Police should investigate every crime, says ex-Met boss Lord Stevens in call for more 'bobbies on the beat'

In long-awaited report, Lord Stevens calls for a radical overhaul of the way forces operate

Whitehall Editor

Britain’s police forces have retreated into a “discredited, narrow and reactive” response to crime that is failing local communities, the former head of Scotland Yard will caution this week.

Lord Stevens will give a warning that police forces have presided over a collapse in “bobbies on the beat” as they reduce staff numbers in the wake of government cuts, and will call for communities to be given a guaranteed minimum level of policing.

Lord Stevens, who was head of the Met from 2000 to 2005, has been leading an independent commission into the future of policing set up by the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper two years ago. The commission, which will report tomorrow, is to recommend a radical overhaul of the traditional “responsive” policing model.

“The police are not simply crime fighters,” the report says. “Their civic purpose is focused on improving safety and well-being within communities and promoting measures to prevent crime, harm and disorder. 

“The Commission recommends that the social purpose of the police should be enshrined in law. This will help to bring much-needed consensus to the question of what we expect the police to do.”

Among its recommendations are:

* A request to the police for assistance or reporting a crime will be met by a mandatory commitment to a specific response time.

* All reported crime will be investigated, or an explanation given of why it is not possible to do so.

* Victims are to be regularly updated, by right, on the progress of an investigation.

“The protection of neighbourhood policing demands that the legislated national purpose is backed up with a set of national minimum standards of police service which everyone should be entitled to receive, and which local police forces and those who call them to account must deliver,” the report will say.

Labour is expected to endorse the findings and will confirm that it will not abolish the Police Commissioners set up by the coalition. The party has also released figures showing the loss of more than 10,000 police officers from the frontline since 2010.

The report is understood to suggest that significant savings could be made by forces sharing procurement, IT, and other functions, to pay for new front line policing.

These are likely to be controversial as they will again call into question the purpose of having 43 separate forces – with many functions unnecessarily replicated. But successive governments have failed to rationalise policing structures.

“This is about having very strong local policing while merging functions which can best be done at a national level,” said one source close to the commission.

“We are well aware of the need to change the police within existing budgets, but we do believe there are savings that can be made which will allow us to restore neighbourhood policing, which has been disappearing at an alarming rate.”

Chaired by Lord Stevens, the members of the commission included the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, Lord Carlile, the former heads of Europol and Interpol, and the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove.

Suggested Topics
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Arts and Entertainment
Pink Floyd on stage at Live 8 in 2005. From left to right: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright
music New album The Endless River set to overtake boyband for most pre-ordered of all-time
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?