Policing and Crime Bill

Key summary points and briefings for local government on the Policing and Crime Bill.


House of Lords, Third reading, Monday 19 December 2016

Key messages

  • Collaboration agreements (Chapter 1): The proposals in Chapter 1 of the Bill to allow the three ‘bluelight' services to enter collaboration agreements will assist areas in building on the arrangements already in place across the country. It is however important that any new duty should not limit the ability of Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) to collaborate on a wider basis, such as with the health service.
  • Police and Crime Commissioners: Fire and Rescue Functions (Chapter 2): We have supported amendments to Chapter 2 of the Bill, to ensure any proposals for the transfer of fire governance to Police and Crime Commissioners are supported by the relevant local authorities and local people following consultation. It is positive to see Police and Crime Commissioners will publish their response to the representations made on the consultation for governance changes.
  • Licensing (Part 7): We supported a new clause the on cumulative impact assessments, which clarifies that licensing authorities have a legal right to publish cumulative policies that enable them to take into account the impact of multiple existing premises in an area when considering new applications in that area. We have also called for the Licensing Act 2003 to be amended to promote the health and wellbeing of the local area.

House of Lords, Report Stage, Wednesday 7 December 2016

  • The LGA supports Amendment 172A tabled by the Lord Bishop of Bristol and Lord Beecham. This would enable licensing authorities to place conditions on the availability and use of gaming machines in licensed premises. Recent research indicating higher levels of problem and at risk gamblers near clusters of betting shops demonstrates why councils need extra powers to control the availability gaming machines.
  • The LGA supports Amendment 173A, tabled by the Lord Bishop of Bristol and Lord Beecham, which seeks to give councils stronger powers to impose conditions to restrict single members of staff from working alone in betting shops.
  • We are calling for further clarity on Amendment 193, tabled by Baroness Brinton and Lord Rosser. This seeks to insert a new clause on the establishment and conduct of homicide reviews. The clause proposes the introduction of homicide reviews for unsolved murders involving victims aged over 16. Further clarity is required on what councils could add to the review process, and how homicide reviews would relate to domestic homicide reviews.

House of Lords, Report Stage, Wednesday 30 November 2016

Key messages

  • The LGA supports Amendment 3, tabled by Baroness Williams of Trafford, which would ensure emergency services collaboration agreements are subject to the agreement by all parties involved. It is important that local partners have greater flexibility to vary agreements where necessary, as best suited to their local area.
  • We support Amendments 5 and 6 by Baroness Williams of Trafford, which would prevent the transfer of governance from a Fire and Rescue Authority to a Police and Crime Commissioner if public safety is adversely affected.
  • We support Amendments 7 and 8 by Baroness Williams of Trafford, which would give greater flexibility to arrangements between the chief police constable and the fire and rescue authority when a transfer of governance occurs.

House of Lords, Committee Stage, Wednesday 9 November 2016

Key messages

  • The LGA supports Amendment 209C to insert a new clause after Clause 122, tabled by Baroness Williams of Trafford, which seeks to ensure licensing authorities give regard to cumulative impact assessments when determining or revising licensing policy. This clarifies that licensing authorities have a legal right to publish cumulative policies that enable them to take into account the impact of multiple existing premises in an area when considering whether further authorisation in that area should be made.
  • We also support Amendment 209D to insert a new clause after Clause 122, tabled by Baroness Williams of Trafford, on late night levy requirements. The amendment would allow licensing authorities to decide whether a late night levy should apply to premises in a particular part of their area, rather than to whole local authority areas.
  • We support Amendment 211 to insert a new Clause after Clause 122, tabled by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, to amend Section 4 of the Licensing Act 2003 to promote the health and wellbeing of the locality and local area. In 2016 an LGA survey of Directors of Public Health revealed that many directors found practical barriers to effectively contributing a health perspective to licensing decisions. 89 per cent of Directors of Public Health who responded said a health and wellbeing objective would be helpful to them. We recommend Amendment 210 on compliance with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 should be considered as part of the health and wellbeing objective.

House of Lords, Committee Stage Wednesday 2 November 2016

Key messages

  • We support Amendment 190 tabled by Baroness Walmsley which seeks to prohibit the use of police stations as places of safety. The LGA supports the position that a police station is not an appropriate place of safety for a person of any age experiencing a mental health crisis. We are calling for additional funding to ensure new places of safety are available in residential, hospital and care settings.
  • We are calling for further clarity on Amendment 193 to insert a new clause after Clause 81, tabled by Baroness Walmsley. This seeks to ensure a person detained in a place of safety under section 135 or 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 shall have the right to an appropriate adult. We would like to understand whether section 2 (b) of the amendment would enable an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) to also act as an appropriate adult in this instance
  • The LGA supports Amendment 209C to insert a new clause after Clause 122, tabled by Baroness Williams of Trafford, which seeks to ensure licensing authorities give regard to cumulative impact assessments when determining or revising licensing policy. This clarifies that licensing authorities have a legal right to publish cumulative policies that enable them to take into account the impact of multiple existing premises in an area when considering whether further authorisation in that area should be made. 

