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The Mayor of London The London Assembly

Consultation on changes to the oversight of police forces

The Home Office is consulting on changes to the oversight of police forces in the UK, abolishing police authorities and replacing them with elected individuals.  In London, it’s expected that this would mean the Mayor would become the Police and Crime Commissioner and the London Assembly would be responsible for holding the elected Commissioner to account.

The consultation paper includes a commitment to publication of police and crime data locally, to inform neighbourhood beat meetings, and asks what data should be published.

The Local Public Data Panel, which includes the GLA’s Head of Scrutiny, has put together a draft response to the consultation which calls for detailed data to be published not just by police forces but also others in the criminal justice and community safety system.  It argues for a presumption that all data will be published, as close to real time as possible, unless it is private or genuinely confidential, and sets out six categories of data that should be published in order to provide a complete picture for the public of crime and policing in their area.

The Panel calls for early progress in the release of data that is machine readable and freely re-usable, with a longer term aim of moving towards five-star linked data.

The Panel recognises that there are risks and potential barriers involved, and calls for an open debate to identify them and find solutions.  They are looking for comments on their draft response, which must be submitted by 20 September.  See and comment on the draft here.