in the UK.  But we are acting to minimise abuse of the route and focus on the quality rather than the quantity of provision.</p> <p> <br>So those studying in the UK must now have a good standard of English.  We have trusted our university sector to assess their own students, but those studying at other institutions must pass a secure language test.</p> <p> <br>We have ended the right of those studying outside our university system to work.  Only those studying at postgraduate level can now bring dependants with them.  And all education providers must meet the highest standards of immigration compliance – those already met by most universities - or be struck off our register and prevented from sponsoring overseas students.</p> <p> <br>We are also introducing a new system of educational oversight for private institutions, so they face the same robust assurance of the quality of their education provision as our universities and public colleges.  Those who fail these inspections will lose the right to bring in international students.   </p> <p> <br>From next April we will limit the time students can spend at degree level to five years – with exceptions for those pursuing professional courses of study in areas like medicine and architecture.  And we will close our post study work route which has allowed those with a degree from a British university two years’ free access to our labour market, at the same time as opening up new opportunities for students with a job offer and student entrepreneurs to stay in the country and contribute to economic growth.  </p> <h3> <br>Irregular Migration</h3> <p>I want to also touch on irregular migration, which I know is a subject that generates much debate here in Ghana.</p> <p> <br>The dangers of migrating outside the rules are starkly illustrated by the situation that 19,000 undocumented Ghanaians, stranded in Libya, found themselves in this year. It is only thanks to an enormous effort by the Government of Ghana that they were able to escape the horrors being perpetrated by the Ghaddafi regime.</p> <p> <br>I want to be very clear in my message to those who are thinking about coming to the UK without a visa: don’t do it. The journey itself, often taking weeks, travelling through the Sahara desert in the back of overheated trucks, claims the lives of nearly half of the people who attempt the journey. Those that do survive will almost certainly have been subject to an armed robbery along the way. They are left with nothing.</p> <p> <br>And make no mistake about it, despite what the Connection Men [visa facilitators] may tell you, the life of an undocumented migrant in the UK is not a happy one. You will be exploited by unscrupulous employers, who will pay you far below the amount you need to survive. You will live in squalid conditions, because you can’t afford rent. Many irregular migrants end up working in the sex industry or as domestic slaves. They have nobody to turn to, and no protection from the Police, because we don’t know that you’re in the country.</p> <p> <br>The Government takes a strong line on removing those people who do not comply with immigration laws. We will remove you. So my message is simple, don’t waste thousands of dollars on fees to visa facilitators, they are not telling you the truth. You are signing yourself up to a life of misery. Despite the changes we are making to the visa system it is not impossible to come to the UK. You might be surprised to know that 70% of visa applications here in Ghana are successful. If you are in any doubt, speak to the Ghana Immigration Service who can advise you on what you need to do to travel.</p> <p> <br>I also want to commend the inspiring work of Civil Society and the NGOs who are doing so much to stop irregular migration from happening, and in helping reintegrate those who have been exploited as irregular migrants. In particular I want to pay tribute to the Coalition of NGOs Against Irregular Migration. You, and the Government of Ghana – whose Migration Information Bureau I would also like to praise, will continue to have the support of the British Government to help you in this important work. It is in both countries interests that Ghanaians travel to the UK properly.</p> <h3> <br>Conclusion</h3> <p>Across all the routes of entry into the UK our reforms are following the same principles - working to attract brightest and best while reducing numbers overall; a more selective approach focusing on quality not quantity; tackling abuse; and restoring a sense of fairness to the system.  Let me be clear: those who go to the UK to work hard and grow our economy, study at our world-class institutions and strengthen our communities will continue to be welcome.  But those who want to play the system, those unwilling or unable to make a contribution, will find it more difficult to get to Britain, and more difficult to stay.</p> <p> <br>I want to end on a positive note: the future looks bright for the UK-Ghana relationship. It is a relationship based on our long-standing historical, political and cultural connections, and on our shared values. But it is also built on the strong people-to-people links that bind us together, with a Ghanaian diaspora in the UK of over half a million, the relationship truly is one of family. As Ghana continues to develop we will work side-by-side with you in pursuit of our mutual aims of: good governance, respect for the rule of law, and the eradication of poverty. And we will manage migration in a way that facilitates this.</p> <p> <br>I want to thank you again for the opportunity to speak here to you all today.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/ghana-speech Damian Green Speech to the University of Ghana's Centre for Migration Studies Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP gave this speech to the Police Superintendents’ Association of England &amp; Wales on Wednesday 14 September 2011. This version is 'as delivered'.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'The recent riots showed us what the criminal justice system can achieve.<span> </span> Dedicated police, prosecutors, courts, probation and prisons staff worked closely together around the clock.<span> </span> Over 1,600 cases have already been brought before the courts; some were literally resolved in a matter of hours and many within days of arrest.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Such sharp contrast with the usual pace of justice should make us ask questions.<span> </span> The average time between an offence being committed and disposal of a case in magistrates' courts is 140 days.<span> </span> Even relatively simple, uncontested motoring cases take nearly this long.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Despite repeated promises to put victims at the heart of criminal justice, many face cases that take weeks, if not months, to come to court, with frequent interruptions in proceedings.<span> </span> Only four out of every ten cases in magistrates' courts go ahead on the planned day.<span> </span> Too often cases never reach a satisfactory conclusion.<span> </span> Unlike other public services, approval of the criminal justice system goes down when it is experienced.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Delays occur in a system set up for trials when the majority of cases end with a guilty plea.<span> </span> A long, drawn out process, with cases being passed back and forth between agencies and players, is neither effective nor proportionate for relatively minor offending.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'But there is also basic inefficiency.<span> </span> While the rest of the world embraces electronic technology, the criminal justice system likes to use paper - lots of it.<span> </span> Multiple files are prepared by different agencies.<span> </span> Highly trained police officers waste time photocopying documents.<span> </span> IT systems do not link to each other.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'There is little accountability in the system, compounded by its lack of transparency.<span> </span> Criminal justice is viewed as the most remote of our public services - except that it's not a single service or system at all.<span> </span> Piecemeal change is not the answer in an already fragmented organisation.<span> </span> The whole operation of criminal justice needs fundamental reform.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'First, we must bring justice into the 21st Century.<span> </span> By next April, we are requiring the entire criminal justice system to go digital, with secure electronic transfer of case files between the police, prosecutors and courts, and a reduction in the number of times that the same information has to be captured or compiled.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'We are extending the use of virtual courts, allowing defendants to appear in court from police or prison cells by video link.<span> </span> Now the same technology is being tried to allow police officers to give evidence from their stations, so that officers need not waste hours hanging around court buildings.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Second, we want to reduce administrative duplication.<span> </span> Experience of the riots highlighted this as one of the most critical aspects to speeding up justice.<span> </span> It doesn't make sense for case files to be prepared by more than one agency.<span> </span> London has already seen the successful integration of case management between the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, saving time and money.<span> </span> We aim to see streamlined case administration across almost all of the country by April 2013.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Third, we are determined to reveal the performance of the criminal justice system so that agencies can be held to account.<span> </span> Last week we announced an ambitious transparency agenda.<span> </span> Our plans to begin televising court proceedings attracted much attention.<span> </span> But there were other equally radical commitments, for instance allowing the public for the first time to compare the performance of their local courts, and to see how many trials were ineffective and why.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Our crime mapping website, www.police.uk, has been a phenomenal success, attracting over 430 million hits since its launch at the beginning of this year.<span> </span> At one point during the riots visits to the site doubled, with some forces showing the images of suspects.<span> </span> From next May, justice outcomes will be added so that people can see not just the crimes, but how they are dealt with.<span> </span> The protection of victims will always be paramount, but we will not let bogus claims about the rights of offenders stand in the way of common sense information.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'This is not the limit of the transparency agenda: it is just the beginning.<span> </span> Public confidence relies on justice being seen to be done, and visible justice is of our system's longest-standing principles.<span> </span> Only when justice is opened up will we have the information and power to demand better performance.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Fourth, we need to learn from the response to the riots and see where justice could normally be done more effectively.<span> </span> We saw courts sit through the night, and the Magistrates' Association have pointed out that many of their lay members might prefer to work in evenings or at the weekends. <span> </span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Straightforward cases were identified and prepared more quickly.<span> </span> We need to see how effective triage could be applied so as to fast track cases in future, and we need to consider ways to deter unnecessary delay.<span> </span> Swift justice is currently the exception, but it should be the rule.<span> </span> We need to challenge the idea that greater speed would necessarily require more resources.<span> </span> More efficient systems should cost less.<span> </span> We already have one of the most expensive criminal justice systems in the world.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'Some severe sentences were rightly handed down in response to mass acts of looting and violence, where it is imperative that such behaviour is deterred.<span> </span> Such sentences were exceptional.<span> </span> But the lesson is that sure justice, where the consequences of offending are swiftly brought home to the criminal, is effective justice.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'So we are challenging community sentences which are too weak, insisting that offenders on community payback work proper hours and undertake demanding tasks.<span> </span> We are making prisons places of work.<span> </span> We are pioneering payment by results in the penal system to break the cycle of re-offending.<span> </span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">'We are also reviewing the effectiveness of out of court disposals, such as cautions and penalty notices for disorder, which have seen a huge expansion, accounting for a third of cases brought to justice.<span> </span> These can be useful tools to deal with low level offending.<span> </span> But there have been real concerns about how they are being used.<span> </span> If penalties and fines are wrongly used or go unpaid, a mockery is made of justice.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">'For too long the aim has been to divert offenders from the criminal justice system.<span> </span> Of course we want to divert people away from crime.<span> </span> But once offences are committed, they must be dealt with properly.<span> </span> So we are exploring a role for robust restorative approaches, where offenders make amends to victims, in a new form of 'neighbourhood justice'.<span> </span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">'The response to the riots showed us the power of community action when people come together in a shared determination to look after their streets.<span> </span> 'Neighbourhood justice' could involve magistrates, returning them to a central role in their local communities, and volunteers working with the police.<span> </span> This would not be an alternative to the formal criminal justice system, but a carefully guarded return of power and responsibility to communities to resolve less serious crimes quickly and rigorously.<span> </span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">'The riots saw local criminal justice agencies and people pull together as never before.<span> </span> We must draw on that positive experience to transform justice.<span> </span> We can be proud of the fundamental principles of fairness, independence and due process that characterise our system.<span> </span> But that shouldn't excuse its inefficiency or weaknesses.<span> </span> Justice should be swift, sure and seen to be done, or it is not done at all.'</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/police-super-speech Nick Herbert Speech to the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales Tuesday, 20 Sep 2011 Home Office Police Superintendents’ Association of England & Wales
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was delivered by the Home Secretary at the UN symposium on counter terrorism in New York on 19 September 2011.</p> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>Here in this city, ten years ago, we witnessed a massive crime. That crime deserved an unprecedented response.</p> <p>Action from many countries around the world has now weakened Al Qa’ida severely. Its leadership has been disrupted. Its ability to conduct terrorist attacks, communicate and train operatives has been reduced.</p> <p>But we have also learned there are limits to how far military or police action alone can take us in our struggle against any form of terrorism.<br><br>Governments and policy makers realise that if we are to defeat terrorism, we must not only defeat terrorist organisations, we must also defeat the terrorist ideology. I want today to focus on the ideology that lies behind Al Qa’ida, while recognising terrorism comes in many forms and has many sources.</p> <h3>What is the Appeal of Terrorism?</h3> <p>To begin to tackle this ideology we must first understand its appeal. According to our own research and academic work, radicalisation often occurs as people search for identity, meaning and a sense of belonging.</p> <p>They reach out for answers. And, at their most vulnerable, they may be influenced – even groomed – by people who offer deceptively easy answers to difficult questions. The poverty of those answers has been proven by the events this year in the Middle East and North Africa. <br> <br>The Arab Spring has dealt a  significant blow to Al Qa’ida’s ideology and credibility. We must seize the historic opportunity that brings.</p> <h3>How Can We Deal With It?</h3> <p>The question for us, as governments, is how to seize that opportunity – how can we further undermine terrorist ideology and help vulnerable people to resist its appeal?<br><br>In Britain we have spent several years working to counter radicalisation. We have had some success and, yes, we have made mistakes along the way. In no way do we have all the answers but I would like to share with you what we’ve learned, and what we are doing to ensure our approach is as effective as possible in the future.</p> <h3>Ideology</h3> <p>Our strategy is now based around three areas: ideology, individuals and institutions. First, the ideological challenge.<br><br>At the heart of Al Qa’ida's terrorist ideology, as I say, is the notion that the countries of the West are at war with Islam - and that in response terrorism is justified. This is completely false. The ideology of extremism and terrorism is the problem. Islam emphatically is not.</p> <p>But the terrorist ideology also claims that Muslims are oppressed; that Muslims must not participate in democracy; and that we cannot live side-by-side in peaceful and prosperous societies.<br><br>Here, it is not just for governments to act. Here, we need non-government organisations, civil society groups, faith groups to challenge these claims. Every single Muslim, wherever they are in the world, can best disprove the claims made about them by terrorist groups. These messages must be amplified. Combating ideology is a big element in the fight against all terrorism whatever its source.</p> <h3>Individuals</h3> <p>As well as taking on and defeating the ideology of terrorism, a successful counter-radicalisation strategy must also help those individuals who are at risk of the radicalisers’ dangerous messages.<br><br>In the UK we have learned that there are often opportunities to spot and interrupt the radicalisation. Early intervention is vital. In Britain, we use community groups, local councils, health workers, teachers and other professionals to help identify those people who may be vulnerable to radicalisation.<br><br>Those at risk can then be referred for help. It is this referral mechanism that is the key aspect of the programme. Help can then be tailored to the individual. It might involve one-to-one mentoring to explain how wrong the terrorist ideology is. It might be through help with social issues like getting a job.</p> <h3>Institutions</h3> <p>The problems of terrorism and radicalisation are international, but the solutions are often very local. They need to take place in homes, at schools, in mosques, at universities, in hospitals and even in prisons. They rely on local communities, professionals, families and friends.<br><br>So we must do what we can to assist those institutions where there is a risk of radicalisation. Finally, there is a particular challenge of radicalisation on the internet, which clearly requires a global solution.</p> <p>And I know this is something the United Nations is working on. We know terrorists use the internet for radicalisation and the circulation of extremist ideologies, as well as for attack planning and recruitment. We also know that terrorist and extremist use of the internet is becoming more sophisticated.<br><br>So we are working more closely than ever before with our counterparts in other countries and with internet service providers to stop the dissemination of extremist messages on the internet.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>In the decade since 9/11 we have had great success in tackling terrorism.   The ideology of terrorism is more persistent than any one group. We must – as an international community – do more to defeat that ideology.<br> <br>We must all come together to say that the ideology of terrorism is wrong and in particular that the West is not at war with Islam; that Muslims and non-Muslims can and will live together in harmony. Only then will we further discredit a damaged, but resilient, ideology. And only then will we defeat the terrorist threat.<br></p> <p>Thank you.<br></p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/un-prevent Home Secretary Home Secretary speech at the UN on Prevent Monday, 19 Sep 2011 Home Office UN symposium on counter terrorism in New York
