At Chief Constables’ Council on October 17, chief constables took key decisions on the development of a new body that will soon replace ACPO in co-ordinating operational policing at the national level.
In July this year, chief officers voted in support of proposals to establish a new co-ordinating body that would be hosted by – but remain independent of – the Metropolitan Police Service and replace the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). These proposals were drawn up by a group of chief officers implementing recommendations made in General Sir Nick Parker’s detailed review of ACPO’s operations.
Following that mandate, the implementation group continued to develop a legal structure, operating model, a new secretariat structure and the process for a chief constable to be selected as an independent leader, seek a name for the new organisation and examine proposals for future funding.
The group consulted all ACPO members on how the new chairman should be elected, the potential name of the body and the emerging operating model. Final decisions were then taken by chief constables.
It was agreed that all chief officers would elect a chairman before the end of 2014. The intention is to ensure that the electorate is inclusive and that there’s broad support. Chief officers agreed a fixed term appointment of two years with a maximum of four years in office subject to satisfactory performance.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) was chosen as the name of the new body to replace ACPO.
Proposals for an operating model
Members were consulted on early proposals for an operating model with three basic components: Chief Constables’ Council, an annual delivery plan and a range of co-ordination committees that will replace the business area structure currently adopted by ACPO. It was also agreed that more work was needed to develop the committee structure.
There will be a small team to support the elected chairman, provide planning and programme management and also communications support. Work is continuing to ensure that legal agreements are in place and that the new body operates both efficiently and effectively.
In light of these decisions, ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM is now in a position to stand down at the end of 2014 and allow chief officers to elect a leader who will head the new body. ACPO will continue to provide national co-ordination and leadership until the new body is constituted.
The new co-ordinating body will help the police service cut crime and keep members of the public safe by joining up operational response around the most serious and strategic threats. Focusing on operational delivery and developing national approaches on issues such as finance, technology and Human Resources, the NPCC will work closely with the College of Policing which is now responsible for developing professional standards.
ACPO’s core role of bringing together the expertise of police leadership to co-ordinate operational policing and agree national approaches in the public interest will be transferred into the new body. The aim is to develop a modernised and improved co-ordinating body that will be both sustainable and effective in supporting the police service when delivering at the national level.
The new co-ordinating body will be hosted by the Metropolitan Police Service. As part of ongoing plans the present company limited by guarantee will be dissolved.
Exciting new chapter in police leaders’ work
Speaking about these substantial and important developments, ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM commented: “Chief constables have met to discuss key decisions about how a new body co-ordinating operational policing at the national level will operate. It’s right that the leaders of the service take these decisions. This is an exciting new chapter in police leaders’ work. It’s essential that this process takes place seamlessly and with as little disruption to operational policing as possible.”
The ACPO leader continued: “To help create this seamlessness, I’ve decided to step down as President of ACPO around the end of the year in order to allow chief officers to elect a leader who will head the new body. I have made this decision after a lot of thought and after five years of having the immense privilege of leading a team of dedicated, talented and tireless chief officers whose passion for protecting their communities has been unabated in the face of changing modes of crime, seismic shifts in the policing landscape and the impact of austerity on the service. I want to thank all of my colleagues for their support and comradeship, along with all those others with whom I’ve served across 37 years as an officer.”
Going forward, key functions of the National Police Chiefs’ Council will be as follows:
*Co-ordination of national operations including defining, monitoring and testing force contributions to the Strategic Policing Requirement
*Command of counter-terrorism operations and the delivery of counter-terrorist policing through the national network as set out in the S22A agreement
*Co-ordination of the national policing response to national emergencies and the mobilisation of resources across force borders as well as on an international basis
*National operational implementation of standards and policy as set by the College of Policing and the Government
*Working with the College, the development of joint national approaches on criminal justice, value for money, service transformation, information management, performance management and technology
*Working with the College (where appropriate), the development of joint national approaches to staff and Human Resources issues (including misconduct and discipline) in line with chief officers’ responsibilities as employers