This Review arises from the third round of appointments of independent members of police authorities. The Police and Magistrates’ Courts Act 1994, and the Police Act 1996, made major changes in the composition of the membership of police authorities, and for the first time introduced the concept of independent members for the 41 police authorities in England and Wales outside London. The first round of appointments was made for 4 years from April 1995, followed by subsequent rounds in 1999 and 2003. There are currently 210 independent members of police authorities in England and Wales excluding the Metropolitan Police Authority, which has a different time-scale and where the next appointments round will take place in April 2004. This Review is concerned with evaluating the recent round of appointments outside London, lessons which may be drawn from the selection and appointments process, a consideration of the current legislation of provisions, and recommendations for improvements to enhance the skills base, diversity and fair practice of appointment of independent members to reflect the interests of a wide cross-section of the community in the police area.
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