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Home Secretary's speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on 16 September 2011.</p> <p>The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is inevitably a time for reflection. A time first and foremost to remember all of those who lost their lives. But also to reflect on the terrorist threats we still face, on the lessons we have learned and on the challenges ahead.</p> <h3>The threats we face</h3> <p>We know that the terrorist threats we face have changed significantly over the past ten years.</p> <p>Al Qa’ida is now substantially weaker than it has been since 9/11. US military and intelligence operations, the international effort in Afghanistan, work by Pakistan and many other countries are all key factors. Al Qa’ida has lost its people, its facilities, its freedom of action and much of its support and reputation.</p> <p>This is a considerable achievement. We should be thankful for it. But we need to be realistic about the threats that remain.</p> <p>In the UK we continue to arrest very significant numbers of people for terrorist offences – almost 2000 since 9/11 but over 650 in the past two years alone. This is more than other countries in Europe.</p> <p>The leadership of Al Qa’ida continues to plan operations in the UK; they attract people for training; they have sections dedicated to overseas operations; they radicalise and recruit. And even as the capability of the Al Qaida leadership has reduced, other threats have emerged which, in the UK, affect us directly.</p> <p>We have seen a wider range of terrorist groups active in and from Pakistan. Some are new but rapidly growing. Others are well established. We all now pay more attention to Al Qa’ida’s affiliates, in Yemen and the Horn of Africa in particular.</p> <p>These affiliates have independent capability. They can radicalise people in our country. People are travelling to fight in Somalia with Al Shabaab and Al Qai’da, and to train in Yemen. Some aspire to conduct attacks back home.</p> <p>We remain alert to terrorist activity in and spreading out of Iraq. We are watching with concern terrorist planning and plotting in Nigeria and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.</p> <p>And, of course, we know that as its command and control is attacked, Al Qa’ida seeks to inspire lone acts of terrorism, organised and conducted without its guidance or instruction.</p> <p>The new terrorist threats are no less complex and difficult than the old. In some ways they are harder to deal with. They challenge our systems and structures. Terrorism now is more diverse, decentralised and perhaps also more agile than the landscape of 9/11.</p> <p>In the UK, we also face a significant threat from terrorism in Northern Ireland. In 2010 almost three times as many people were arrested for terrorist offences in Northern Ireland as for international terrorist offences across the UK. We had 40 attacks in 2010 – and 16 by the end of June this year.</p> <p>The tragic events in Oslo this summer have made us reconsider the threat from the extreme right. This is much less widespread and systematic than terrorism associated with Al Qa’ida. But it has a strange symbiotic relationship with extreme Islamism – they feed off and fight each other. Our counter terrorism police and our counter terrorism strategy were already addressing this threat. After Oslo we will be allocating further resources to this work.</p> <h3>The lessons we have learned</h3> <p>In the last decade we have learned a great deal about effective counter-terrorism. The core of our response requires the closest coordination between policing and the security and intelligence agencies – much closer than they may have imagined 10 years ago.</p> <p>This response needs to be dispersed around our country, under central command but integrated into local policing and close to the communities which it aims to protect. The network needs to join seamlessly with what we have come to call our upstream response – our efforts overseas to stop attack planning against the UK.</p> <p>Until very recently almost all the attacks planned against the UK had an organised and structured overseas connection.</p> <p>We also know that successful counter terrorism needs to be more wide ranging and wider in scope than we first thought. It must include not only capabilities to investigate and prosecute but also to prevent or to counter radicalisation, to provide protective security and to establish community and state resilience.</p> <p>It must involve the whole of government, linking to work on community integration, diplomacy, counter proliferation, foreign aid and of course to military operations.</p> <p>And it needs to be local, national and international; to embrace state and non-state actors, governments overseas, industry and communities at home. The very complexity of this task - the number of moving parts - requires careful co-ordination and a genuinely strategic approach.</p> <h3>Our strategies</h3> <p>Shortly before the summer, both the US and the UK launched new counter-terrorism strategies. They both look forward - taking account of these lessons in different ways.</p> <p>They also describe the threats we face using comparable terms and language. That is important because the threats we face have not always seemed similar.</p> <p>From very soon after 9/11 – and certainly by 2005 – we in the UK realised that terrorist groups had become embedded into the fabric of our society and in particular our cities.</p> <p>These groups had a complex relationship with non-violent extremists, who exploited the freedoms in our society even as they sought to attack its very principles, all the time skirting round the edges of the law.</p> <p>This terrorism came into the UK from outside. But it made use of small numbers of British residents and citizens who were already in our country.</p> <p>In America, for many years you saw the terrorist threat as something external, practised by people “over there” who wanted to strike at American citizens “over here”.</p> <p>Our different sense of threat led us to respond in different ways. Your response has often been framed by military action overseas. Ours has been grounded in policing and law enforcement in our own country. Neither approach was wrong.</p> <p>In recent years, that view of the threat to America has been challenged by the experience of so-called home grown terrorism. And in the UK we are very clear that a domestic law enforcement response alone will not resolve the continued threats we face.</p> <p>Our strategies now reflect these common perspectives. Our security relationship is grounded not just in an exchange of intelligence but on collaboration across a much wider range of areas. We both recognise the need to tackle urgent short-term threats but also vital long-term challenges.</p> <p>Today I want to focus on four of these challenges – legal, ideological and technical, and on the enduring need to secure our borders.</p> <h3>The rule of law</h3> <p>First, looking at the legal challenge. We agree that our counter-terrorism work must reflect our core values, respect for human rights and the rule of law.</p> <p>Our laws must create powers that are proportionate, necessary and effective. We must use these powers in ways that are as focused, targeted and precise as we can make them.</p> <p>Both strategies make clear that the successful prosecution of terrorists is vital. It is our ‘highest priority’. But writing strategies is easier than delivering them.</p> <p>It may now be an inevitable feature of counter terrorism work that we identify more people engaged in terrorist related activity than we can prosecute. Intelligence based operations cannot always deliver evidence we can use in court.</p> <p>Domestically, that causes us both problems. In Britain, we have had to develop means to restrict the actions of people who we can neither prosecute nor deport, but who we know are engaged in terrorist related activity.</p> <p>These measures are necessary, but we must ensure they are always applied in a way consistent with our laws and our values.</p> <p>But the legal challenges overseas are far greater. In countries where terrorists are most active, they are often least likely to be prosecuted.</p> <p>In these countries, agencies may not have the skills to investigate terrorist cases; the judicial system may be weak or corrupt, or both; and there may be an absence of political will. The consequences are far reaching.</p> <p>When we identify terrorist threats we cannot always resolve them. The absence of a functioning judiciary may lead to the violation of human rights. It may then be impossible to co-operate with states in the way that we would wish. And we cannot then deport to these countries foreign nationals engaged in terrorist activity on our own soil.</p> <p>It is hard to see how we can deal with terrorism in the longer term without better promoting the rule of law overseas.</p> <p>We are looking to expand our international work around the rule of law and to ensure that agencies overseas have the capabilities to develop evidence-led investigations into terrorism. But the challenge far outstrips our own resources.</p> <p>The solutions to this problem, and others, must be international. Promoting the rule of law must be a hallmark of our global counter-terrorism work in the years to come.</p> <h3>The ideological challenge</h3> <p>The second challenge is ideological.</p> <p>Our strategy argues that the ideology associated with Al Qa’ida may continue to mobilise lone terrorists and others long after Al Qa’ida itself has gone.</p> <p>So dealing with the terrorist ideology must be a central part of our overall efforts to defeat terrorism. Your strategy is very clear about this.</p> <p>You rightly say that we must always carefully weigh the costs and risks of our actions, recognising that tactical success can sometimes inadvertently contribute to strategic failure. Our counter-terrorism work must not give legitimacy to the claims made by terrorists about us.</p> <p>We also agree that we have to demonstrate that the ideology of those who wish to do us harm is wrong.</p> <p>We must recognise and take on the core of that ideology – that we as countries are at war with Islam and that this justifies acts of terrorism against us.</p> <p>In the UK, both terrorists and non-violent extremists support this outlook. They back up this claim by saying that it is unacceptable for Muslims to participate in a democracy; and indeed that it is wrong for Muslims and non-Muslims to live alongside and to associate with one another in an integrated, content and cohesive society.</p> <p>We will deal with those who promote terrorism through our criminal justice system. We will prevent extremists operating freely in our schools, universities and our prisons. We will not amend our legislation to ban extremist groups operating just within our laws. But nor will we let them pass unchallenged. And we will stop extremists, of whatever kind, coming to our country to preach hatred and division.</p> <p>But there are limits to what governments can do. It is vital to empower communities to contest these issues: Muslims living in our countries can best disprove the claims made about them. Muslims struggling for freedom across the Middle East and North Africa have shown that political change does not depend on acts of terror; in the Arab Spring, Al Qa’ida has been irrelevant.</p> <p>In this ideological struggle we must, of course, recognise the role of the internet. The internet facilitates not only terrorist attack planning and recruitment, but also radicalisation and the circulation of extremist ideologies. We know that terrorist and extremist use of the internet is becoming more sophisticated. And we know that much of the extremist material that concerns us is hosted overseas, including here.</p> <p>We are determined, in the UK, that the internet must not be a no-go area for Government, where terrorists and extremists can proceed unhindered.</p> <p>We have encouraged the development of a specialist policing unit, responsible for enforcing the removal of material which is unlawful under our legislation. That unit has international reach. Since it started, the unit has removed material from the internet on over 170 occasions.</p> <p>We have also developed a new online facility which more easily allows the public to refer unlawful or offensive material they have identified to web hosting companies. When this breaches their own conditions of use; which it often does; they will remove it.</p> <p>I commend this model. I believe this is exactly the kind of community participation and empowerment which best ensures that terrorism remains marginal in our society.</p> <h3>Technology</h3> <p>But the internet is merely one of the technological challenges that we now face.</p> <p>We know that terrorists use technology for operational planning, to communicate and spread ideology, evade protective security and increase lethal impact.</p> <p>The attacks in Mumbai in 2008 were directed by people using off-the-shelf secure communications technology. Software to encrypt mobile phone, voice and messaging is widely available. Satellite imagery, which used to be the classified preserve of military planners, is now freely available.</p> <p>Some terrorists want to acquire or develop access to Chemical, Biological, Radiological or even Nuclear weapons. In future, the direction and wider publication of scientific research may make that easier.</p> <p>We continue to see little evidence of systematic cyber terrorism. But this is now part of the language of Al Qa’ida. As a tactic, and as a weapon, cyber terrorism is perfectly suited to the world of the lone terrorist, operating outside a hierarchy and without traditional command and control. Collectively, these are very significant issues for us and our allies.</p> <p>The pace and availability of technology has the potential to more than compensate for the progress we have made since 9/11. It can make the ideological struggle look irrelevant: technology can give much more lethal power to many fewer people.</p> <p>Of course, a great deal has been done to address these threats. You have again taken a lead in work on counter-proliferation around the world. We have both developed solutions to deal with some emerging technical threats. We have shared that technology and learned from others. But we have much more to do.</p> <p>We will need a much clearer shared idea of how technology will change terrorism and change our response to it.</p> <p>We will need to nurture the academic links between our two countries to find solutions in the future.</p> <p>And we will need to develop new and rather different relationships with our private sectors, who of course own much of this technology and who – for our wider benefit – will develop it as fast and as aggressively as they can.</p> <h3>The challenge at our borders</h3> <p>Let me turn finally to one of the most striking achievements since 9/11 - the improvement of security at our borders and for aviation in particular.</p> <p>I use the term striking because of the complexity and scale of the task; because it has been achieved alongside the continued rapid expansion of travel around the world; because it has required global co-operation; and because it has retained the support of the vast majority of the travelling public.</p> <p>The US, and the Department of Homeland Security in particular, have led the way. We have developed a dialogue together which is vital to our national security and to our counter terrorist efforts. It has given a new meaning to the term border security and perhaps to the term border itself. But in future this work will get more challenging.</p> <p>Right now, 200 million passengers travel by air to or through our country each year from some 465 points of departure around the world. By 2030 that number will have risen to around 390 million.</p> <p>We know that a common feature of the threats we face is that terrorists increasingly operate across states, travelling and networking freely. We know they aim to carry lethal material, either with the intent to use it in mid-air or at their destination.</p> <p>We also know that our border security to a considerable extent depends on border security in other states, often less capable than ourselves. And it depends too on the collection, exchange and analysis of large amounts of data.</p> <p>Within the UK, we have done a great deal to strengthen our borders. We are working on new technical programmes and we will be setting up a new Border Police Command. We are looking at your Customs and Border Protection which offers important lessons for us.</p> <p>We are also working closely with the European Union and other countries to develop passenger data sharing agreements. I have secured agreement in Europe that this is vital to our collective security.</p> <p>There is often talk of the value of our intelligence exchange. And that’s of course absolutely right. The exchange of data and information on border security may be far less glamorous but it is no less important or effective.</p> <p>In the US alone, for example, you have used the analysis of travel data to identify 3000 people suspected of terrorist connections over two years.</p> <p>Countries around the world must commit to developing an international consensus on secure borders, common capabilities and sharing data. We know our enemies share technology, new ideas and expertise - we must do so too.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>So as we look back to 9/11 we can rightly point to many achievements in containing and reducing the threats we face. Looking forward we can see these threats will continue to change.</p> <p>Dispersed organisations and lone individuals will make more use of different technologies. They will test our law enforcement and intelligence capabilities. As the 9/11 Commission warned us, we will have to use our imaginations to anticipate future trends. Terrorism in 2015 is likely to be very different from terrorism today.</p> <p>Success will depend on balancing the near and long-term objectives. Repeated tactical success will not of itself assure us of strategic victory. We must extend the rule of law; address the ideological challenge; harness and not be harmed by technology; and preserve our borders in what will surely remain a period of instability.</p> <p>But in that period of instability, one thing must remain stable – the strength of the UK/US security relationship. Its scope will change. Its importance will not. The security of our citizens and the wider world depends on it.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/HS-US Home Secretary Home Secretary's speech to the Council on Foreign Relations Monday, 19 Sep 2011 Home Office Council on Foreign Relations in Washington
