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The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), established in 1948[1], is the lead organisation for developing police policy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need, for example terrorist attacks and civil emergencies, ACPO coordinates the strategic operational response and advises government. ACPO coordinates national police operations, major investigations, cross border policing and joint law emforcement task forces. ACPO designates Senior Investigative Officers for major investigations and appoints officers to head ACPO units specialising in various areas of policing and crime reduction. ACPO is now a statutory consultee.

Scotland has eight forces and they are similarly coordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.

ACPO is currently led by Chief Constable Sir Ken Jones QPM who was, until 2006, the Chief Constable of Sussex Police. He was elected to serve as President by his peers and will serve until autumn 2009 whereupon he will be replaced as President by Sir Hugh Orde.

Contents

Status

ACPO is a private company limited by guarantee. It is not a staff association, the staff association for senior police officers being a separate body, the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA). ACPO is funded by a Home Office grant, together with contributions from each of the 44 UK police authorities.

Purpose

ACPO's declared purpose is as follows:

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is an independent, professionally led strategic body. In the public interest and, in equal and active partnership with Government and the Association of Police Authorities, ACPO leads and coordinates the direction and development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In times of national need ACPO - on behalf of all chief officers - coordinates the strategic policing response.[2]

Membership

ACPO is composed of the chief police officers of the 47 police forces in England & Wales and Northern Ireland, the Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable of 45 of those forces and the Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Assistant Commissioner and Commanders of the remaining two - the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police. Certain senior non-police staff and senior members of national police agencies and certain other specialised and non-geographical forces in the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are also members. Scotland is covered by a separate organisation. As of July 2007 there are 341 members of ACPO. [3]

Activities

In 1981, following riots in twenty-seven British cities, including the 1980 St. Pauls riot and the 1981 Brixton riot, the Association of Chief Police Officers began preparation of the Public Order Manual of Tactical Operations and Related Matters. Police forces began training in its tactics late in 1983.[4]

In February 2009, the Mail on Sunday highlighted the involvement of ACPO in setting up the "Confidential Intelligence Unit" as a specialised unit to spy on on Left-wing and Right-wing political groups throughout the UK.[5] The investigation also highlighted other activities of the ACPO including selling information from the Police National Computer for £70 despite it costing them only 60p to access it, marketing "police approval" logos to firms selling anti-theft devices and operating a separate private firm offering training to speed camera operators.[6]

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ John Steele (20 October 2001). "Police chief 'club' may become closed shop". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1359949/Police-chief-'club'-may-become-closed-shop.html.  
  2. ^ http://www.acpo.police.uk/about_pages/ACPO%20SOP%20(Option%202).doc
  3. ^ Number of ACPO Members
  4. ^ Gerry Northam (August 1989). Shooting in the Dark: Riot Police in Britain. Faber and Faber. pp. 41, 46. ISBN 0571150896.  
  5. ^ Secret police unit set up to spy on British 'domestic extremists' by Jason Lewis, published Mail On-Line, 7 February 2009, accessed 16 February 2009
  6. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1145581/Body-charge-UK-policing-policy-18m-year-brand-charging-public-70-60p-criminal-records-check.html by Jason Lewis Body in charge of UK policing policy is now an £18m-a-year brand charging the public £70 for a 60p criminal records check 15th February 2009, accessed 27th April 2009

Association of Chief Police Officers
Agency overview
Formed 1948,[1] limited company incorporation 1997
Employees 21[2]
Legal personality Non government: Private Limited Company
Jurisdictional structure
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 10 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0NN
Website
http://www.acpo.police.uk

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO, official title The Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland), established in 1948,[1] is a private limited company that leads the development of police policy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

ACPO coordinates national police operations, major investigations, cross border policing, joint law enforcement task forces. It coordinates the strategic operational response and advises government in matters such as terrorist attacks and civil emergencies. ACPO designates Senior Investigative Officers for major investigations and appoints officers to head ACPO units specialising in various areas of policing and crime reduction. ACPO is now a statutory consultee.[3]

Scotland has eight forces and they are similarly coordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland.

ACPO is currently led by Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde QPM who was, until 2009, the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He was elected as president by fellow members of ACPO in April 2009.[4]

It is funded by Home Office grants, profits from commercial activities[2] and contributions from the 44 UK police authorities. Chief officers' work through ACPO attracts no additional remuneration.[citation needed]

Contents

Background

UK policing sprang from local communities in the 1800s. Since the origins of policing, chief officers have regularly associated to discuss and share policing issues. Although ACPO as now recognised was formed in 1948, records of prior bodies go back to the early 1900s. The UK retains a decentralised model of policing based around the settlement which emerged from the Royal Commission on the work of the Police in 1962.

