Theresa May (Home Secretary; Maidenhead, Conservative)
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for raising that point, which I discussed with representatives of the families when they came to see me. A number of
meetings are taking place with representatives this week to consider a number of options for how that co-ordination can take place. We are looking at all those options, and I assure him that the option that was raised then will be in the mix. We must ensure that we get what is right, and what the families can have confidence in.
I take immensely seriously the report’s implications for public confidence in the integrity of the police. Police officers in this country police with the consent of their fellow citizens, but they can only do that if they have the trust of their fellow citizens. The actions of officers, especially senior officers, at Hillsborough and immediately following the disaster strike at the heart of that trust. There are also wider problems that give cause for concern in relation to the integrity of the police. In recent weeks we have seen a constable and a chief constable dismissed for gross misconduct, and a number of senior officers across the country are currently under investigation for misconduct. Lord Justice Leveson will report shortly on the findings of his inquiry, and Operations Elveden and Weeting continue to uncover the involvement of individual police officers and police staff in the activities of News International. This all generates a level of public concern and loss of confidence in the police that is damaging to the reputation of the vast majority of decent, hard-working police officers, and therefore to their ability to police with consent.
Our programme of police reform includes a new college of policing, which will work to improve police leadership and professional standards. Police and crime commissioners, elected next month, will bring greater transparency and local accountability to policing. Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary is becoming more independent. I have also already said that I am prepared to give extra resources and new powers to the IPCC.