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Immigration Minister Damian Green delivered this speech to the Centre for Policy Studies on 15 September. This version of the speech is as written.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>The vast majority of people in this country believe that we need less immigration, and I agree. After years of net migration increasing relentlessly, the figures stabilised in the last quarter of 2010, though at far too high a level. But as well as achieving lower numbers we also need immigration which is better targeted and fairer. <br>  <br>We have been clear that we need to take action across all routes of entry to the UK to fix the broken immigration system we inherited. In doing so, we are determined to bring net migration back to sustainable levels and to bring a sense of fairness back to our immigration system.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>We also want a system that supports hard-working families, that helps build stronger communities, and that reinforces responsibilities as well as rights. Those objectives – which the Prime Minister has said must govern our policies across government – are reflected in our immigration reforms.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>We have already come a long way. Since April there has been a limit on the number of economic migrants able to come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>That limit – 21,700 for the year – has been under-subscribed each and every month since it was introduced. Those who predicted it couldn’t work or it would damage British business have been proved wrong.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>That is because we listened carefully to those who made sensible suggestions, though not to those who said it could not or should not be done.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>In December we consulted on reforms to the student visa route. Again we listened carefully and ensured that the brightest students will be welcome here. But they will have to speak good English, and if they are not studying at a university, they won’t be able to work or sponsor dependants.  </span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>Private colleges will have to undergo more rigorous checks on the quality of their education provision before they can sponsor international students.  And all education providers will have to meet the highest standards of immigration compliance. We are determined to stop abuse.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>In June, we launched a consultation aimed at breaking the link between temporary migration and permanent settlement.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>It is currently far too easy to move from temporary residence in the UK to settlement here. In 2010, 238,000 people were granted settlement in the UK, the highest number since the 1960s.</span> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span>Reducing net migration and ensuring community cohesion is not just about reducing the numbers coming to the UK; it is also about being more selective about those who stay permanently.  Settling in Britain is a privilege, not a right.</span> </p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">Family consultation</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">That leaves my main topic this morning; family migration: those migrants coming to join a spouse or partner or family member here in the UK.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In 2010, family migration accounted for approximately 18 per cent of all non-EU migration to the UK.<br> <br>And in 2010, 48,900 visas were granted to family members of British citizens and those with permanent residence in the UK.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We welcome those who want to make a life here with their family, who want to work hard and contribute to their local community. That is the type of family migration to the UK that we want to see.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But too often in the past the family route has been abused as a means to bypass our immigration laws.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">And too often, we have seen family migrants without the means to support themselves, unable and on occasion unwilling to integrate into British life.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">These are difficult and sensitive issues that have been ignored for far too long, but issues that we are determined to tackle.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I do not want to see migrants having to scrape by, but rather making a success of living in the UK and actively contributing to British life.<br><br> That is why our focus here is on delivering better family migration – better for migrants, for communities, and for the UK as a whole.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The key themes of our approach are tackling abuse, promoting integration and reducing burdens on the taxpayer.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The proposals set out in our consultation are underpinned by robust evidence in a number of research reports.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">These shed further, and fascinating, light on the nature of migration to the UK, bringing better understanding of the issues and helping to shape an informed debate.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We are also committed to engaging with as many people as possible during the consultation process. Due to the success of the last YouTube Q&amp;A session, I am today launching another one for people to put their questions to me on any of the proposals in the family consultation.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We recognise that these are sensitive and hotly debated issues. That is why the Government is undertaking the current consultation: to hear the views of the public, test the proposals we have set out, and provide us with further evidence and opinions.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">Tackling abuse – sham and forced marriage</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">What needs to change? First, we need to tackle abuse of the family route.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Family migration must be based on a real and continuing relationship, not a marriage of convenience or a marriage that is forced or is a sham.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Time and again, the UK Border Agency sees cases where the foreign spouse quits the marriage once they are granted settlement, and in some cases goes on to marry their ‘genuine’ partner and then sponsor that person’s migration to the UK.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Recent analysis of the dataset used in the first Migrant Journey report in 2010 identified 719 people who were sponsored to the UK as foreign spouses, and then quickly went on to sponsor another spouse. 19 per cent – virtually a fifth - of these people had sponsored their new spouse within 2 years of being granted settlement.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I propose to prevent those sponsored as a spouse or partner from sponsoring another spouse or partner within 5 years of obtaining settlement.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Last year 6 members of a gang convicted of arranging bogus brides and grooms for illegal migrants were also convicted of committing bigamy after taking part in multiple fake weddings.<br> <br> If you have been convicted of bigamy or an offence associated with sham marriage, you have demonstrated that you are unfit to be trusted as a sponsor. I am therefore proposing a ban on sponsorship for up to 10 years for those who have committed such offences.<br>  <br>In 2010, 16,800 people switched into the family route in the UK from other routes.  Nearly 6,000 of those were students who switched into the marriage route.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Our policies are not designed to prevent people already in the UK from entering into a genuine relationship and remaining here on the basis of that relationship. But, if you enter into a sham marriage and try and use the marriage route as a way of prolonging your stay in the UK, we will refuse your leave and curtail any existing leave you may have.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Abuse of the family route will not be tolerated and we expect couples to prove the genuineness of their relationship.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">That is why we plan to define more clearly what constitutes a genuine and continuing marriage to help us identify more sham marriage cases.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For example, if you and your spouse or partner cannot speak a common language – something registration officers regularly tell us – and if you do not know even the most basic facts about each other, we will not believe that your marriage is genuine.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">And we think a couple should generally be able to demonstrate that they have been in a relationship for a minimum of 12 months prior to being granted a visa or leave to remain based on marriage or partnership. Where a couple cannot meet this requirement, we propose only to grant 12 months’ initial leave and then reassess the genuineness of the relationship before any further leave is granted.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We are keen to learn from practice in other European countries. An example is the attachment requirement in Denmark, which requires a couple’s combined attachment to Denmark to be greater than that to any other country. It is argued that this promotes effective integration and provides a further test of the genuineness of a relationship.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">To meet the attachment requirement, the sponsor of a marriage visa must have resided legally in Denmark for at least 15 years and the applicant must have visited the country at least twice.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Such an attachment requirement in the UK would have a big impact. Many family migrants have never visited the UK before they apply for a visa to come here as a spouse or partner.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">67 per cent of applicants from a sample of just over 500 marriage visa grants in 2009 had never visited the UK before they took the life-changing decision to move here permanently.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">And that varied enormously by nationality. 100 per cent of the Afghan applicants and 86 per cent of the Pakistani applicants sampled had never been to the UK. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The consultation invites views on whether something like the Danish approach would be right for the UK. Marrying is a personal decision. But settling in a country is a decision that has important implications, both for the individual and for society. It is therefore right that we consider what should be expected of those wishing to settle in the UK as a spouse or partner.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We are also looking at how we can stop people from entering into a sham marriage in the first place.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In the absence of a lawful impediment (bigamy, under-age, prohibited blood relationship), registration officers are powerless to stop a sham marriage from taking place.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Take for example the case last year of one illegal migrant who attempted to marry a Polish national at Oxford register office. They were arrested on suspicion of perjury – for which the Polish national was cautioned and the illegal migrant later convicted – but they were still able to reschedule the wedding and the registrar was powerless to prevent it from taking place, despite the fact that neither party could understand the other and it was obvious that the wedding was a sham.<br> <br>We are therefore exploring the case for making sham a lawful impediment to marriage in England and Wales and giving the authorities the power to delay a marriage from taking place while a suspected sham is investigated.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But we cannot tackle this abuse on our own.  We are working with the General Register Offices across the UK, local registration services and the Anglican Church.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The UK Border Agency and the General Register Office in England and Wales have produced guidelines for more effective partnership working. The Agency also provides advice and support to the Anglican Church and in April 2011 the Church of England published clear guidance for the clergy on tackling sham marriages.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">All of this is paying off. 155 arrests have been made in the past year in sham marriage cases.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But we can still do more. That is why we are looking at the feasibility of combining some of the functions of the registrar and the UK Border Agency in designated officers as a platform for more effective enforcement.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">And we are looking to work with local authorities so they can provide a charged service for checking marriage-based leave to remain applications, along similar lines to the checking service for nationality applications currently provided by 135 local authorities.<br> <br> But sham marriage is not the only abuse of the marriage route.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Forced marriages are taking place here in the UK and overseas as a means of entry to the UK.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In 2010, there were 1,735 instances where the Forced Marriage Unit gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage. These statistics almost certainly under-estimate the extent of the problem, because many victims are unwilling to speak out.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Forced marriage is not only an abuse of our immigration laws, but is a breach of human rights and a form of violence against victims.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This Government is committed to tackling forced marriage. That is why we are defending the minimum marriage visa age of 21 against legal challenge. We await the Supreme Court’s judgment on that.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">And if you have been convicted of domestic violence, or have breached or are the respondent of a Forced Marriage Protection Order, we think you should be banned from sponsoring an immigration application.<br>Such people have demonstrated they are unfit to be trusted as a sponsor.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In 2010, there were 70 instances where the Forced Marriage Unit gave support or advice on forced marriage to people with disabilities.  50 of those had learning disabilities.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We have a duty to protect vulnerable people.  That is why I am proposing to ask Social Services in England to carry out an assessment of an individual’s capacity to consent to marriage when the sponsor is a person with learning difficulties, or of another particularly vulnerable group.  And, in this and other areas of the consultation, I have invited the Devolved Administrations to consider whether similar arrangements would be appropriate in other parts of the UK.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">Promoting integration and reducing burdens on the taxpayer</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">But the Family consultation is about more than tackling abuse of the system.<br>  <br>Secondly, it is also about promoting integration and social cohesion, and ensuring people are not a burden on the taxpayer.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The second Migrant Journey Analysis report, published last month, shows that, on average, more than 50 per cent of those migrants who come here for family reasons end up making the UK their permanent home, but that pattern varies by enormously by nationality. Of the family migrants granted a visa in 2004, 86 per cent of Bangladeshis and 81 per cent of Pakistanis had settled here permanently by 2009, compared with only 10 per cent of Australians and 11 per cent of New Zealanders.<br> <br>British citizens and those settled here are able to marry or enter into a civil partnership with whoever they choose. But it is reasonable to expect their spouse or partner to integrate into British society.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Integration is not something that happens overnight. It takes time to forge friendships and build bonds.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">That is why I am proposing to extend the probationary period before a non-EEA spouse or partner can apply for settlement from 2 years to 5 years.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This will allow additional time to integrate into British life and give us a longer period in which to test the genuineness of the relationship before permanent residence in the UK is granted on the basis of it. It will also make the route less attractive to those whose sole purpose is to gain settlement here.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Time and again, the UK Border Agency receives allegations from innocent men and women who have been duped into marrying a foreign spouse simply so that they can gain permanent residence in the UK.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Extending the probationary period for non-EEA spouses and partners will also reduce the burden on the taxpayer by millions of pounds by postponing access to non-contributory benefits, such as Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and council tax benefit, for 3 years.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">As we move to a fairer, more consistent approach to all family migrants with a route to settlement, I am proposing to end immediate settlement (indefinite leave to enter) for adult dependants, including those aged 65 or over, and require them to complete a 5-year probationary period before they can apply for settlement.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This is a big change, but it is right that we test all migrants’ attachment to the UK. The probationary period will also give time to develop the English language skills needed to live permanently in the UK.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">English language skills are important in making a success of living here. The benefits of learning English are widely recognised by academics and professionals alike, as well as by migrants who have improved their language skills and integrated into their new life here.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In contrast to this, we regularly see the consequences of people who are left isolated because they cannot speak English, and who create significant costs for the taxpayer.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In 2009-10, the Department for Work and Pensions, for example, spent £2.6 million on telephone interpreting services and nearly £400,000 on document translation.<br> <br>That is just one government department. Comparable costs are borne across the public sector.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We want to encourage integration, and that must be helped by a sufficient capacity to communicate in English. This is particularly important where migrant communities continue to favour marriage to a spouse from overseas rather than to a British citizen or a person already settled here.