ACPO continues to provide a forum for chief officers across 44 local police forces and 13 national areas across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and provides local forces with agreed national policies and guidelines.[5]

Constitutional Status

Over time, demands for coordination across the police service have increased as society has changed,[6] for example to take account of new developments in international terrorism and organised crime, or roles such as monitoring offenders on release from prison or working with young people to divert them from crime.

In 1997 ACPO was incorporated as a private company limited by guarantee. As a private company, ACPO does not have to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. It is not a staff association, the staff association for senior police officers being a separate body, the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA).

The change in structure from a "band of volunteers" to a limited company allowed the organisation to employ staff, enter into contracts for accommodation and publish accounts. However, the current president has stated that he is uncomfortable with the current limited company arrangement and that he is willing to debate alternative structures.[7]

A number of options have recently been considered for the status of ACPO, including charitable status,[8] but that particular option has been discounted.

Chief constables and Commissioners are responsible for the direction and control of policing in their force areas. Although a national body and recognized by Government for consultation, ACPO has no powers of its own, nor has any mandate to instruct chief officers. However, the organisation allows chief officers to form a national policy rather than replicate the work in each of their forces. For example, in 1981, following riots in twenty-seven British cities, including the 1980 St. Pauls riot and the 1981 Brixton riot, ACPO began preparation of the Public Order Manual of Tactical Operations and Related Matters. Police forces began training in its tactics late in 1983.[9]

Membership

ACPO is not a staff association. It acts for the police service, not its members. The separate Chief Police Officers Staff Association acts for chief officers.

ACPO is composed of the chief police officers of the 44 police forces in England & Wales and Northern Ireland, the Deputy Chief Constable and Assistant Chief Constable of 42 of those forces and the Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Assistant Commissioner and Commanders of the remaining two - the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police. Certain senior non-police staff and senior members of national police agencies and certain other specialised and non-geographical forces in the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are also members.

As of March 2010 there are 349 members of ACPO.[3] The membership elects a full time President, who holds the office of Chief Constable under the Police Reform Act 2002.[10]

ACPO bodies

ACPO is responsible for several ancillary bodies, which it either funds or which receive Home Office funding but which report to ACPO:

ACPO Criminal Records Office

The ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) was set up in 2006 in response to a perceived gap in the police service's ability to manage criminal records and in particular to improve links to biometric data. The aim of ACRO is to provide operational support relating to criminal records and associated biometric data, including DNA and fingerprint recognition.

It also issues police certificates, for a fee, needed to obtain immigration visas for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.[11]

ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service

The Association of Chief Police Officers Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) is funded by the Home Office and managed by ACPO, and is responsible for combating organised vehicle crime and the use of vehicles in crime.[12]

National Community Tension Team

The National Community Tension Team (NCTT) is an ACPO body which monitors religious, racial or other tensions within communities, and provides liaison between police forces and community organisations.[13]

National Counter Terrorism Security Office

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office is funded by, and reports to, ACPO and advises the British government on its counter terrorism strategy.[14]

National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit

The National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU) reports to ACPO, and coordinates police action against extremist groups.[15]

Police National Information and Co-ordination Centre

ACPO is responsible for coordinating the national mobilisation of police resources at times of national need through the Police National Information and Co-ordination Centre (PNICC), which it set up in 2003.[16] This includes ensuring policing resilience during major events such as emergency response to serious flooding or the investigation of a terrorist attack. PNICC sits alongside the government in COBR (Cabinet Office Briefing Room) to advise on national issues. PNICC also handles support to overseas crises involving UK nationals.

It employs three full time staff, with other staff seconded to it as needed and is funded by contributions from each of the police forces.[16]

Controversies

Freedom of Information

ACPO has been criticised as being unaccountable to Parliament or the public by virtue of its limited company status.[17] In October 2009 Sir Hugh Orde stated that ACPO would be "more than happy" to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.[7] On 30 March 2010, the Ministry of Justice announced that ACPO would be included under the FOI Act from October 2011.[18] In its response, the organisation stated that "Although organisations cannot voluntarily comply with the Act, a large proportion of ACPO's work is public already or available under FOI through any police force".[19] In September 2010 its website still said it: "is unable to do is to respond to requests for information under the Act. The organisation is too small and there are too few members of staff to be able to conduct the necessary research and to compile the responses."[20]

Confidential Intelligence Unit

In February 2009, the Mail on Sunday highlighted the involvement of ACPO in setting up the "Confidential Intelligence Unit" as a specialised unit to spy on Left-wing and Right-wing political groups throughout the UK.[21]

