Police forces given new swathe of performance targets despite Theresa May claims their only target is ‘to cut crime’

Reports show 18 of the 41 Police and Crime Commissioners still set their forces specific targets

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have set 178 performance targets for forces across the country, seemingly in direct contradiction to claims made by Theresa May last week that they “have only one target, to cut crime”.

According to BBC analysis, 18 of the 41 PCCs have set clear targets or measures of performance, while others have tasked officers with “broader objectives”.

It is an embarrassing development for the Home Office, which claimed its flagship PCC scheme would cut red tape and allow more autonomy and common sense on the front line.

Speaking at last week’s conference for police superintendents, the Home Secretary Ms May said “action plans” had been scrapped and there was an active retreat from Government goals being used to micro-manage individual forces.

She has consistently spoken out against performance measures and targets since 2010 when, according to the BBC, she told the Police Federation she would “look at dismantling the targets in disguise - the key performance indicators - which set national, one-size-fits-all priorities for local forces and instead allow you to pursue the crimes and criminals you believe you should”.

Yet all PCCs are now required to publish their plans to cut crime, along with statistics and related documents, on their websites.

And reports today suggest that while the language used to describe what they are doing may vary, the use of specific performance targets is by no means a thing of the past.

With a staggering 26 targets, more than any other force, Leicestershire police officers are being judged based on satisfaction surveys and crime figures.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said the targets bore “no resemblance” to past government goals.