Section 1: National Policing Plan
27.This section inserts new section 36A into the 1996 Act. Section 36A requires the Secretary of State to prepare a National Policing Plan by 30 November each year, unless exceptional circumstances – like an autumn general election, or a major incident such as 11 September – prevent this. The Plan will set out the Government’s strategic priorities for the police service over a three-year period. It will include the priorities and requirements which the police service is expected to consider when planning for the coming financial year – the deadline of 30 November for the production of the National Policing Plan is intended to facilitate this. The Plan must set out the Secretary of State’s plans for: issuing Ministerial objectives (under section 37 of the 1996 Act) and the performance targets he intends to set in relation to such objectives (under section 38 of the 1996 Act); setting Best Value performance targets for police authorities (under section 4 of the Local Government Act 1999); making regulations under the 1996 Act as amended, section 97 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (regulations as to police training and qualifications) and Part 2 of this Act (complaints and misconduct); issuing guidance under the 1996 Act or Part 2 of this Act; and issuing codes of practice under the 1996 Act and under section 45 of this Act (code of practice relating to chief officers’ powers under Chapter 1 of Part 4). The Plan may also include such other information, plans and advice as the Secretary of State considers relevant. Before issuing the Plan, the Secretary of State must consult those whom he considers represent the interests of police authorities and chief officers of police. Where this formulation occurs in existing legislation, the Secretary of State currently consults the Association of Police Authorities (APA) and ACPO and/or the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA). The Secretary of State may also consult anyone else he chooses. The consultation process will be undertaken through a non-statutory National Policing Forum, on which both ACPO and the APA are represented, amongst others.