Commercial activities

The February 2009 Mail on Sunday investigation also highlighted other activities of the ACPO including selling information from the Police National Computer for £70 despite it costing them only 60p to access it, marketing "police approval" logos to firms selling anti-theft devices and operating a separate private firm offering training to speed camera operators.[22]

Apartments

The organisation was criticised in February 2010 for spending £1.6M per year from government anti-terrorist funding grants on renting up to 80 apartments in the centre of London which were reported as being empty most of the time.[23][24] The organisation responded that it has reviewed this policy and is reducing the number of apartments.[24]

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ a b John Steele (20 October 2001). "Police chief 'club' may become closed shop". The Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1359949/Police-chief-'club'-may-become-closed-shop.html. 
  2. ^ a b Duncan Gardham (15 February 2009). "ACPO makes £18m from criminal records checks". Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/4631631/ACPO-makes-18m-from-criminal-records-checks.html. 
  3. ^ a b "About ACPO". Association of Chief Police Officers. http://www.acpo.police.uk. 
  4. ^ "Sir Hugh Orde elected ACPO President". Police Service of Northern Ireland. 16 April 2009. http://www.psni.police.uk/16-04-09_chief_constable_acpo_announcement. 
  5. ^ "Our Structure". Association of Chief Police Officers. http://www.acpo.police.uk/about_pages/structure.html. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  6. ^ Newburn, T (2008). "5". Handbook of Policing. Willan Publishing. ISBN 0571150896. 
  7. ^ a b "Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee - Sir Hugh Orde and Chief Constable Tim Hollis". United Kingdom Parliament. 13 October 2009. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmhaff/uc1006-i/uc100602.htm. 
  8. ^ APA BOARD MEETING – WEDNESDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2009
  9. ^ Gerry Northam (August 1989). Shooting in the Dark: Riot Police in Britain. Faber and Faber. pp. 41, 46. ISBN 0571150896. 
  10. ^ "President of ACPO". Police Reform Act 2002. http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=all+primary&PageNumber=11&NavFrom=2&parentActiveTextDocId=112639&ActiveTextDocId=112766&filesize=774. 
  11. ^ "Police Certificates". Association of Chief Police Officers. http://www.acpo.police.uk/certificates.asp. 
  12. ^ "About AVCIS". Association of Chief Police Officers. http://www.acpo.police.uk/avcis/aboutavcis.asp. Retrieved 2010-040-08. 
  13. ^ "National Community Tension Team FAQ Leaflet". Association of Chief Police Officers. http://www.acpo.police.uk/NCTT/FLAC%20-%20FAQs.pdf. Retrieved 2010-04-08. [dead link]
  14. ^ "National Counter Terrorism Security Office website". http://www.nactso.gov.uk/. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  15. ^ "National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit website". http://www.netcu.org.uk/about/about.jsp. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  16. ^ a b "Daily Hansard - Written Answers - Police National Intelligence and Co-ordination Centre". Hansard. United Kingdom Parliament. 21 July 2009. http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090721/text/90721w0093.htm. 
  17. ^ Sean O’Neill (10 March 2010). "Tories accuse senior police of giving political cover to Labour". Times Online (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7053182.ece. 
  18. ^ UK Ministry of Justice (30 March 2010). "Greater transparency in Freedom of Information". Press release. http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease300310a.htm. 
  19. ^ Association of Chief Police Officers (30 March 2010). "Comment on MOJ announcement for ACPO to come under FOI in October 2011". Press release. http://www.acpo.police.uk/pressrelease.asp?PR_GUID={75F61D4B-1469-448B-B6B7-ECF70FC4BEAB. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  20. ^ http://www.acpo.police.uk/about_pages/free.html
  21. ^ Jason Lewis (7 February 2009). "Secret police unit set up to spy on British 'domestic extremists'". Mail On-Line (London). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1138755/Secret-police-unit-set-spy-British-domestic-extremists.html. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  22. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1145581/Body-charge-UK-policing-policy-18m-year-brand-charging-public-70-60p-criminal-records-check.html by Jason Lewis Body in charge of UK policing policy is now an £18m-a-year brand charging the public £70 for a 60p criminal records check 15th February 2009, accessed 27th April 2009
  23. ^ Jason Lewis (21 February 2010). "Millions of anti-terror cash spent on luxury London flats for police chiefs". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1252615/ACPO-comes-new-1-6m-used-perks-officers.html. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  24. ^ a b Felix Allen and Justin Davenport (22 February 2010). "Police chiefs’ group spent £1.6m on Westminster flats". London Evening Standard. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23808461-police-chiefs-group-spent-pound-16m-on-westminster-flats.do. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 







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