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">That is why, last November, we introduced a requirement for those applying for a visa or leave to remain as a spouse or partner to demonstrate a basic standard of English (A1 level).</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We propose to extend this requirement to dependants aged 16 and 17 and to adult dependants aged under 65.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">And building on the existing English language requirement for settlement, we propose to require adult family migrants aged under 65 applying for settlement to be able to demonstrate that they can understand everyday English (B1 level).</p> <p class="MsoNormal">71 per cent of those granted settlement as a spouse or partner in 2009 and 2010 already met B1 level by passing the Life in the UK test. We think it is right that the remaining 29 per cent, and adult dependants aged under 65, should have to demonstrate the same standard.<br>Most of those who have so far responded to the consultation agree with this approach.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Family migrants must not be a burden on the taxpayer. They must have access to enough money to support themselves and to participate in everyday life – by using local shops and services for example – as a basis for integration.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Analysis of just over 500 case files from 2009 found that around 20 per cent of sponsors were either unemployed or had an income below the national minimum wage, and only 28 per cent of applicants reported being in paid employment at the point of their application.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The UK Border Agency has also uncovered a number of sponsors claiming to have adequate accommodation to support their spouse and dependants, but at the same time claiming to be homeless and accessing social housing from their local authority.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">And in one specific case, a sponsor submitted evidence of his self-employed earnings, but a routine check with HMRC showed that he had declared a different income and owed £5,000 in unpaid tax.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Our message is clear – if you cannot support your foreign spouse or partner, you cannot expect the taxpayer to do it for you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The current maintenance threshold – which is equivalent to the level of Income Support – is not enough to provide adequate maintenance. Income Support is a safety net for those who have fallen on hard times; its level does not provide an adequate basis for integration.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I have therefore asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on what a new minimum income threshold should be, so that family migrants are supported at a reasonable level that ensures they do not become a burden on the taxpayer and allows sufficient participation in everyday life to facilitate integration.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In applying a minimum income threshold, we will review whether support from third parties, which is not easy for the UK Border Agency to verify, should be allowed only in compelling and compassionate circumstances.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I also want to ensure that sponsors have adequate housing that is not provided at the expense of the taxpayer and is not overcrowded.<br> 37 per cent of sponsors from our sample of just over 500 case files said that they were living with family or friends. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">In the future, if you cannot provide a mortgage or tenancy agreement, you may be expected to ask your local authority to verify your housing is adequate and not overcrowded.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The proposals in the Family consultation will ease pressures on housing, on public services and on local communities, and help strengthen social cohesion.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But there are other areas we are consulting on which are important to the integrity of the immigration system.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">Family visit visas</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">We are consulting on family visit visas.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In 2010, the UK Border Agency processed almost 433,000 applications, 73 per cent of which were granted on initial decision by the visa officer. The resulting visits are a means of maintaining family links and of enabling family members living abroad to participate in important family occasions in the UK, such as births, weddings and funerals.<br> <br>But we have some concerns about the operation of the system.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">No other category of temporary entry clearance carries a full right of appeal. In 2009-10, these appeals made up around 40 per cent of all immigration appeals at a cost to the taxpayer of around £40 million.<br>New evidence is often submitted on appeal which should have been submitted with the original application.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Analysis of a sample of 363 allowed family visit visa appeal determinations received by the UK Border Agency in April 2011 showed that new evidence produced at appeal was the only factor in the Tribunal’s decision in 63 per cent of cases, and it was an additional factor in a further 29 per cent of cases.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It is not right that the taxpayer is footing the bill for people to have a second bite at the cherry when those refused a family visit visa can reapply, providing the evidence they omitted the first time, for another £76. A decision will be made in 15 working days, far quicker than the 34 weeks it can take for an appeal to be completed, and by which time the family event for which the visa has often been applied has long since passed. </p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">ECHR Article 8</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Let’s not forget the context in which we make all these decisions.<br> <br>The coalition government has a firm commitment to human rights.  There has however been considerable public debate as to how these rights are interpreted and applied, and in particular the interpretation of Article 8, the individual’s right to family life.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Article 8 allows for consideration of the public interest as well as the individual’s right to a family life to be taken into account.  That is why we have established a Commission to investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights.  It is my sincere hope that the Commission will help bring some common sense back to this, admittedly difficult, area.</p> <h3 class="MsoNormal">Conclusion</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">We shall listen carefully to what people tell us during this consultation, just as we have done previously.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But we are clear about our direction. We want a system that lets everyone know where they stand and what their responsibilities are. If your marriage is not genuine, if you have no interest in this country and its way of life, if you are coming here to live off benefits, don’t come in the first place. We want a system that is fair to migrants and the public, that ensures migrants are able to integrate in British life and are not a burden on the taxpayer. That is the kind of family migration we welcome.<br></p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/family-migration Damian Green Damian Green speech on family migration Thursday, 15 Sep 2011 Home Office Centre for Policy Studies
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Home Secretary, Theresa May on Wednesday 14 September 2011. This version is as written, not as spoken.</p> <p>I am delighted to be here today to launch an initiative that is both important and close to my heart – it’s called Think, Act, Report.</p> <p>The aim of Think, Act, Report is to improve transparency on pay and wider workplace equality issues to help drive change, including closing down the gender pay gap.</p> <h3>The Challenge</h3> <p>Over recent years, women have made great strides in the workplace.</p> <p>We are now seeing women reaching the very highest levels of some of our very best organisations.</p> <p>But there is much still to do.</p> <p>Decades after the Equal Pay Act, the full-time gender pay gap remains at over 10 per cent and the gap for all men and women remains nearly 20 per cent.</p> <p>Despite the success of a few prominent women, there is still continuing under-representation in positions of power and leadership – only one in eight FTSE 100 directors are women and only one in five MPs are women.</p> <p>I – and the rest of the government – are committed to breaking down the barriers women face in the workplace.</p> <p>That’s because promoting equality of opportunity and equal treatment isn’t just the right thing to do - it’s also crucial to promoting growth.</p> <p>Better use of women’s skills could be worth fifteen to twenty three billion pounds to our economy each year.</p> <p>And if women were setting up new businesses at the same rate as men we would have 150,000 more companies in the UK.</p> <p>We can no longer afford to keep missing out on the economic benefits that greater gender equality could bring.</p> <p>The question for government is how to help achieve this aim.</p> <p>I believe real and lasting change will not happen through Government dictating how businesses should be run, by passing a new law or by preaching to business. Change will only come when businesses themselves realise the benefits.</p> <p>That’s why I am so delighted that some of our most successful and forward thinking companies are here with me today to launch our new Voluntary Gender Equality Reporting framework which we are calling Think, Act, Report.</p> <p>Think, Act, Report is a groundbreaking voluntary approach to improving transparency on pay and wider workplace equality issues.</p> <p>I believe it will go a long way to advancing the position of women in business.</p> <h3>The Solution – A Voluntary Business Led Initiative</h3> <p>I said that Think, Act, Report is “our” new framework, but really this is “your” new framework.</p> <p>We worked extremely closely with the CBI, the British Chamber of Commerce and others in drawing up the new framework.<br>So business leaders have been integral in designing this new framework. And already some of the leading companies in their fields have signed up.</p> <p>Companies like our hosts, the leading law firm Eversheds, Tesco, BT, National Grid and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are leading the way.</p> <p>And I’m delighted to announce that our first small business has signed up as well - Sustainable Development Capital. This goes to show that it’s not just the biggest firms who want to be a part of Think, Act, Report.</p> <p>So this is a genuinely business led initiative. And the reason all these top firms are leading the way is that they know it makes good business sense to do so.</p> <p>They know they need to attract, retain and promote the best talent – both male and female.</p> <p>They know women can bring fresh perspectives, new ideas and experience.</p> <p>And they know that a company that better reflects its customers is better able to understand their needs.<br>So this is not equality for equalities’ sake – this is about making your business better.</p> <h3>Details of the Framework</h3> <p>So what does participation in Think, Act, Report entail?</p> <p>It involves following a simple step-by-step framework.</p> <p>All of you should have been given a pack setting out how to do this, including guidance produced by ACAS.</p> <p>First you should identify any issues around gender equality in your workforce or pay structures. Then you should take action to address those issues. And finally you should report publicly on progress. So: Think, Act and Report. </p> <p>The reporting part of our approach is not an add-on – it’s vital to driving change.</p> <p>Reporting transparently lets everyone see what you are doing. It shows staff and potential employees what is happening in their firm, it lets suppliers know what is expected of them, and it lets customers decide where they want to take their business.<br>Importantly, it also shines a light on those who are not making progress at the same rate and, of course, it shows up those who have not taken up the challenge of Thinking, Acting and Reporting.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>I hope that all of you here will take up the challenge.<br>All you need to do is to follow the instructions in your delegate pack.</p> <p>We’re asking you to volunteer to lead the way, in an approach with transparency at its heart, that will help make your workplace a better place for women.</p> <p>The prize for women is of course very great. But the prize for you, in business, is also great – making your business a more attractive place to work; bringing in the best talent; showing your customers your commitment to doing the right thing; and being seen as leaders in your field.</p> <p>Surely, that is a prize worth having.</p> <p>Thank you.<br></p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/gender-equality Theresa May New equality reporting scheme for businesses Wednesday, 14 Sep 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">The Home Secretary gave this speech on Tuesday 13 September. This version of the speech is as written.</p> <p>I am delighted to be here again at your conference.<br><br>Talking to the senior operational leaders of the police service is one of the most useful and important parts of my job.<br><br>And I want to start by echoing some of your thoughts on the disturbances over the summer.<br><br>Last month we saw some of the most disgraceful scenes in living memory on Britain’s streets.<br><br>Louts looting local businesses. Rioter rampaging through our cities. Thugs threatening and attacking police officers. Buildings burning and shops smouldering.<br><br>The riots shocked us all.<br><br>But we also saw some truly heroic acts by so many police officers.<br><br>It was police officers who put their lives on the line to stop the rioters.<br><br>It was police officers who protected innocent people and defended local businesses.<br><br>It was police officers who acted courageously to restore order to our streets.<br><br>I know many of you and many of your officers sacrificed a great deal. Your holiday plans were disrupted. You worked double shifts. Your leave was cancelled. Some of your officers and staff even slept on police station floors. More than 300 of them were injured.</p> <p>It was the responsibility of people in this room to take the vital tactical decisions that were needed at great speed. It was your task to pull together officers from across the country into effective teams. And it was your role to raise your officers’ morale at a time of astonishing stress.<br><br>That is real operational leadership in action.<br><br>But this is what I so admire about the police - you don’t think about the danger to yourselves. You don’t worry about the personal hardship. You knew your communities were under threat and it was your duty to help – so you did.<br><br>And for that we all owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. <br><br>The police faced down the challenge to the rule of law and now we have an opportunity – an opportunity to drive through real and lasting positive change.<br><br>Because if the riots showed once again the incredible bravery of British police officers, they also reminded us of the need for reform in policing.<br><br>We need to reward our police officers’ courage and skill with renewed trust, greater responsibility and more discretion.<br><br>We need to ensure they are led by single-minded crime fighters of the highest integrity and capability.<br><br>We need to make those leaders properly accountable to the public they serve.<br><br>And we need to give those police leaders the tools and flexibility to lead, at the same time as we secure the long-term future of the police service by making the savings and efficiencies that are needed as public spending falls.<br><br>That is what our police reform programme will do.<br></p> <h3>Riots</h3> <p>Our first and most immediate task is to learn the lessons necessary from the riots.<br><br>I said this is both a challenge and an opportunity.<br><br>A challenge of dealing with a new type of disorder, a new pattern of vandalism and looting, supported by the malicious use of new technology. No one could have predicted the scale of the violence, but we cannot just assume that it will not reappear.<br><br>But there is also an opportunity. An opportunity of renewed respect, trust and public support for the police.<br><br>Dealing with the challenge means learning the operational and legal lessons from the summer, not least for the Olympics. And that’s why I have asked HMIC to review the police response to the disorder and to ensure you have the tactics, guidance, training, public order policing resources and the national infrastructure to deal with what is potentially a new era of public order policing.  <br><br>Seizing the opportunity means increasing our efforts to engage the public in policing and in helping the police to combat crime, including by using new social media to our advantage, as the criminals have done.<br><br>The riots also provided us with a reminder of the importance of doing much more to deal with gangs and gang culture. The Met currently believe that around one in five rioters and looters were linked to gangs. And more than three quarters of those charged had previous convictions.<br><br>Together with Iain Duncan Smith, I am now leading work across government to look at how we can tackle each and every stage of the gang 'life-cycle'.<br><br>That means starting by preventing young people joining gangs in the first place; diverting them away from gangs if they are tempted to join; disrupting gang activity; tough enforcement of the law against gang crime; and forcing gang members to take responsibility for their actions and to repair the damage done.<br><br>We are going around the country, talking to police forces and other agencies about the problems and best practice in solving them. We will publicly set out our plans by the end of October.<br><br>There are also lessons about the power of new media, social networking and new technology. When used by criminals the potential for social media to cause harm can be very great.<br><br>That’s why, with the police and others, I met representatives from Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry and others to discuss how the government, the police and these companies can work better together.<br><br>As we deal with the challenges posed by criminal use of new technology, we can also use it to our benefit.<br><br>Our street-level crime mapping website police.uk is already a great example of that. And by May next year the public will be able to see how the police and courts have responded to crimes committed in their local area.<br><br>But the opportunities go wider than just the use of technology.<br><br>I said we all owe you a debt of gratitude, because the public are well aware that they owe you that debt as well.<br><br>We saw at the Notting Hill Carnival, officers saying that people were so grateful for the police for sorting out the riots, that the heavy police presence was seen as a positive, not a problem.