Former police chiefs have warned parts of a controversial Bill could further undermine trust in forces and “exacerbate” serious violence.
The group of ex-police leaders, senior officers and advisers has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel to express their concerns about some of the proposals contained in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – which the House of Lords will continue to consider on Monday.
The Bill contains a raft of measures aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system as part of the Government’s efforts to make the streets safer.
The proposals prompted widespread protests earlier this year, with some claiming the Bill hand the authorities too much power to prevent peaceful demonstrations.
Signatories – including Lord Paddick, former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and Leroy Logan, the former Met superintendent who was the founding member and first chairman of the National Black Police Association – have asked Ms Patel to reconsider measures in the Bill which could “undermine the work police colleagues are doing to prevent and reduce serious violence, and put already marginalised communities at further risk of harm”.
“As experts on police use of force, racial profiling, and stop and search, we believe that this Bill has dangerous implications for the fight against serious violence, an issue that demands police work in service to, not against, the communities facing its harms,” the letter said.
The group warns placing a legal duty on police and public bodies like councils, criminal justice bodies, health and fire services to tackle serious violence and share intelligence and data could “negatively affect relationships” between the police and the public, as well as their counterparts in other authorities, adding: “Ultimately, these proposals will hit marginalised groups the hardest, disproportionately impacting Black men and communities of colour with whom the police need to rebuild trust.