National Debate Advisory Group

Our report, Policing in Austerity: Meeting the challenge, published in July 2014, called for an open and constructive debate across policing on the fundamental questions of how policing should be organised and resourced in the future. The National Debate Advisory Group was formed to take forward this recommendation. It consulted the public through polling and focus groups, and then organised two national events to debate ideas and options. These were attended by representatives of nearly 30 forces, staff associations and unions, criminal justice partners and other partner organisations, the private sector and national and local government representatives.

The ideas brought forward at that event in March 2015 were then shaped by over 70 of those participants into the options set out in the discussion paper, ‘Reshaping policing for the public’.

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Reshaping policing for the public

National Debate Advisory Group Members

The National Debate Advisory Group brought together a group of experts from across the police service. The members of the group who offered their professional expertise during the course of the process have been:

  • Alex Marshall – Chief Executive of the College of Policing
  • Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police
  • Zoë Billingham – HM Inspector of Constabulary
  • Steve Finnigan – Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary
  • Neil Rhodes – Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police
  • Paddy Tipping – Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire
  • Sara Thornton – Chair of National Police Chiefs’ Council
  • Steve White – Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales
  • Irene Curtis and Gavin Thomas – President and Vice-President of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales
  • Francis Habgood – Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police
  • Ben Priestley – National Officer, UNISON
  • Nigel Brook – Assistant Chief Officer, West Yorkshire Police.

The questions

A public consultation was held prior to the national events, and the following questions were asked:

  1. What should be the role and mission of the service in the future? What does this mean for policing priorities?
  2. In the future, which policing functions should be provided at a local and/or regional and/or national basis?  How prescriptive should this be?
  3. Are there successful models which bring together local public services to prevent and reduce crime and/or keep victims safe which could be adopted more widely?
  4. How should the funding available for policing be distributed to match demand, maintain viable forces and encourage efficiency? How should local freedoms and flexibilities to raise additional funds be provided?
  5. At what point might a force be deemed unviable? What are the warning signs that this is likely to happen?

Following the debate on 5 March 2015, all the responses to the questions above were collated and considered. The National Debate Advisory Group published a report on options for the future of policing in June 2015. The report includes a summary of the responses we received.

Get the report

Reshaping policing for the public

Get the press release

Stimulating a sea-change in policing