Police performance data to be published online

Police forces in the UK are to become more transparent through the publication of "performance data" online, the Home Secretary has revealed.

Theresa May made the announcement at the think-tank Policy Exchange, following similar initiatives to get other branches of the public sector to disclose their performance records.

"I'm realistic that not everybody in the country is going to pore over spreadsheets of police data," May said. "But the experience of publishing this data in other parts of the public sector is that it is used by the media and others to improve accountability and it encourages prudence, efficiency and better decision-making.

"So the Home Office will soon come forward with proposals to require police forces to publish, not just spending data in raw form, but more performance data too."

The precise details of what data will be released on the web are still being finalised by Tom Winsor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary. However, May did reveal after her speech that bonuses and "perks" for individual chief constables.

"We are - as a Government - requiring chief constables to start publishing a bit more information about issues like perks they receive as part of our integrity agenda," she said.

Local councils and hospitals have previously been forced by May to reveal their performance data in an effort to improve the transparency and accountability of government.

Last week, UK intelligence chiefs faced questions from a panel of MPs and peers in an unprecedented public hearing. Broadcasting it on television signalled the intent of the UK government to bring about greater transparency and accountability on their part.

Image: Flickr (freefotouk)