Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Lord Condon warns of 'turbulent' policing atmosphere

The government is creating a "very turbulent" atmosphere for policing, former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Condon has warned.

During lords questions on 1 February 2011 the crossbench peer said that unless the government's changes "inspired" leadership from politicians and police chiefs the public would suffer.

Lord Condon, who was head of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) from 1993 to 2000, told peers : "The government is creating a very turbulent atmosphere for policing by the combination of understandable cuts against the background of the economic situation but also by the forthcoming review of pay and conditions which will soon announce and by the reorganisation of policing for elected commissioners and reorganisation generally."

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which establishes elected commissioners, is currently going through the Commons while former rail regulator Tom Winsor is carrying out an independent review of pay and conditions.

Lord Condon's concerns were partially echoed by one of his predecessors at the MPS and fellow crossbencher Lord Imbert, who questioned the government's plan to create elected police commissioners.

Home Office minister Baroness Neville-Jones replied: "The government does have great confidence in the leadership of the police and their ability to manage change. I think the police have well grasped the agenda we have before them."

Lady Neville-Jones also added that the government believed new commissioners would provide "elected and direct accountability to localities".

Peers also asked the government questions on road pricing for lorries, limiting bonuses paid to senior Royal Bank of Scotland staff and the 40th anniversary of Religions for Peace.

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