House of Lords, Committee Stage Wednesday 26 October 2016

Key messages

  • We support Amendment 190 tabled by Baroness Walmsley which seeks to prohibit the use of police stations as places of safety. The LGA supports the position that a police station is not an appropriate place of safety for a person of any age experiencing a mental health crisis. We are calling for additional funding to ensure new places of safety are available in residential, hospital and care settings.
  • We are calling for further clarity on Amendment 193 to insert a new clause after Clause 81, tabled by Baroness Walmsley. This seeks to ensure a person detained in a place of safety under section 135 or 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 shall have the right to an appropriate adult. We would like to understand whether section 2 (b) of the amendment would enable an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) to also act as an appropriate adult in this instance
  • The LGA supports Amendment 209C to insert a new clause after Clause 122, tabled by Baroness Williams of Trafford, which seeks to ensure licensing authorities give regard to cumulative impact assessments when determining or revising licensing policy. This clarifies that licensing authorities have a legal right to publish cumulative policies that enable them to take into account the impact of multiple existing premises in an area when considering whether further authorisation in that area should be made.

Report Stage, House of Lords, Wednesday 14 September 2016

Key messages

  • The Secretary of State should only make an order transferring governance of the fire service to the Police and Crime Commissioner where there is local agreement to do so. For this reason, we support Amendments 47, 52 and 45 tabled by Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville and Baroness Hamwee. We also support Amendment 46, 48, 51, 52, 53 and 81 tabled by Lord Rosser and Lord Kennedy of Southwark which seeks to ensure that a transfer of fire governance can only occur where the relevant local authorities and local residents agree.
  • We support Amendment 214 to insert a new clause after Clause 122, tabled by Lord Bishop of St Albans, which places conditions on the availability and use of gaming machines in licensed premises. Recent research indicating higher levels of problem and at risk gamblers near clusters of betting shops highlights why councils need extra powers to limit the availability of betting shops and gaming machines in their communities.
  • We support Amendment 211 to insert a new Clause after Clause 122, tabled by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, to amend Section 4 of the Licensing Act 2003 to promote the health and wellbeing of the locality and local area. In 2016 an LGA survey of Directors of Public Health revealed that many directors found practical barriers to effectively contributing a health perspective to licensing decisions. 89 per cent of Directors of Public Health who responded said a health and wellbeing objective would be helpful to them . We recommend Amendment 210 on compliance with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 should be considered as part of the health and wellbeing objective.

Second Reading, House of Lords, Monday 18 July 2016

Key messages

  • The enabling provisions in clauses 1 to 5 of the Bill to allow the three ‘blue light' services to enter collaboration agreements will assist areas in building on the arrangements already in place across the country. The implementation of the new duty must be carried out in a way that supports the ability of Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) to collaborate on a wider basis, such as with the health service.
  • We are opposed to any measures that would allow a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to force through governance changes where there is no local mandate from both elected members and the wider general public. Not only would such a situation undermine existing collaboration arrangements for a number of years, it could also make existing working arrangements between the police and the fire service more problematic. It should therefore be a requirement in Schedule 1 of the Bill that any proposals to the Secretary of State for the transfer of fire governance are supported by the relevant local authorities and local people following comprehensive consultation.
  • Any proposals from a PCC as set out in Schedule 1 to transfer the governance of the local fire and rescue service must also be supported by a comprehensive, evidence-based and well-tested business case that demonstrates how the governance change improves the fire and rescue service, and increases public safety. The LGA looks forward to discussing with the Home Office how each proposal and its supporting business case can be subject to independent assessment by appropriate academic and financial experts from outside Whitehall.

Committee Stage, House of Commons, Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 March 2016

Key messages

  • The fire and rescue service already works closely with the other emergency services on a daily basis to save lives1. Local initiatives and innovation are driving increasing cooperation, which is extensive, and current governance arrangements have not hampered or delayed this.
  • For example, effective joint working was vital in the emergency services responding to the recent flooding and extreme weather to protect communities. In particular, firefighters worked tirelessly with the armed forces, local authorities and others in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Northumberland to safeguard vulnerable people. 25 out of 46 English fire authorities were involved.
  • The enabling provisions in clauses 1 to 5 of the Bill to allow the three ‘bluelight' services to enter collaboration agreements will assist areas in building on the arrangements already in place across the country. However any new duty should not limit the ability of Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) to collaborate on a wider basis, such as with the health service.

Second Reading, House of Commons, Monday 7 March 2016

Key messages

  • The fire and rescue service already works closely with the other emergency services on a daily basis to save lives1. Local initiatives and innovation are driving increasing cooperation, which is extensive, and current governance arrangements have not hampered or delayed this.
  • For example, effective joint working was vital in the emergency services responding to the recent flooding and extreme weather to protect communities. In particular, firefighters worked tirelessly with the armed forces, local authorities and others in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Northumberland to safeguard vulnerable people. 25 out of 46 English fire authorities were involved.
  • The enabling provisions in clauses 1 to 5 of the Bill to allow the three ‘bluelight' services to enter collaboration agreements will assist areas in building on the arrangements already in place across the country. However any new duty should not limit the ability of Fire and Rescue Authorities (FRAs) to collaborate on a wider basis, such as with the health service.