<br><br>These are the fruits of neighbourhood policing and policing by consent. The law-abiding majority working with the police. Community leaders united in condemning violence. The British model of policing at its best.<br><br>There are also many positives to take from how other parts of our criminal justice system responded to the riots.<br><br>Faced with the challenge of trying and sentencing so many suspects, the courts opened through the night and at weekends to make sure rioters had their day – or night – in court.<br><br>Judges then responded with absolutely appropriate sentences, seeing justice done to offenders while at the same time sending out a strong message of deterrent for the future.<br><br>And the prison service provided the transport and the welcome reception into prisons for those who thought they could get away with committing crimes without facing the consequences.</p> <h3>Reform</h3> <p>But as well as dealing with the immediate problem of the riots and addressing their long-term causes, we also need to deal with the structural and deep seated issues in policing and in our public finances.<br><br>This too is an enormous challenge and a huge opportunity.<br></p> <h3>Police Leadership</h3> <p>The riots showed only too clearly the need for the police to have strong, single-minded leadership – focused on fighting crime and passionate about protecting the public.<br><br>I have had an opportunity this week, in appointing the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, to show you what I am looking for in police leaders – dedicated, single-minded crime fighters.<br><br>That is exactly what we have in the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe. I am looking forward to seeing him drive down crime in London, as he did in Merseyside.<br><br>Bernard’s appointment – and indeed the extremely strong field of applicants for the job of Commissioner – showed that we have some superb leaders in British policing.<br><br>But let me say again, that the Prime Minister and I are determined to look at opening up police leadership in future. That means looking at widening the pool of talent from which police leaders are drawn and making sure that the police leaders of the future have the skills and experience necessary to succeed.<br><br>This is what I have asked Tom Winsor to look at in the second part of his review.<br><br>So the police leaders of the future might not all have started out as Police Constables twenty years before.<br><br>Many still will, of course. There are obvious benefits in senior officers having served as constables.<br><br>But it is also clear that there is much that the police can learn from senior people outside policing, just as every other organisation can learn from an external perspective.<br><br>No one who genuinely wants to improve policing can truly believe that all of the answers have to come from inside.<br><br>But we should also recognise the simple fact that the current police leadership model has not delivered a diversity of backgrounds and experience at the most senior levels of the service.<br><br>The British way of policing – the right way – is based on policing by consent.<br><br>That consent can only come when the police understand – and reflect – the diverse communities they serve.<br><br>I completely understand that direct entry represents a challenge to this group. But you know I’m not one to duck difficult decisions or to avoid giving tough messages, if they are right for the country and right for the police.<br><br>Yes, direct entry means there will be more competition for senior policing posts.<br><br>But that is clearly not a good reason to oppose it. And police leaders are recognising the benefits as well. Yesterday, chief constable Stephen Otter of Devon and Cornwall police, made clear his support for direct entry as a way to get greater diversity and broader skills and experience into the senior levels of policing.</p> <p>And let me also say that with our reforms to police leadership will come an opportunity for superintendents – that’s because they will come as part of a package of improvements to police leadership and police training.<br><br>I don’t just want to see leaders coming into the service from outside, I also want to see leaders of the service going out and gaining broader experience and wider perspectives, through secondments to business and other parts of the public sector. I then want to see them bringing their newfound skills back into policing.<br><br>I also want to look at how we can improve police training to give all of you the skills you will need to become successful chief officers.<br><br>I will publish more details shortly, but it is clear that by opening up provision of police training we can drive up standards.  <br>Some police provided training is absolutely integral to operational policing –training in the use of firearms, public order policing and covert surveillance for example.<br><br>But there are also specific skills needed to lead and manage complex organisations and here the police service can learn from the best. <br><br>The police should be free to buy the training it wants and needs from whoever can provide that training to the highest standard and at the lowest cost. That could be from the private sector, higher education or further education providers.</p> <h3>Accountability</h3> <p>Central to any drive to improve police leadership, must be a corresponding drive to improve accountability.<br><br>It is only when leaders are truly and properly accountable for their success - or their failure – that lasting progress can be made.<br><br>This is the centrepiece of our legislative reforms to policing, that come to their final parliamentary stages this week.<br><br>That means from November 2012, there will be powerful, named individuals, democratically accountable to their communities, and responsible for holding their Chief Constable to account.<br><br>These Police and Crime Commissioners will have the power to appoint Chief Constables, to set the police budget and to determine local policing priorities.<br><br>If they don’t help their Chief Constable to cut crime and keep their communities safe, then they will face the ultimate sanction of rejection by the public at the ballot box.<br><br>It is this democratic accountability that will help drive police efficiency up and drive crime down.<br><br>Because these reforms are so vital to improving policing, it is important we take the time to get them right.<br><br>That is why we have had such thorough parliamentary scrutiny, resulting in a better Bill at the end of the process.<br><br>And that is why we have decided to delay the first elections from May to November 2012 to allow time for all of the necessary preparations to be made and to give the widest possible range of candidates the opportunity to stand and make their case.<br><br>We have listened and acted on police officers’ concerns. So we have made over 100 amendments to improve the Bill and strengthen the checks and balances it contains.<br><br>That includes more effective Police and Crime Panels to scrutinise the Police and Crime Commissioner, and a statutory protocol of how Police and Crime Commissioners will interact with Chief Constables to enshrine the principle of Operational Independence.<br><br>Yesterday, the House of Commons once again made its support for the Bill clear.</p> <h3>National Threats</h3> <p>The events of this summer demonstrated how police forces need to work together to tackle national threats.<br><br>And this week, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 - as we remember the victims of those terrible atrocities and others such as 7/7 and the attacks related to Northern Ireland - the need to continually improve and enhance our response to terrorism is at the forefront of our minds.<br><br>Police and Crime Commissioners will also play a key role in driving improvements in our response to national threats, supported by the new Strategic Policing Requirement.<br><br>This will set out those threats for which forces, Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners must plan beyond their force boundaries - like terrorism, public disorder, organised crime, civil emergencies or cyber crime.<br><br>We are working closely with our partners in policing – including colleagues within the Superintendents’ Association – to develop a shadow Strategic Policing Requirement. We aim to publish this in November.<br><br>The Strategic Policing Requirement will support the development of policing capabilities that will be critical to underpinning one of our other major reforms – the introduction of the National Crime Agency.<br><br>The National Crime Agency will be a powerful operational body that will fight serious organised crime and economic crime, and will strengthen border policing and child protection.<br><br>Taken together, the NCA, the Strategic Policing Requirement and Police and Crime Commissioners represent a radical refocusing of the Government’s role – away from micromanaging local policing and towards getting a stronger grip on national policing issues; with local accountability back where it should be – to local people.</p> <h3>Bureaucracy</h3> <p>These are major reforms that will bring real, lasting and positive change to policing.<br><br>But as well as reforming the top, we also need to make reforms from the bottom all the way up.<br><br>That means making neighbourhood police officers properly accountable to the local communities they serve through beat meetings, backed up by the street level crime maps that I mentioned earlier.<br><br>But more than that, it means trusting individual officers to use their judgement, empowering them to use their discretion and freeing them to fight crime.<br><br>We will do that through a relentless and unyielding fight against police bureaucracy.<br><br>I don’t underestimate the size of the challenge but here, again, is an opportunity.<br><br>I have already announced measures which could save some 3.3 million hours of police time each year.<br><br>The most recent changes include streamlining the police PDR system, slimming down crime recording processes, scrapping unnecessary guidance and doctrine and handing back further charging discretion to officers.<br><br>All of the time saved on these wasteful processes is time that your officers can better spend on the frontline, doing what they joined the police to do.<br><br>But here’s my challenge to each and every one of you – you all need to make it a personal priority to cut your officers’ bureaucracy.<br><br>The time savings must be passed on. The forms must be scrapped. The risks must be better managed.<br><br>Your officers take their cue from you. So you need to help, support - and most of all - to trust them.<br><br>This is a big change. And we’re looking to you to lead it.</p> <h3>Dealing with the Deficit</h3> <p>Some have tried to argue that the over-riding need to deal with the deficit and to reduce police budgets, means we should slow the pace of police reform.<br><br>In fact, the opposite is true.<br><br>It is only through fundamental reform - transformative change - that the police will be able to make the savings necessary, at the same time as you maintain the service to the public and fight crime.<br><br>That’s because the need for savings means that business as usual is simply not an option. Blind cuts are not an option; salami slicing of budgets is not an option.<br><br>No one is pretending that making the level of savings needed is going to be easy, but it is achievable. And it is only achievable if we reform.<br><br>But first let’s deal with this idea that the police will need to make twenty per cent budget cuts – they simply will not.<br><br>It’s true, of course, that the police grant from central government will be cut by twenty per cent in real terms.<br><br>But that is not the actual cut in their budgets that police forces will need to make.<br><br>That is because, as you all know, police forces get their money from two sources of funding – central government and the local council tax precept. And when you take into account the Office for Budget Responsibility’s precept forecasts, the real terms reduction will be fourteen per cent.<br><br>But even this doesn’t quite give the full picture, because eighty per cent of police spending is on pay. And as we are likely to freeze police pay for two years, the cash terms figures are actually closer to the reality than the real terms figures.<br><br>In cash terms, once precept forecasts are taken into account, we’re talking about a six per cent reduction in total police funding over four years. That is the actual reduction in their budgets that police forces will have to deal with.<br><br>That’s not a political or financial conjuring trick – that’s the reality. Police forces will on average see their budgets cut by six per cent over four years.<br><br>That is still a challenge. But with this challenge too comes an opportunity.<br><br>An opportunity to look afresh at every aspect of policing, and to make changes that save money and improve services.<br><br>An opportunity to disregard the old ways of doing things and to make the reforms you’ve wanted to make for so long.<br><br>As HMIC’s Adapting to Austerity Report makes clear, and as the results of programmes like Operation Quest show, it can be done.<br><br>Resources can be streamlined in the back and middle office to protect the frontline. Savings can be made in outsourcing, collaboration and shared procurement. Efficiencies can be made in operational processes like crime investigation; attending calls from the public; custody; intelligence; and neighbourhood patrols that not only bring about monetary savings but also improve the service to the public.<br><br>So the challenge for you as Superintendents is not just to manage the cuts, it’s to improve policing.<br><br>Because you are the people with the skills, the expertise and the responsibility to make the transformational changes that are necessary.<br><br>We in government will help.<br><br>I’ve already agreed an approach with ACPO involving more joined-up procurement, better contracts, more joint purchasing, and greater private sector involvement. This will save hundreds of millions of pounds.<br><br>In July I announced the creation of a police-led ICT company which will give better systems and better value for police ICT spend.<br><br>And while not all of you may like every aspect of it, the Winsor report’s conclusions are explicitly designed to give police leaders the flexibility to do just that - lead.<br><br>Unlike the rest of the public sector, police terms and conditions have not changed for over 30 years.<br><br>Winsor’s recommendations would allow modern management practices, they would help police leaders manage their budgets and maximise officer and staff deployment to frontline roles.<br><br>Not only that, but Winsor’s proposals would reward those with specialist skills, those working unsocial hours, and those who are on the frontline.<br><br>All these issues are of course currently being considered through the police negotiating machinery and I will consider their recommendations carefully.<br><br>Likewise, I have already announced that the police pension age – which Lord Hutton has acknowledged should reflect the unique demands placed on officers – should be considered alongside your pay and conditions and should be consulted on through the Police Negotiating Board.<br><br>So, a fair deal and fair negotiations.</p> <p>But let me be clear that I don’t want to reform police pay and conditions to make savings for the sake of it. I want reform so that we can protect police jobs, so that you have the flexibility to keep your officers on the frontline and so that we can reward those doing the toughest jobs. We can only do that if we reform terms and conditions for all officers.<br><br>The structural reforms we are making will help, but it will be down to you – the operational leaders of the police service – to make the changes that are needed on the ground to bring about savings at the same time as cutting crime.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>The last few weeks have been a challenging time for policing and for the country.<br><br>We‘ve seen the worst of Britain and the best of Britain.<br><br>We’ve seen communities trashed at night; and in the morning<br>we’ve seen communities coming together to clean them up.<br><br>We’ve seen the worst of our society acting disgracefully : irresponsible, violent, criminal.<br><br>And we’ve seen the best of our society – our police officers – acting heroically : selfless, committed, courageous.<br><br>But as we tackle the challenge of rebuilding, we have the opportunity to make a better Britain.<br><br>And as we tackle the challenge of reforming our police service we have the opportunity to make policing better.<br><br>Some say reform is unnecessary; others that now is not the right time; yet more will advise us to back down.<br><br>Well let me tell you that reform is needed, it is needed now and it is going to happen.</p> <p>Our reforms will modernise our police service and make it more efficient.<br><br>They will give more trust and more respect to our police officers; stripping away the bureaucracy they face and freeing them to fight crime.<br><br>They will give them the leadership they deserve – with senior officers of the highest calibre, who have the right skills, the broadest experience and a clarity of purpose.<br><br>And they will make those leaders genuinely accountable – for the first time – to the only people who really matter, the public.<br><br>If we take on the challenge of reform - if we seize the opportunity to improve - then police officers, the police service and – most importantly – the public will be the winners.<br><br>Thank you.<br></p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/supers-speech Home Secretary Speech to Police Superintendents Association Conference Tuesday, 13 Sep 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by equalities minister Lynne Featherstone on 25 October 2011 at the Vanguard Council. This version of the speech is as written, not spoken.</p> <p>Thank you for inviting me here today and to the Fitness Industry Association for hosting this event. It’s a real pleasure to come and speak to you all about the work government is doing on body confidence and talk about ways we can work together to move the campaign forwards.</p> <p>Some of you will already know a lot about the government’s body confidence campaign. Others may not have heard of it at all. So I’ll start by telling you a bit about what we’re doing.</p> <p>Body confidence is an issue I am deeply passionate about. I have been concerned for a long time about the growing numbers of people, in particular young people, who feel negatively about the way they look.</p> <p>A survey carried out by Girlguiding last year showed that:</p> <ul> <li>47 per cent of schools girls believe that the pressure to look attractive is the most negative part of being female</li> <li>half consider having surgery to change the way they look</li> <li>75 per cent said that they went on strict diets to be attractive to others</li> </ul> <p>And it’s not restricted to just girls. YMCA research shows that:</p> <ul> <li>18 per cent of boys have taken protein supplements to make themselves more muscular</li> <li>11 per cent of boys would take steroids to build muscle if they were unhappy with the way they looked</li> </ul> <p>And remember that this is children we are talking about. These feelings of inadequacy and lack of self worth can have a devastating effect on their physical and mental health. Eating and anxiety disorders, depression, self harm and social isolation are just come of the very serious health consequences of negative body image. </p> <h3>Damaging effect of size zero</h3> <p>The reality is that body image affects a variety of people, sometimes with serious consequences. This includes women and girls dieting in a desperate attempt to try and look like size zero models and celebrities. It’s about boys and men feeling the pressure to look like the aesthetic of the perfectly muscled and toned male. It’s about people being so convinced their bodies are inadequate they are resorting to extraordinary lengths to transform them.