Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (c. 13) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It transfers the control of police forces from police authorities to elected Police and Crime Commissioners. The first police commissioner elections were held in November 2012. The next elections took place in May 2016 and will subsequently take place every four years.

Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
Long titleAn Act to make provision about the administration and governance of police forces; about the licensing of, and for the imposition of a late night levy in relation to, the sale and supply of alcohol, and for the repeal of provisions about alcohol disorder zones; for the repeal of sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and for the prohibition of certain activities in Parliament Square; to enable provision in local authority byelaws to include powers of seizure and forfeiture; about the control of dangerous or otherwise harmful drugs; to restrict the issue of arrest warrants for certain extra-territorial offences; and for connected purposes.
Citationc. 13
Introduced byTheresa May, Home Secretary (Commons)
Baroness Browning, Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction (Lords)
Territorial extentEngland and Wales Sections 58, 152, 154, 157, and 158, and Schedule 58 also extend to Scotland and Northern Ireland, Section 98 and Schedule 15 Extend to England, Wales and Scotland
Royal assent15 September 2011
Other legislation
Amended byWales Act 2017
Relates toMisuse of Drugs Act 1971, Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, Police Act 1996
Status: Current legislation
History of passage through Parliament
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Act repeals the provisions in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which prohibit protests near Parliament Square, and instead restricts certain "prohibited activities" in Parliament Square garden and the adjoining footways. The police have used these powers to confiscate pizza boxes, tarpaulin and umbrellas from protesters in Parliament Square.[1]

The Act removed the statutory requirement for the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to include scientists. The move follows the sacking of David Nutt from the council in 2009.[2]

Section 153 of the Act amends section 1 of Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 so that an arrest warrant for an offence of universal jurisdiction cannot be issued without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions, unless applied for by a Crown Prosecutor.

Proposed amendments

In 2021 the government published their proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which would amend the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, in relation to behaviour around and access to the Parliamentary estate.[3]