Independent review of the Association of Chief Police Officers


General Sir Nick Parker KCB, CBE, has completed his independent review of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and will outline his recommendations today.   Commenting on the announcement Sir Nick, who has considerable experience of working with the police and local authorities in the United Kingdom, said:

“The Police and Crime Commissioners largely fund the Association of Chief Police Officers, the body that represents senior police officers at the national level.  A Working Group representing the PCCs asked me to carry out a review to determine whether they were getting value for money for this service, and whether standing structures and functions are appropriate in the context of a changing policing landscape.  The report has been completed and I have passed it to the Working Group for their consideration. My recommendations highlight that ACPO has carried out some critical and enduring functions, but there is scope for change particularly in the way that these are governed.”

Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire PCC, Martyn Underhill, Dorset PCC, Jane Kennedy, Merseyside PCC and  Simon Duckworth, City of London Police Committee representing the four membership groups, said:

“Our cross party group welcomes the recommendations of this thorough, perceptive and fair report which recognises the past record and role played by the Association of Chief Police Officers but reflects the need for change in the new policing landscape.  Before making our proposals we would like to consult with our fellow Police and Crime Commissioners, Chief Constables, Home Secretary, the National Crime Agency, College of Policing and other stakeholders about managing the implementation of these changes.”


Report recommendations

Recommendation one

There is a requirement for a Chief Constables’ Council with a full-time Chair which should:

• conduct operational and managerial coordination between independent Chief Constables;

• act as the focus for command and leadership of the police service;

• maintain direct links to the National Business Areas to inform policy and implement practice; and

• speak with a coordinated and independent voice on the delivery of operational policing.

The mechanism has to be sufficiently sophisticated to generate consensus within the 43 Chief Constables, it must be transparent and operate within the boundaries of Government policy. The Chief Constables’ Council should be invited to identify alternative governance and funding arrangements that enable effective operation without passing through a limited company. The current funding of approximately £1.2m represents a reasonable starting position for the process of transition from the current model to ensure the delivery of a credible future structure.  

Recommendation two

The governance of each national unit should be clarified and funding should not pass through a limited company. The Lead Force model already operates effectively in some cases and it is possible that for some units transfer to the NCA may be an option in time. The current funding of approximately £3m represents value for money. However, it may be possible to drive further efficiency through bilateral funding judgements between individual chief constables and each national unit that take account of local operational priorities. To achieve this the funds currently transferred to ACPO for this service should be subsumed into the overall operational budget of each force.  

Recommendation three

PCCs should seek greater visibility of National Business Area governance and output. Even though the overall responsibility for management is transferring from ACPO to the College of Policing the level of resources that Business Areas consume at local level mean that PCCs remain a major stakeholder. The existing mechanism has many advantages and great care must be taken not to undermine it, in particular PCCs should recognise their individual responsibility to contribute to collective capability. However, the mechanisms require review to ensure transparency and cost effectiveness.  

Recommendation four

PCCs should ask the Home Office to implement a formal, managed strategic change programme that integrates the changes taking place in the police service. It should oversee the development of the College of Policing, the transformation of ACPO, the implementation of the NCA and any other changes at the national level so that they can work seamlessly together and provide the appropriate capabilities that are vital to the success of policing at the local level.


Media Enquiries

Notes for editors

1. For interviews / further information please contact Joel Charles on 07703 124 174.

2. 41 Police and Crime Commissioners replaced Police Authorities on 22.11.12 following elections in every police force area outside London in England and Wales on November 15th 2012.

3. The APCC is a company limited by guarantee. The APCC services are overseen and directed by the Chairman and Board of Directors

APCC Board of Directors;
Chairman of the APCC and Directors: Tony Lloyd PCC
Sir Graham Bright PCC
Anthony Stansfeld PCC
Vera Baird PCC
Ron Ball PCC
Simon Hayes PCC
Cllr Simon Duckworth

4. For the definitive list of PCCs and more information about the Board of the Association of PCCs please

5. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) offers the following services to PCCs:

  • Information on national policing policy issues and legislation.
  • Consults PCCs to enable them to develop policy positions and to influence change.
  • Facilitates the leadership of PCCs on national governance structures such as the College of Policing, National Crime Agency and Police Professional Bodies.
  • Assists PCCs in collaborating to share practice, procure services, and identify ways to achieve efficiencies through working together.