The gap between police and the public is growing, a new report warns today.
The report, Answering to You, by the Local Government Association (LGA) says if the trend continues police will lose the trust of the public.
"As the power of police authorities has waned, connections between the police and the people they serve have weakened," said Sir Simon Milton, chairman of the LGA.
"Without reform there is a risk that the lack of confidence felt by local people in the police will increase making it more difficult for officers to fight crime, cut crime and cut the fear of crime."
The report calls for police to be more 'anchored' to their local area, through using council to hold police to account and the publication of community safety charters. Only then, the report claims, will local people be more willing to pass information which cut crime on to police.
Ian Johnston, president of the Police Superintendents' Association, said: "Whilst I agree with some of the proposals, I do have real fears that more local authority control will ultimately mean more political control and interference.
"Where is the evidence is that local authorities will serve the public more effectively that under the current arrangements - Police Authorities?"