Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill — Commons Amendments
Baroness Browning (Conservative)
I stand corrected-much of it was not at peace with itself. However, it has occurred to me that, despite our lengthy debate on these amendments, very little was said about the public and accountability, and the way in which the public can hold to account the policing in their force areas and local communities-something that is at the heart and core of this legislation. It is about the public. It is about accountability.
Last week I attended the meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Retail and Business Crime. One of the biggest issues that its members wanted to raise with me was that 40 per cent of business crime goes unreported. Although it was an all-party group, representatives from the business community were there, including the Federation of Small Businesses and many others representing that community. When we started to drill down as to why 40 per cent of business crime goes unreported, the general consensus seemed to be that there was not much point. That cannot be right. It cannot be right that crime on that level is regarded in this country today as being not worth reporting. One has to ask the question why, and the answer is self-evident. It is not the case all around the country-the figure varies from one place to another. Others take more interest. However, it is very important that the police are not only held accountable but that in their local force areas they have a clear understanding of what the policing needs and requirements of their communities are. That would apply as much to business as it does to the individual householder. At the moment that does not happen.