</p> <p>But we’re not just talking about extreme behaviour here.  There are many people who feel inadequate because of the way they look and, even though they don’t resort to cosmetic surgery or steroid use, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it seriously. Low self-esteem has significant impacts on people’s health and well-being and can manifest itself in a variety of ways. We all know that one of the biggest barriers to girls participating in sport is because of negative body image. Body confidence is not just an issue that needs to be tackled in extreme cases only.</p> <p>And while these issues may start at a young age, they often continue right through to adulthood.</p> <h3>Body Confidence campaign</h3> <p>Today we are faced with pressures that were never experienced before. We are bombarded with media images every day of our lives: we face the explosion of incoming messages from 24 hour advertisements, an ever expanding cosmetic surgery industry, extreme digital manipulation of images and a growing sense of normality being associated with eating disorders.The pressue to look perfect is becoming part of our human condition. It’s everywhere. And it affects so many of us.</p> <p>So what do I mean when I say body confidence? This is not about launching a war on skinny people or saying it’s ok to be obese as long as you’re body confident. As you know, the Department of Health launched its obesity strategy a few weeks ago which includes body confidence as part of its message. It’s about looking for healthy and sustainable ways to achieve realistic body shapes.</p> <p>There is no question that this is a challenging issue - one that is further complicated by the fact that it is not the fault of any one group or industry. But it is an issue that we can and must take seriously, because it is affecting the health and happiness of substantial sections of our community.</p> <h3>Fitness industry role</h3> <p>And this is where the health and fitness industry has such an important role to play. I know the FIA is already undertaking some work in this area and has guidance about how to deal with customers that diet and exercise excessively. But you are all in such a perfect position to galvanise the industry to achieve real change.</p> <p>This is about showing people that exercise has so many other benefits besides getting that perfect body. The recent UK Chief Medical Officers’ Report ‘Start Active, Stay Active’ sets out the important health benefits of physical activity. It can also be sociable and it can be fun. It boosts self-esteem and emotional well-being.  Exercising makes you feel good and shouldn’t just be done to achieve a perfect body - it’s not just a means to an end.</p> <p>And this is where you come in. We need to make sure that gyms and health centres are promoting realistic and achievable goals. There are no quick-fix solutions. So there’s no point selling people the idea that they’ll have that perfect bikini body or rippling six-pack after a handful of exercise sessions.</p> <p>We also need to make sure staff at all levels of an organisation are aware of body confidence issues and respond appropriately. The way individuals are treated by personal trainers and class instructors, right through to receptionists, can have a big impact on the way people view themselves and feelings of belonging. Advertisers and marketers of gyms and health centres and equipment manufacturers also have a huge role to play when setting out what vision they are selling to people and whether this is realistic.</p> <p>So l lay down this challenge for you. To change attitudes and encourage a more inclusive atmosphere in your gyms and health centres. Ensure your customers know what they can achieve. Encourage people to join up because they want to have fun and feel good about themselves – rather than solely because they want that perfect body. Tear down the barriers that put so many people off exercise – negative body image being one of the main barriers – and think about how to foster a more inclusive environment. After all, ultimately, it makes good business sense to appeal to a broader market and it will benefit your business if you have a wider customer base.</p> <p>And the government wants to support you with this. We are planning to launch a voluntary pledge in the New Year in which organisations commit to tackling this issue. This will build on the work already taking place by the Department of Health and its Public Health Responsibility Deal which has the scope to make a significant impact.  We will highlight best practice by publishing the pledge signatories on the Home Office website, along with some of the actions organisations are undertaking.</p> <p>We have also spoken with the Fitness Industry Association about creating a body confidence award as part of the annual Flame Awards which I’m sure you are all familiar with. I think that this would be a great opportunity to recognise best practice and celebrate success and I really hope this is something you will support.</p> <p>I am really looking forward to working with the health and fitness industry on this issue because you are so crucial to the solution. There is no doubt in my mind that if each sector takes responsibility for tackling body confidence issues, and we work together on this, we will start to see change.<br></p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/FIA-Lynne-Featherstone Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone speech to Fitness Industry Association Thursday, 27 Oct 2011 Home Office Vanguard Council
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was given by Lynne Feathersone at the GirlGuiding UK research roundtable on 23 November 2011. This version is as written, not as spoken.</p> <p>Good evening and thank you for inviting me to speak to you tonight. I am delighted to be with you to talk about your 2011 Girls’ Attitudes survey.</p> <p>I found it tough to read about the pressures and concerns girls and young women have today. I just don’t think it was this tough when I was younger.</p> <p>It’s vital that surveys like this tell us about what it is that girls and young women need and what they want to see in the world around them. Telling us in their own voices. And providing us with the evidence we need in order to persuade and to influence.  Something women are very good at!</p> <p>I have been listening to some of your discussions from your roundtables tonight and I am fascinated by what has come out.</p> <p>It’s encouraging to hear these debates going on, and to know that young women, so often portrayed as moody teenagers in the press, feel passionately about these issues.</p> <p>The survey tells us 70% of girls made their views known about a cause they cared about, but sadly only 16% thought it made a difference. But 70% is amazing - things are happening.</p> <p>But government must do its part. How can we make the experiences of our girls and young women the best they can be?</p> <p>The first thing we can do is to listen. By listening, we can be confident that as a Government we respond as we should in our policymaking and its delivery.  As a department, and across government, the Home Secretary and I, often discuss these issues with our ministerial colleagues, identifying where government policy can make a positive difference.</p> <p>Alongside this, we can encourage participation from a wide and diverse range of girls, women and women’s organisations. I want to encourage girls and young women to debate within school councils, in the playground, at youth parliaments, in school newsletters, workplaces, in families, talk to those who represent them in their local council, in Parliament, engage their local radio station, write e-mails, letters, tweet, use Facebook, to discuss, debate, ask questions, give information and be informed so they know their world and their choices.</p> <p>I know Girlguiding UK is already leading by example: by enabling young members to attend the Climate Change conference in Durban in December, and the UN Convention on the Status of Women.  What a great experience to see how the UN works for women and how they can influence policy on the international stage. Thank you for giving them that chance.</p> <p>So what does the survey tell us?</p> <p>I am not surprised by girls’ concerns that magazines and TV place too much focus on what women look like and not enough on what they actually achieve. Indeed, more than half of young women said the pressure to look like a celebrity was one of the main causes of stress in their lives.</p> <p>I know Girlguiding UK is already working hard to tackle this, delivering a petition to Downing Street with 25,000 signatures. I am delighted they are also part of my Expert Group on Body Confidence and are strong supporters of our Body Confidence campaign. This campaign aims to widen the definition of beauty to include all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities. We all know beautiful people who don’t necessarily look like the models in magazines!</p> <p>We recently launched a media literacy pack on body image which has been downloaded by over 650 primary schools across the country. There is clear demand to do something about negative body images so we have also brought together a range of industries and we are planning to launch a voluntary pledge in early 2012 to help change attitudes. I would encourage you all to consider whether your organisation would be willing to sign up to the pledge.</p> <p>This survey also highlights what girls have told me too, that they want to see more women in business as well as in Parliament.  I for one cannot stress enough how important the role of mentoring is in achieving this. One of my mentors and role models was my mother who built up her own business from scratch.</p> <p>But not everyone is as lucky as me. So we recently announced that 5,000 mentors will be recruited and trained to support women setting up or growing their own business.</p> <p>In addition, we are setting up a Women’s Business Council – to advise Government on how to improve the business environment for women to maximise their success. Increasing women’s entrepreneurship could be worth £42 billion to our economy.</p> <p>We have also been looking at encouraging more women to make it to the board room with the help of Lord Davies. Since he reported, the number of all-male boards has halved; and the rate at which women are appointed to these roles has doubled.</p> <p>There is clearly still more to do but the direction is the right one.</p> <p>And whilst we have the most gender diverse Parliament ever, we still need to address the issue of the lack of women in public life. Women make up 51% of the population but only 22% of MPs and 31% of councillors in England and Wales. We want more young women, from all walks of life to get into politics, so policies truly reflect the needs of the population.</p> <p>This Government has set an aspiration that 50% of new appointments to public boards by the end of this Parliament will be held by women. So watch this space!</p> <p>The survey also told us that girls and young women would defer having children for their perfect career. This shouldn’t be necessary. Women, and men for that matter, should be able to balance their home life with their work life. That’s why we are extending the right to request flexible working to all employees because it’s a sensible way to run a business and a family.</p> <p>We’re also introducing a new system of flexible parental leave. This means mothers and fathers can share the caring responsibilities. And once all this is in place and becomes the norm, its will be that much easier for girls coming through into the job market.</p> <p>And this will help women enter non traditional sectors like science, engineering and technology, where we know that there are fewer female role models, and women find these professions difficult to return to after they have had children.</p> <p>But of course, none of this is possible unless girls get the best possible start with good careers advice and a good education. So the new All Age Careers Service will encourage girls and young women to challenge stereotypes and choose from the broadest possible career options. </p> <p>And I know that tuition fees are of concern to both the girls in my constituency and those in your survey. Be reassured. Going to university depends on ability not the ability to pay. Most new students will not pay upfront for their first degree and there will be more financial support for those from poorer families through grants and scholarships. Loans will only begin to be repaid once graduates have jobs and are earning over £21,000. Critically, we will put more power in the hands of students because funding will follow student choice.  And our changes will mean that all students can have a high quality student experience.</p> <p>Finally, much of what I am saying today is about taking down barriers to achieve our potential. We need to feel confident in ourselves. If someone puts you down, threatens you or forces you to do something you don't want to, its abuse. Which is why we are giving girls information on what is acceptable and what’s not, through our ‘Teenage Relationship Abuse’ campaign, to challenge the attitudes of teenagers to violence and abusive relationships. And help girls to become resilient.</p> <p>So thank you Girlguiding UK for continuing to develop young women, exposing them to good models of democracy, and for continuing to give girls this voice, year after year. Without it, we would not be able to understand the challenges that they face or work with them to change their world locally, nationally and internationally.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/attitudes-survey Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone speech at GirlGuiding UK research roundtable Wednesday, 23 Nov 2011 Home Office GirlGuiding UK research roundtable
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was delivered by the Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone, on 22 November. The speech is checked against delivery.</p> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>Good morning. I would like to start by thanking Refuge and the NSPCC for inviting me here today and giving me an invaluable opportunity to hear from these incredible young people.</p> <p>It’s easy as a Minister to get stuck in Parliament or in the Home Office, and to simply read reports and meet officials, but it is so important for me to hear first hand from the people whose lives are affected by the issues I am working hard to address.</p> <p>I would like to commend the panel for having the bravery to talk about your experiences.</p> <p>I was so moved to hear about your lives and the difficulties that you have overcome. It is truly humbling to stand in front of you to hear about the challenges you’ve faced, but to see that you’ve not let these stop you from moving forward.</p> <p>Your voices bring this research to life and underscore its importance.</p> <p>And Michelle.</p> <p>I am always thrilled to meet successful business women as I’m very aware of the unique challenges they face (especially when dealing with Sir Alan!). </p> <p>But your success is even more commendable in light of your own experiences as a child. It is a tribute to your character that you have not let this hold you back, and your tremendous success shows that no matter what terrible events you endure as a child, they need not define your future.<br>However, we cannot let these inspiring stories distract us from the reality facing so many children living with domestic violence and the important messages in your research.</p> <h3>Why is this report important?</h3> <p>As minister responsible for the Government’s action plan to end violence against women and girls, tackling domestic violence is one of my most important responsibilities and one that is always at the forefront of my mind.</p> <p>The level of violence faced by women and girls continues to shock me - in the last year alone, there were over 1 million female victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales.</p> <p>That’s nearly 2 women each minute – another 20 victims by the time I finish speaking. This is simply deplorable. It is a scandal and an outrage that over the course of their lifetimes a quarter of women will experience this horrific crime.<br>But what we forget is that these women often have children and when violence enters the family home, it enters the lives of everyone there. No one is left untouched.</p> <p>Living with those 1 million victims are many more children, powerless to end the violence that surrounds them and desperate for it to stop.</p> <p>Whether violence happens in the next room, directly in front of children or involves children themselves, it casts a devastating cloud over their daily lives and stops their childhood instantly.</p> <p>From speaking to victims myself, I know how hard they try to shield their children from violence, to the extent that they will endanger their own lives further to protect their children.</p> <p>But we are understanding more and more that when children grow up in a home tainted by violence, their development, their wellbeing and their relationships with both parents – perpetrator and victim - are all adversely affected and the damage is deep and long lasting.</p> <p>We recognise in law that seeing or overhearing violence to another person in the home is potentially detrimental to children’s welfare, and, as your report identified, this is increasing the notification of domestic violence cases to children’s services. But we need to think more about quite how far reaching the impact is and how differentiated our response to children needs to be.</p> <p>We know how victims in violent relationships struggle to know what they should do, but too often we don’t acknowledge the confusion felt by children trying to reconcile the image they have of a loving parent, with the violent perpetrator who destroys family life.<br>We often focus our efforts on moving victims and their families out of violent homes, but do we think enough about the support children need to adjust to new homes and new schools, and the new life these bring.</p> <h3>Government strategy and action</h3> <p>So what are we doing? First, let me be clear – the protection of children is a priority for this government and protecting them from domestic violence is a personal priority for me.</p> <p>To that end we have allocated £28 million of stable Home Office funding for specialist violence against women and girls services until 2015.</p> <p>The majority of this funding is directed to local areas and is going to support independent domestic violence advisers, and multi-agency risk assessment conference co-ordinators.</p> <h3>Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference Coordinators</h3> <p>The key feature of Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences, of which there are over 250, is that they bring together all the relevant agencies to secure the safety of high-risk domestic violence victims.</p> <p>They facilitate that vital link with child-focused services, helping to ensure the needs of children are considered alongside the needs of their parents.</p> <p>I was really pleased to read in your report that those areas that used these arrangements offer a better prospect of providing the comprehensive, differentiated response that children living with domestic violence need.</p> <p>This year we have granted funding for 54 Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference coordinator posts and I hope that this will enable a more child-focused approach to domestic violence. <br></p> <h3>Independent Domestic Violence Advisers</h3> <p>Victims are represented at these conferences by their Independent Domestic Violence Adviser, an IDVA.