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Today's Written Statements Update

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Written statements are published on the internet as soon as possible after Parliament receives them and are also published in the next day’s edition of Hansard.

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Mrs Theresa May - Home Office

The Government takes policing integrity very seriously. It is at the heart of public confidence in the police and underpins the model of policing by consent. It is what gives rank and file officers the legitimacy to do their jobs effectively. The Home Office has responded to public confidence in police integrity by introducing a programme of measures to improve standards of conduct in the police. This follows various high-profile cases on police failures both current and historic, as well as numerous HMIC inspections and IPCC reports relating to corruption.

We are already expanding the IPCC to deal with all sensitive and serious cases involving the police. We have introduced legislation to prevent officers from escaping dismissal by retiring or resigning; we have introduced the holding of disciplinary hearings in public; and we are introducing legally qualified chairs in disciplinary hearings. The College has produced the Code of Ethics, laid in Parliament (July 2014) as a statutory code of practice.

In 2016 we will go further with an important programme of reform including primary legislation in the upcoming Bill. We will make the police complaints system more independent of the police through an expanded role for PCCs. We will change the definition of a complaint and simplify the system, making it easier for the public. We will introduce a system of super-complaints to enable systemic issues to be raised.

The ‘Improving police integrity’ consultation, and the previous Government’s response to it in March 2015, set out several proposals to strengthen the IPCC. We will bring forward legislation to implement these proposals. They include the following measures: ending managed and supervised investigations; providing the IPCC with the power of initiative to instigate investigations; clarifying the ability of the IPCC to make determinations; giving the IPCC the power of remedy; and ensuring the IPCC can present its case at disciplinary hearings following an IPCC investigation.

The measures the government has implemented and the further reforms announced will ensure that local communities continue to trust the police to uphold the highest standards of integrity – but that where they do not, that the public are able to hold the police to account.


James Duddridge - Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I chaired the fourth meeting of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council in London on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 December. The Council was attended by elected leaders and representatives – Anguilla, Ascension Island, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Key themes of this year’s Council were building the prosperity and economic development of the Territories and protecting the most vulnerable members of their populations, especially children. UK ministers and Overseas Territory leaders also discussed pensions, health, education, sports, child safeguarding and the role of the environment in delivering prosperity.

The Council agreed a communiqué which identified priorities and set out a number of important commitments and areas for joint work in the year ahead. On the high priority issue of company transparency, the Territories agreed to hold company beneficial ownership information in central registers or similarly effective systems and to work with UK law enforcement authorities to develop timely, safe and secure information exchange processes for the purposes of law enforcement. We also agreed that all Territories that have not already done so will undertake child safeguarding reviews by the end of 2016.

The communiqué reflects the commitment of the governments of the Overseas Territories and the UK to continue to work in partnership to achieve the vision set out in the June 2012 White Paper: The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability.

In line with our commitment in the White Paper, we will continue to report to Parliament on progress in implementing the commitments in the communiqué by UK Government departments.

A copy of the communiqué and a report on UK progress in meeting the commitments from the 2014 Joint Ministerial Council has been published on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/overseas-territories-joint-ministerial-council-2015-communique


Mr David Lidington - Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I represented the United Kingdom at the 22nd Ministerial Council meeting of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held in Belgrade, Serbia on 3-4 December 2015 and hosted by Serbian Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ivica Dačić. The Council is the top decision-making body of the OSCE and was attended by Ministers from across its 57 participating States.

The Council took place in the final month of a year when the OSCE has continued to be at the centre of the international response to the Ukraine crisis. In my intervention in plenary on 3 December, I expressed deep concern at the ongoing situation in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and repeated our strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. I underlined the Russian Federation’s responsibility for the present situation and stressed that Moscow's illegal annexation of Crimea would not be recognised. I called on Russia to implement its commitments under the Minsk Protocols, by withdrawing military personnel, equipment and weapons and using its influence with the separatist leadership. I commended the work of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in the face of considerable challenges to its security and emphasised the need for it to have free and unimpeded access to all areas of Ukraine.

While this subject dominated the Council, a number of other important issues were discussed. In my intervention, I also noted the importance of updating political-military Confidence and Security Building Measures, including the Vienna Document and the need to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, which remain under challenge in a number of OSCE States.

I agreed the need to address other pressing issues, particularly terrorism and migration, while focusing on areas where the OSCE has a distinct role to play and can add value in coordination with other international actors.

Grave concern about Ukraine was expressed in plenary by many participating States including by US Secretary of State Kerry, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin and EU High Representative Mogherini among others. Deep divisions meant that even a limited declaration on the OSCE’s role in, and support to, Ukraine could not be agreed despite the vast majority of OSCE States' desire to do so.

While negotiations before and during the Ministerial Council made progress in a number of areas, divergent approaches limited the scope to reach consensus on a number of proposed declarations. Decisions or declarations were however reached on terrorism, on countering violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism, on drugs and youth and security, as well as a statement on the negotiations in the Transnistrian Settlement Process. It was disappointing that despite the best efforts of the UK and other states, attempts to make progress on Confidence and Security-Building Measures in the OSCE region failed primarily due to further Russian obstructionism.

I and others expressed our strong support for the work of the OSCE’s autonomous Institutions and I met Michael Link, Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Dunja Mijatović, the Representative on Freedom of the Media, during my visit.

In parallel, Wolfgang Ischinger, Chair of the Panel of Eminent Persons, launched under the 2014 Swiss Chairmanship, presented their final report on ‘European Security as a Common Project’ at a side-event during the Ministerial Council.

A copy of the UK intervention can be found online on the gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/uk-statement-at-the-plenary-session-of-the-22nd-osce-ministerial-council-3rd-december-2015-belgrade


Mr Tobias Ellwood - Foreign and Commonwealth Office

On 04 December 2015 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office fulfilled the promise given by the Prime Minister at the NATO Chicago Summit in 2012 to contribute £70million in 2015 towards the sustainment of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF). This forms part of our commitment, together with international partners, to provide financial support to meet the cost of the ANDSF for each of the calendar years 2015-2017.

The UK’s 2015 contribution, funded from the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), has been channelled through the United Nations Development Programme run Law and Order Trust Fund Afghanistan (LOTFA) to support the payment of Afghan National Police (ANP) salaries.

The development of an effective, accountable and civilianised ANP and the development of stable, transparent and effective Afghan security ministries are essential to long term stability and security in Afghanistan. The police play a fundamental role in providing security and governance in Afghanistan, as well as in helping to build trust in the legitimacy of the state. Due to the challenging security environment international support for Afghan policing continues to be required.

The UK will continue to support the development of capable and effective civilian security institutions.

 


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