The summer of 2011 was an eventful one for policing in the UK. Many will remember it for the riots in English cities that followed the fatal shooting of a man by police in north London, but it will also be remembered for significant developments in the political landscape of policing. In September, the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act for England and Wales became law, introducing what one government minister has described as ‘the most significant democratic reform of policing in our lifetime’ (quoted in Loveday, 2011: 195).