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General Election 2010

Bournemouth Echo: elections banner 2010

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New deal gives power back to police

Home Secretary Theresa May pledged to hand power back to the police frontline as part of a "radical" new deal to transform the service.

The new Secretary of State said the coalition Government will "do things differently" by scrapping Whitehall interference, ditching paperwork and removing targets.

She offered police more powers and discretion to get on with their job but said that in return they must accept local accountability from a directly-elected individual.

In her first speech since being appointed last week, Mrs May she is "not interested in running the police" and wants to give all officers professional responsibility.

She warned the Police Federation annual conference in Bournemouth that police must "bear a fair share of the burden" as sacrifices are made to tackle the budget deficit.

The Home Secretary added that the Government will respect and trust police, restore pride in the job and "bring some common sense back to policing".

She revealed 24-hour drinking laws, widely blamed for an increase in violence in some cities, are under review and could be axed.

Mrs May also said pay and pensions for police and staff will undergo a "full review" as the Government attempts to cut waste and inefficiency in a bid to protect the frontline.

Frontline police representatives were told the power to charge people suspected of low-level offences will be returned to custody sergeants, cutting out the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The Home Secretary also said her Government will examine "untangling the knot" of health and safety rules and re-balance the law in favour of those who stand up to thugs.

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