Who will guard the guardians?
The Con-Lab government has announced that it attends to replace local Police Authorities with directly elected police commissioners.
The elected commissioners would control budgets, target setting and policing plans, while chief constables would be in "operational control" of their force.
This of course part of their supposed plan for the “big society”, with the claim of devolving power to the people. It is nothing of the sort.
There are failings on the Police Authorities, which are composed of local councillors and independent members. They often fail to scrutinise the Authority properly and sometimes do not get the enough cooperation from the Chief Constable, but this is the case for strengthening the role of Authorities who members can express different views which reflect all aspect of the electorate.
What the proposal will lead to is, candidates for the office of Police Commissioner competing on popular issues, and calling for increasing draconian measures egged on by the Murdoch and local media (especially the Sun). The prospect of any liberal reform candidate will be impossible as they will be labelled as soft on crime.
I’m sure those on the right would like to see all Police policy directed by these commissioners, and will increasingly call for more and more policy control.
Where does this lead “Liberal reformers” in the government can’t they see that this is the politicisation of police force and that it plays into the hands of the right?
This proposal is a typical Tory measure. Masquerading as given local people more power it will only empower the media further. Do you really want the Commissioner of South Wales Police being made by the editors of the Sun or even the South Wales Echo?