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NCJ Number: 221863 Find in a Library
Title: Basic Command Units (BCUs) and Local Authorities: Future Mechanisms of Police Accountability and Service Delivery
Journal: International Journal of Police Science & Management  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 2007  Pages:324-335
Author(s): Barry Loveday
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 12
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines the origin and growth of the police Basic Command Unit (BCU) and its impact on the internal management of British police forces.
Abstract: The concept of the BCU emerged in the 1990s out of a concern about the long-term costs of existing police bureaucracies. The plan combined many local police headquarters under a large number of largely self-sufficient BCUs. Since 1994, local police systems have been based on an increasingly problematic coexistence of BCUs and police headquarters, with particular tensions arising from the delegation or nondelegation of police budgets to local commanders (superintendents) responsible for BCU management. The current debate about the role, size, and accountability of the BCU suggests the importance of creating a much closer relationship between BCUs and local authorities. Whenever possible, BCU jurisdictions should mirror those of the local authority. Long-term, limited local authority funding direct to the BCU might also help to sustain a new relationship the Home Office wishes to create between the police and the communities they serve. It would also allow local commanders the freedom to respond to local needs and priorities, for which they would be locally accountable. The future status of the BCU will be enhanced by putting the BCU on a statutory foundation. In addition, any reform of local government may lead to the creation of single-tier, unitary authorities that might provide further encouragement for the development of locally managed BCUs that are fully accountable to the local community. 18 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Accountability; England; Foreign police; Foreign police/community relations; Organization development; Police organizational structure
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