Angiolini Inquiry Report - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 7:53 pm ar 5 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:53, 5 Mawrth 2024

Is it not lamentable that recommendation 14 had to be written at all in the 21st century? Frankly, it is pathetic that we still have to have this conversation about such behaviour. The noble Baroness is absolutely right that this is about leadership and culture, and the Home Secretary was extraordinarily explicit on that subject, as I referenced earlier. The culture change has to come from the top; leaders are responsible for setting the standards, and we obviously expect them to keep pushing for improvements to be made across policing.

The recommendation is directed at police forces. It is important to remember that there is local accountability via the office of the police and crime commissioner, and that local accountability absolutely should be engaging with all sectors the community—the people who elect them, after all—to do precisely that. However, the Government have invested in the College of Policing’s National Centre for Police Leadership, which has already set out national standards for leadership at every level. That has to be embedded across forces, so that officers at every rank know what is expected of them and what development they need to get there. That also goes back to a question that the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, asked me about consistency, which I did not answer: she is 100% right that there is a lack of consistency across police forces. Of course, when all ranks are trained nationally, that will introduce the element of consistency that we clearly need.

I completely agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Hughes of Stretford. However, as the recommendation is directed at police forces, I have to maintain the operational independence line, as it is entirely appropriate that police forces should be free from central government control. Nevertheless, there is local control that could certainly exercise the type of oversight that the noble Baroness wants.