'Today's announcement recognises how important policing is in a democratic society and begins to answer some of the huge amounts of speculation about the Government's plans.
'These are radical and far-reaching proposals and we are encouraged by the Home Secretary's acknowledgement of the golden thread that runs from the local to the national level. However, it is disappointing that an opportunity has been missed to address some of the structural shortcomings of the current 43 forces and how other parts of the criminal justice system impact on the public view of policing.
'The Government's proposals deserve serious consideration and the PSAEW will play its part in seeing that the important checks and balances are in place to ensure the new crime agency is a success in tackling serious and organised crime and that, crucially, the operational independence of Chief Constables is not compromised by new accountability procedures, something about which we believe passionately. I am pleased that the Government has acknowledged our concerns in this area and we hope to continue influencing positively the evolution of any new system.
'Police officers and staff are the thin blue line protecting society against international and domestic terrorism, serious and organised crime and local and organised crime in local communities.
'We are adamant that a strong and effective Police Service is not an optional extra for the Government and important as these proposals will be in shaping the future, we will continue to concentrate our efforts on reducing target setting and bureaucracy and maintaining the significant reductions in crime we have delivered in recent years.'
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