28 Sep 2011

Ex-Met chief to lead Labour police review

A review of policing headed by former Scotland Yard chief Lord Stevens is to be set up by Labour, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper will announce at the party’s conference in Liverpool.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper (Reuters)

The independent inquiry, which Ms Cooper expects to take a strongly reforming approach, will shape Labour‘s policies on the future of the police.

Lord Stevens, who retired from the Metropolitan Police in 2005, will be joined by Kathleen O’Toole, an ex-commissioner of Boston Police, and former Gloucestershire chief constable Tim Brain.

Labour sources stressed the review will be at arm’s length from the party.

Ms Cooper will announce the move in her keynote speech to the Labour party conference in Liverpool today, when she will also invoke Tony Blair’s famous “tough on the causes of crime” refrain.

She will accuse the Conservatives of “chaos and confusion” on police reform.

“Now is the time for a serious vision for the future of policing, a Royal Commission or heavyweight independent review. The government has refused to do so. So we will,” she will say

“We are setting up an independent review to look at the crime challenges of the 21st century and how policing needs to adapt and respond.

“Building on the best of British and international policing. Including experts from here and abroad. Vigorous and challenging on the changes needed. Working with the police not trying to undermine them.”

Ms Cooper will claim that the cost of introducing elected police commissioners could save the jobs of 2,000 constables and fund anti-gang initiatives.
She reckons the bill for elected chiefs will be £100 million, although ministers dispute that figure.