</p> <p>These are trained specialist who provides that crucial tailored support, focused on a family’s unique circumstances, including the effect on any children.</p> <p>In some areas there are even specialist advisers for children. Blackpool, for example, has a specialist Children's IDVA Service who provides weekly drop in sessions for young people at local high schools.</p> <p>We know that these specialists play a crucial role in putting children at the heart of the discussion and having put funding toward 144 posts this year, I hope personalised support is making a difference to the lives of more families, and more children than ever before.</p> <h3>Police</h3> <p>The police also play an important part and have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.</p> <p>To strengthen this, we also amended the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill so that Police and Crime Commissioners would, rightly, have child safety as a priority.</p> <h3>Domestic Violence Protection Orders</h3> <p>We are also piloting new powers for the police in three areas – Greater Manchester, West Mercia and Wiltshire.</p> <p>Domestic Violence Protection Orders address one of the key themes that you identified when talking to children – that in some cases children want to get away, and stay away, from the abuser.</p> <p>These orders prevent the perpetrator from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, for example.<br>They give a victim and her children immediate protection and also enable an unstable family environment to stabilise, minimising the disruption that is so damaging and helping children return to the normal life they crave.</p> <p>If they prove successful, we will look to roll them out more widely.</p> <h3>Government funding</h3> <p>We know that statutory services can do all this better with the support of children’s charities, like the NSPCC.</p> <p>That is why earlier this year we announced that we would award grants worth £60 million to go directly to fund the voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations that work with children, young people, parents and families.</p> <p>Over £170,000 of the grant, this year, has been awarded specifically to address the issue of domestic violence.<br>In addition, the Government has awarded the NSPCC a new grant totalling £11.2 million between 2011-2015 for investment in ChildLine and the NSPCC Helpline.<br>These services really do provide a lifeline for children trying to survive situations that, as a parent, I can barely bring myself to imagine.</p> <h3>MUNRO REVIEW</h3> <p>But we know we must do more and that our systems do not always function as we would wish them to.</p> <p>Professor Eileen Munro’s review of child protection services in England showed us that the system is not working as well as it should. And this includes working with adult’s services to tackle domestic violence.</p> <p>The Government has accepted Professor Munro’s fundamental argument that the child protection system has lost its focus on the things that matter most: the views and experiences of children themselves.</p> <p>As I have heard today, and seen in your report, we need a fundamental shift in the way the system works.</p> <p>Children should be at the centre of discussions that affect them, not cast aside and dictated to. They of all people understand best what they need and how they feel about what has happened to them.</p> <p>They need to be able to talk to skilled adults themselves; they need to be the authors of their own stories.</p> <p>The Government’s approach to child protection reform is therefore driven by three key principles:<br>• trusting skilled frontline professionals to use their own judgement;<br>• reducing bureaucracy and prescription;<br>• and, most important of all, making the system child-centred. </p> <p>We need to enable professionals to focus on the needs of children and young people, so they are better protected and their welfare better promoted.</p> <p>We are not seeking to impose a one size fits all approach, nor introduce a host of new procedures. We believe that local leaders with their partners should have the freedom to design and deliver services.</p> <p>But we do think that however they choose to meet needs of children and young people, they must put those children and young people at the heart of the decision making process.</p> <p>And to show our commitment to making this happen, and to address one the key recommendations of your research, I would like to invite all of the young people on the panel here today to come at meet with me.</p> <p>What I have heard already today has been invaluable, but I’m sure it only touches the tip of the iceberg and you have much more that you would like to contribute.</p> <p>Please come to the Home Office and we can continue these discussions.</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/lynne-featherstone Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone speech on domestic violence in London Tuesday, 22 Nov 2011 Home Office unknown
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">This speech was delivered by minister for policing and criminal justice, Nick Herbert, on 21 November to the Institute for Government. This version is checked against delivery.</p> <p>I would like to thank the Institute for Government for hosting this event today.</p> <p>There is no more important public service in our country than the police.</p> <p>This weekend, we have once again been reminded of what an important job they do. Four Metropolitan Police officers were injured on Saturday, three of them seriously, by an attacker with a knife.</p> <p>I pay tribute to the courage of those officers, and I am sure that you will join me in thanking them for their selfless heroism in protecting the public, and wishing them a speedy recovery.</p> <h3>A new era for policing</h3> <p>I welcome the Institute for Government's ideas paper, published today, entitled 'Who chose the sheriff?' I think the Institute is raising the right questions at the right time, because one year from today will be the eve of a new era in policing.</p> <p>The most significant democratic reform of policing in our lifetime will be about to come to life. 41 elected Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales will take office on 22 November 2012. The public will have been to the polls the previous week, on 15 November.</p> <p>They will now know who will be leading the fight against crime in their community. They will know exactly what their elected Police and Crime Commissioner has committed to doing. They will be ready for their elected representative to show they have earned the public's support. And they will know what to do if they don't deliver.<br> <br>The PCC will have spent the last few days meeting with the chief constable and local partners such as probation, health, education and local voluntary organisations planning how to fulfil the PCC's commitments to fight crime and antisocial behaviour and deliver safer streets for their community.</p> <p>These conversations between local agencies will have a new sense of purpose and, more importantly, a new impetus.</p> <p>They will be driven by one clear aim - to use the backing the PCC has received from the people to deliver a real, tangible difference to the lives of the electorate they represent.</p> <h3>A voice for the public </h3> <p>The government has been clear about the lack of effective accountability that police authorities exert on policing. They are insufficiently connected to the public. </p> <p>There has been no clear driver for constant improvement. It is unacceptable that only 4 out of 22 police authorities should be assessed as performing well in their core functions - including ensuring value for money for the taxpayer.</p> <p>Nor can it be right that a third of the public have no idea who to go to to complain if they are not happy with the way their local area is being policed. A strong connection between police and public is the foundation of policing by consent.</p> <p>The founder of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, famously said that 'The police are the public and the public are the police.' Yet active public participation is low.</p> <p>Police forces sprang out of the municipalities, yet in recent years they have increasingly looked to the Home Office rather than their local communities.</p> <p>And, in turn, instead of trusting the skills, decision-making and professionalism of those that actually do the job and allowing them to work hand in hand with the public, Whitehall became focused on raising standards through bureaucratic control from the centre, with a plethora of targets and initiatives.</p> <p>Top-down control didn't work, but nor can consumer choice. Policing is a monopoly service. Competition in the provision of public services - including policing services - brings benefits and drives improvements but in the end the public can't choose their police force.</p> <p>All of this is why it's so important that police forces are accountable, and it's why every major political party, in one way or another, advocated some kind of democratic reform of policing governance.</p> <p>There has been vigorous discussion and full scrutiny of our plan for a full eighteen months from the moment the policy was re-stated in the Coalition Agreement through the public consultation last year to lengthy debate in Parliament.</p> <p>The Government listened to concerns.</p> <p>We strengthened the checks and balances on Police and Crime Commissioners. We have taken every step to ensure that the British model of impartial policing, which we all prize, is preserved. And Parliament has now spoken.</p> <p>So this is my first key message today.</p> <p>It's time for everyone to move on from the debate about the merits of reform, and work together to ensure that it is a success not just for the sake of the police, but above all for the sake of the public.</p> <h3>The wider role for PCCs</h3> <p>The second point I want to make is that this reform does much more than replace appointed police authorities with elected individuals - important though that change of governance is.</p> <p>The clue is in the name. These will be Police AND CRIME Commissioners. Their role will be greater than that of the police authorities they replace. </p> <p>We have always made it clear that the government would keep under review the role Police and Crime Commissioners can play in the wider criminal justice system.</p> <p>I said that we would explore these opportunities and return to them as other reforms develop. And from the outset, I have been determined that Police and Crime Commissioners should put the needs of victims of crime at the centre of their agenda.</p> <p>How victims are treated is essential to maintaining public trust and being able to police effectively. This is why the Act requires PCCs to consult with victims in setting policing priorities in their local area.</p> <p>For the first time, victims of crime will have a statutory role in determining what the police should focus on, and how. But we can and will go further.</p> <p>Next month, the government intends to publish a consultation setting out our vision for improved support for victims and witnesses and our proposal that victim support services should be locally funded and locally determined.</p> <p>We intend to propose that PCCs act as commissioners for victim support services, ensuring that through local, democratic accountability, services meet local need, represent value for money, and deliver real outcomes for victims.</p> <p>Providing support services which help individuals cope with, and recover from, the consequences of crime is an essential part of our duty to victims.</p> <p>This includes immediate assistance with security, emotional support from a volunteer, provision of information about the criminal justice process and counselling.</p> <p>Some support providers give assistance to all victims of crime whereas other, more specialist providers focus on a crime type with particular needs.</p> <p>Currently these include rape crisis centres, refuges for victims of domestic violence, independent advocacy within the criminal justice system, and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.</p> <p>But this will not be the limit of Police and Crime Commissioners' responsibilities for crime.</p> <p>Their broader remit to ensure crime reduction involves powers, not available to Police Authorities, to use their budgets to commission services from public, private and voluntary sector partners.</p> <p>This is an important new role that brings significance to the word ‘commissioner’.</p> <p>The directly elected mandate of the PCC will mean that their arrival will galvanise local partners.</p> <p>Now is the time for local authorities and the voluntary, private and public sectors to begin considering how they can play their part as a critical partner to the PCC in cutting crime.</p> <h3>Prepare for change</h3> <p>This leads me to the third point I want to make, about partnerships.</p> <p>I commend ACPO, the Association of Police Authorities, the Association of Police Authority Chief Executives and the Local Government Association for working constructively on the transition to PCCs.</p> <p>That is the right approach.</p> <p>And I know that there are many police authorities and local authorities who are showing strong and responsible leadership.</p> <p>They are living up to their primary objective as public bodies, serving in the public interest.</p> <p>Last Friday I attended a seminar initiated by Sussex Police Authority which drew together local partners to discuss the changing local landscape and how they could make it work. It was a really good event. It showed how the advent of PCCs presents an opportunity to review local partnerships and overcome entrenched barriers to cutting crime.</p> <p>This reform does not sideline local authorities. They have an important continuing role in delivering community safety.</p> <p>And they will have an important continuing role in the governance of policing through Police and Crime Panels. Indeed, district councils will have a role for the first time.</p> <p>These Panels are important. They will have teeth. They will have the power of veto over precepts and the appointment of chief constables.</p> <p>And they will have the weapon of transparency. They will have the power to compel commissioners to release documents and summon them for questioning. </p> <p>This will ensure that the thinking and decisions of Commissioners will be laid bare for the people to see. But we need to be clear that it is the directly elected Police and Crime Commissioner who will hold the force to account, NOT the Police and Crime Panel. The Panels are NOT police authorities, nor do they have the powers and scope in primary legislation to play this role.</p> <p>So there should be no attempt to continue police authorities by another name, and no attempt to spend more money than the defined scrutiny function of Panels requires.</p> <p>And just as Panels will have the weapon of transparency at their disposal, so too will they be expected to be transparent, particularly on cost. The public will not accept Panels unnecessarily adding cost.</p> <p>The only additional cost of this reform will be that of elections - representing about 0.15 per cent of the annual police spend - and funding for this will be provided centrally. It will not come out of police or local authority budgets.</p> <p>It is important that I make these distinctions so that local authorities and their members are absolutely clear on the intention of the Act.</p> <p>It will not serve the public interest for anyone to set out to oppose Police and Crime Commissioners from doing their job. </p> <p>The legislation says that Panels should support the Police and Crime Commissioner. Support and challenge is a constructive stance, not an obstructive one.</p> <p>In fact, the Act places duties of co-operation all round. A strong relationship between the Police and Crime Commissioners and their local partners, including local authorities and directly elected mayors, will be key to cutting crime.</p> <p>We know that the police cannot fight crime alone. Successful local partnerships between the police, local authorities and other criminal justice agencies are crucial.</p> <p>PCCs will have certain powers in the Act - to require reports from local partnerships about issues of concern, and to bring together a representative of any or all partnerships in their area to deal with particular issues concerning the public to help achieve this.</p> <p>But above all they will have the moral authority of their direct democratic mandate.</p> <p>The public will expect their elected and non-elected representatives to work together. They will not care for the organisational barriers that too often hamper progress. The public will expect PCCs to use their mandate to galvanise others, challenge silos and cut through the excuses to cut crime.</p> <h3>Candidates step forward</h3> <p>This takes me to my fourth key point.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners will need to be outstanding leaders. They will be hugely important figures in the communities they represent. This is a real opportunity for dynamic and driven individuals to step forward to ensure that the public get the PCCs they need.</p> <p>The role will be demanding and challenging. The first set of elected PCCs will be pioneers, driving through changes in relatively uncharted territory. They will need a firm resolve and commitment to engage with the public, listen and respond to their needs.</p> <p>PCCs will not be expected to run the police.</p> <p>As the Protocol which the Home Secretary is laying in the House today makes clear, the Police are the professionals - they run the force and they are the experts.</p> <p>The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. But the PCC will determine how crime fighting resources are allocated.  Outside of London they will be responsible for budgets ranging from tens of millions, and in some cases hundreds of millions, of pounds.</p> <p>They will need to ensure that resources are spent in a way that best serves their electorate and the public interest. They will set the police precept, determining how much local taxpayers should pay for their force. They will, in consutation with their chief constable, set the policing plan and strategic priorities. They will appoint, and if necessary dismiss, the chief constable.</p> <p>These are big jobs for big figures.</p> <p>So today I am issuing a clarion call for prospective candidates to step forward.</p> <p>And I hope that elected representatives at the national and local level, think-tanks and voluntary organisations, business leaders and community activists will all back the search for the best possible candidates.</p> <p>I want dynamic leaders, community champions, pioneers and entrepreneurs to consider standing for this office.</p> <p>We need people of real calibre who have built or led organisations and who are committed to public service to step forward.</p> <p>Candidates could have experience in the private, voluntary or public sector. We want people from all backgrounds, who can bring new perspectives to a service that hasn't always represented the communities it polices. Women, people from ethnic minorities and disabled people are under-represented in elected office.</p> <p>This is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to stand and to make a difference.</p> <p>And candidates don’t have to be politicians to stand. They can be independent of political parties.</p> <p>Today we have launched a dedicated section on the Home Office website for members of the public and those interested in finding out more about <a href="http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/police-crime-commissioners/">the role of PCCs</a>.