Page last updated at 23:14 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 00:14 UK

Review backs police budget votes

CCTV cameras
The plans would allow people to vote for extra security

People should be balloted on whether they want to pay for extra security in their area, a police accountability review in England and Wales has said.

The government is seeking ways to give communities more say in local policing.

The review led by former home secretary David Blunkett suggests votes could be held on issues such as whether to have a levy for extra CCTV cameras.

Mr Blunkett said it could help poor neighbourhoods match the security measures in wealthy areas.

Other ideas in the review include strengthening the ability of police authorities to hold chief constables to account, and giving the Independent Police Complaints Commission powers to inspect failing police forces.

Reform concern

However, the government is unlikely to back Mr Blunkett's idea to give councils more freedom to raise money for local policing by banning ministers from capping police authority spending.

The extra security we need is judges to use existing laws properly and lock the lawbreakers up
Brian Nicholson, Crumpsall

The review was commissioned by the government, which will publish detailed proposals in the autumn.

Last week, another idea to reform the police was criticised by a senior police officer.

Sir Hugh Orde, the new president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, criticised proposals suggesting that police chiefs should be elected.

He said such a move could lead to public confusion without improving accountability.

The idea of directly electing senior police officers in some capacity is supported by the Conservatives.

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