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The new police authorities in the metropolitan counties: the costs and consequences of abolition of the metropolitan counties

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This paper assesses the effect of the Local Government Act (1985) on the functions of police authorities in the metropolitan areas. It considers the accountability of police forces to the Joint Police Boards established by the 1985 Statute and evaluates the structure and composition of the new Authorities in terms of councillor membership, participation and councillor influence over policing policy. The paper identifies the importance of the choice of both Lead Authority and Chairperson, in determining the relationship established between the Authority and police force and also in the interpretation of the Authority's powers under the 1964 Police Act.
The paper considers the impact of nomination of members based on proportionate party strength within the Constituent Districts, in relation to party majorities and decision making within the Authorities. It highlights the significantly enhanced influence accorded to non‐elected magistrate members within the Joint Boards and questions the ability of the new authorities as presently constituted, to fulfill their statutory responsibilities as effectively as might be required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-212
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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