</p> <p>We will work with organisations who want to play a constructive role in promoting the issues which PCCs will confront so as to inform candidates and the debate.</p> <p>These elections provide a unique opportunity to take stock of the challenges we face on crime and criminal justice and what it is that we really want PCCs to do.</p> <p>The LGA recently set out what some of its thinking is on what these issues are and what this may mean for PCC priorities. But we can go further.</p> <p>In his recent Benjamin Franklin Medal Lecture, Professor Lawrence Sherman made the case for 'a liberal democracy enhanced by the legitimacy of objective knowledge as the foundation of professional policing under a rule of law'.</p> <p>We need to inform the debate and manifesto process with credible, evidence-led, innovative thinking, giving the newly elected PCCs the arsenal they need to make an impact. Parties, think-tanks, academics, community organisations, charities and the public all have a role to play. </p> <p>So I welcome innovative ideas, such as those set out by the Institute for Government today, as to how to promote the best candidates and engage the public.</p> <p>For instance, I have always believed that open primaries are a powerful way to build interest and legitimacy in elections.</p> <p>Some have questioned how high the public turnout will be for these elections in November.</p> <p>I note that the Spanish general election has been held this month, and the US Presidential elections are always held in November. And any turnout for an elected office will confer more legitimacy than the appointed body which it replaces has. But over the next twelve months I believe there will be growing interest in these elections, particularly in the local media.</p> <p>A recent survey carried out by ComRes on behalf of the Local Government Association found that, even with a year to go until the first PCC elections, two-thirds of the public said they would vote.</p> <p>We know how interested and concerned people are about local crime. Our crime mapping website, police.uk, has attracted phenomenal interest since its launch earlier this year, with more than 430 million hits to date.</p> <p>I've no time for the anti-democratic pessimists.</p> <p>One moment they argue that no-one will vote the next they say that if the public do vote, it will be for the wrong person promising the wrong thing. It's time to sweep aside the cycnical opposition of the elitists and energise these elections with great candidates who care about crime, care about their communities, and want to deliver a better deal for the people.</p> <h3>Fighting crime on all fronts</h3> <p>Because this reform doesn't stand on its own.</p> <p>It forms part of a programme to devolve power and responsibility to decentralise government and to put the public in the driving seat.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners are a key component of a comprehensive plan to fight crime.</p> <p>We have axed policing targets. We are restoring professional discretion, allowing police officers to be crime fighters rather than form writers.</p> <p>PCCs will drive value for money, cost savings, reduced bureaucracy and protection of the frontline because they will know that's what the public wants.</p> <p>This will leave the Home Office to be refocused on its proper role, especially to address national threats and to co-ordinate strategic action and collaboration between forces.</p> <p>We are creating a new powerful National Crime Agency to improve the fight against serious and organised crime that operates across police force boundaries.</p> <p>PCCs, like forces, will be responsible for the totality of policing which means that, as well as local concerns, they will address those crimes that require a national response.</p> <p>I can say this not just because I have faith in an elected individual’s ability to act in the interest of the public more broadly but because, although serious organised crime does require effective collaboration, it manifests itself on local streets and in local communities.</p> <p>It will therefore be as important to tackle serious organised crime as it will be to tackle local crime and antisocial behaviour.</p> <p>But the shadow <a href="http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police/strategic-policing-requirement">strategic policing requirement</a> published today by the Home Secretary will go further to ensure that forces meet national threats. </p> <p>It sets out the government’s view of the national threats that the police must address such as terrorism, civil emergencies, public disorder, cyber incidents and organised crime and the appropriate national policing capabilities we believe are required to counter them.</p> <p>It respects the operational independence of the police, advising, in strategic terms, what they need to achieve but not how they should achieve it.</p> <p>The shadow strategic policing requirement will not have statutory effect immediately, but it is our intention that it should help to drive improvements during the transition period to Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>I will look to all forces and authorities to have regard to the requirement when exercising their responsibilities. After the PCC elections in November next year the SPR will have statutory effect. Chief Constables will be required to have regard to it in carrying out all of their responsibilities.</p> <p>Police and Crime Commissioners will be required to hold chief constables to account, in particular, for the way they comply with this duty, but they will also be under a duty to have regard to the SPR when making their strategic plans.</p> <h3>Going early in London</h3> <p>So our policing reforms are coherent and balanced, ensuring an enhanced responsiveness to local concerns, but also an enhanced ability to meet national threats.</p> <p>They reverse what I have described as the policing paradox, which has seen the centre interfere too much in local policing, while being too weak where national threats required it to be strong. Both problems needed to be addressed.</p> <p>We couldn't take measures to require forces to deal with national threats unless we also strengthened local accountability. Otherwise we would effectively nationalise policing. That's why it's so important that in London, where national threats are most acute, the Mayor has responsibility for policing.</p> <p>In London the powers of a police and crime commissioner will go to the elected Mayor, meaning that the Metropolitan Police will be directly accountable to the Mayor, and the Mayor will be directly accountable to the people of London.</p> <p>With the personnel already in place, we see no reason to delay allowing the Mayor to exercise this power on behalf of the people of London.</p> <p>So today, I can announce that, subject to Parliament approving the necessary secondary legislation, the Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime will be created in January and the Metropolitan Police Authority will be formally abolished. Allowing London to go early will enable the governance structures to be embedded ahead of the Mayoral elections in May 2012.</p> <p>It will give Londoners a stronger say over how their streets are policed, making the Metropolitan Police directly accountable to the Mayor and stripping out an unnecessary tier of governance.</p> <p>Going early will deliver Londoners a better deal. It will ensure that the Met answers to the communities which the force serves, it will build trust and it will help the police to drive down crime.</p> <p>Giving Londoners a voice over policing has been a popular change in the Capital, and enhancing the responsibility of the Mayor who the people elect is a further step in the right direction.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>This leads me to my conclusion.</p> <p>The return of power to the people in the Capital has been permanent. Who would take it away from Londoners now? Who would remove the responsibility for policing from the elected Mayor and hand it to an unelected committee?</p> <p>In the future, I believe the same will be said of elected Police and Crime Commissioners.</p> <p>This reform will not be undone, because at its heart is a principle more important than the narrow question of what the governance of police forces looks like.</p> <p>The principle is whether or not we trust the people. Of course we should.</p> <p>In one year's time the public will finally have a real say in policing across England and Wales and once the people have this say, they will not let it go.</p> <p>END</p> None http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/speeches/a-new-era-for-policing Nick Herbert A new era in policing Monday, 21 Nov 2011 Home Office Institute for Government
<p class="intro" style="margin-top:10px;">Theresa May gave this speech to the Olympic security conference on 21 November 2011. This version is checked against delivery.</p> <p>Can I start by saying thank you all for coming.</p> <p>I know some of you have had a long trip to get here so we appreciate you making the effort.</p> <p>We have, I understand, over 500 representatives coming over the two days from countries from Azerbaijan to Zambia. That underlines just how important a conference this is and how important it will be for all of our countries to work together to ensure a safe and secure Olympic Games next year.</p> <p>When London first bid for the Games, our bid came with a personal guarantee from the Home Secretary to the IOC for the security of the games.</p> <p>So, as Home Secretary, today I wanted to talk about the preparations and investments that have already been made to secure the Olympics, the testing and exercising that will continue from now until Games time to ensure our plans are robust, and to give you some idea of the scale of the security operation that will be happening during the Games themselves.</p> <h3>Overall Security Approach</h3> <p>First I want us all to remember why you, your athletes and your spectators will be coming to London next year.</p> <p>They won’t be coming for a security exhibition. Or to examine British policing techniques. Or to look at the latest in scanning technology.</p> <p>They will be coming to be part of the greatest show on earth. They will be coming to watch and to demonstrate the purest and highest standards of sporting excellence.</p> <p>But they need to be able to do that in safety and security. That means we must have two goals, encapsulated by the aim of our Olympic Security programme - 'To deliver a safe and secure London 2012 Games, in keeping with the Olympic culture and spirit.'</p> <p>So our security plans must be robust but seamless; tough but intelligent.</p> <p>And that is why our starting point is an intelligence-led approach, and it’s why our security plans are firmly risk-based.</p> <p>It is important to understand what this means. Intelligence-led means we started by analysing the covert and overt intelligence on the likely threats to the Games. A risk-based approach means we looked at all the potential risks to the Games that intelligence identified, and we then designed our security plan accordingly, with resources prioritised to the highest likelihood and highest impact risks.</p> <p>Importantly, our strategy has also been specifically designed to be flexible, allowing us to respond to any changes in the intelligence picture or to the risk or threat environment that might take place between now and 2012.</p> <h3>Threats</h3> <p>We have known for some time that terrorism will represent a major threat to the games and have been preparing accordingly.</p> <p>The games will be an iconic event, and they will therefore represent an iconic target. That is why we protected the Olympic security budget and the overall counter-terrorism policing budget in our recent spending review.</p> <p>Our security plans are consistent with and dependent on our broader counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, which is recognised as world leading.</p> <p>It will draw on the capabilities and expertise that our police and security and intelligence agencies have developed over many years of confronting both the threat from Northern Ireland related terrorism and international terrorism, linked to Al Qa’ida.</p> <p>As the Minister responsible for our domestic Security Service, MI5, I am well aware of just how seriously they are taking the potential threat and of the level of resources they are devoting to combating that threat. But terrorism is not the only threat to the Games that our safety and security strategy must take account of.</p> <p>As well as non-malicious incidents such as extreme weather conditions or major accidents, a further significant threat is that of serious and organised crime.</p> <p>Since the Games were won in 2005 the threats to Cyber Security have also grown. I am clear that we need to protect spectators from all countries from ticket touts, scalpers and fraudsters.</p> <p>I have already announced plans to quadruple the maximum fine for touting Olympic and Paralympic tickets from £5,000 to £20,000.</p> <p>There have already been over ninety arrests for serious and organised crime relating to the Olympics under the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Podium, which is funded by the Home Office.<br> <br>I stand ready to support the police with any additional powers they need to stop serious and organised criminals targeting the Games.</p> <h3>Public Order</h3> <p>The other major threat to the Games is public disorder.</p> <p>The riots this summer shocked me, the government and the entire British public. We are already devoting significant efforts to making sure they never happen again, let alone during the Games.</p> <p>Our courts passed very tough, but entirely fair, sentences against those involved in the riots. Those sentences will assure any would be looters that if they commit a crime, they will face the consequences.</p> <p>We are also putting in place specific policies and putting in place new resources to better tackle the gang culture that fuelled the riots.</p> <p>And our Olympic Security plans take into account the need to cope with the risk of either planned or spontaneous disorder and to ensure the police have the resources they need to deal with it.</p> <p>So if anyone is foolish enough to try and repeat what we saw last summer, then we will be ready.</p> <h3>Specific Investment and Preparation</h3> <p>To deal with all of these threats to the Games, significant specific Olympic Security investments have already been made and will continue to be made right through to Games time.</p> <p>So we have upgraded and enhanced the capability of police control rooms – including command and control technology and CCTV to manage incidents.</p> <p>We have expanded the capacity of the Airwave emergency services radio system, to ensure that there is a common communication system for each and every officer working on or around the Olympic venues.</p> <p>A police led multi-agency National Olympic Coordination Centre is now up and running. Led by Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, this unique facility will have a national overview of the Olympic security operation.</p> <p>The Olympic Intelligence Centre is also now operating. This produces and disseminates national Olympic threat assessments on areas like crime and terrorism and will be providing assessments to your security liaison officers.</p> <p>And just a few weeks ago we opened the Olympic Clearing House. There they will screen and background check more than 380,000 applicants for accreditation to the Games to ensure no one who poses a threat to safety and security is granted accreditation.</p> <p>Already, with some 249 days to go until the opening ceremony, those investments are beginning to show their value.</p> <h3>Now to Games – Exercising</h3> <p>But investment, building, planning and training are not the only things happening between now and the Games. We are also undertaking an extensive testing and exercising programme to ensure we are ready for anything.</p> <p>Those exercises range from 'table top' exercises – effectively using computers to discuss how we would respond to a simulated incident – to “live play” where we actually have police officers and other emergency services with the blue lights on and sirens blaring as they would during a real incident.</p> <p>Indeed, the testing and exercise programme has already started.</p> <p>In September the first 'command post exercise' was held – this involved 2,000 participants acting in the role they would actually play during the Games.</p> <p>This exercise tested all aspects of planning, including resilience and decision-making capability.</p> <p>Throughout the run up to the Games each and every aspect of the security programme will be thoroughly tested – from plans; to structures; to how government departments, the police and the emergency services interact, communicate and respond to a range of incidents.</p> <p>A second much larger command post exercise is planned to take place in two weeks time aimed at testing crisis scenarios. That exercise will take place over a 3-day period and I will be playing a full part.</p> <p>In February, a 'Live' exercise will take place with real officers responding as they would to a real incident. And I’m delighted to say that we will be inviting international observers from several of your countries to that exercise.</p> <p>All of these exercises in the run up to the Games are aimed at testing our plans and learning the lessons. Where things go well, we will build on that success. Where things go wrong, we will correct the mistakes. But it is only be practice that we will make our Games time operation perfect.</p> <h3>Games Times</h3> <p>Because all of this, of course, is geared up towards what we call 'Games Time'.</p> <p>The sheer scale of the Games Time security operation is astonishing. It will involve over 370,000 police officer deployments across the country at 36 competition venues.</p> <p>They will be securing 10,500 Olympic Athletes from 205 countries. And, interestingly, they will also be looking after 21,000 media and broadcasters – or twice the number of athletes!</p> <p>There will also be a need to secure the live spectators. A total of 10.8 million Olympic and Paralympic tickets will be available, with safe transport needed for 800,000 spectators on the busiest single competition day.</p> <p>Our armed forces will of course also be on hand to provide the civilian authorities with support should they need it, as of course they already routinely do.</p> <p>That is only right and prudent.</p> <p>The overall security operation will be active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from before the Torch Relay starts in May right through to after the Paralympics closing ceremony in September 2012.</p> <p>The challenge is unprecedented, but I am confident that Britain is up to the task.</p> <p>We have a long history of hosting major events safely and securely – from 3,000 league football matches a year, to state visits, world summits and Royal Weddings.</p> <p>Our track record is one of the reasons we won the bid.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>London and the whole of the UK is immensely proud to be hosting the Olympic Games.</p> <p>As one of the world’s great cities, it is only right that we will have the chance to host one of the world’s great events.</p> <p>We want an Olympics that the whole world can celebrate.</p> <p>That is why we are leaving nothing to chance in our security planning.</p> <p>We are drawing on our existing capabilities and expertise; we are investing heavily in new technology and new facilities; and we are testing and exercising each and every one of our plans, making sure all lessons are learned and all creases are ironed out.</p> <p>That meticulous planning and testing will help us to deliver a spectacular, safe and secure Games.</p>