Wednesday, 26 October 2016

We need a proper blue-print on devolving policing to Wales.

I am wary of claims that devolution of powers will immediately mean a financial boost .
So I am not sure that a Plaid Cymru has claim that he police forces of Wales could be more than £25m a year better off if the Assembly gains responsibility for policing, .
Jonathan Edwards, the party’s Treasury spokesman, said that a formula that better reflects population would see Wales’ forces gain around £25m.
The devolution of policing was recommended by the cross-party Silk Commission but was not included in the Wales Bill, which is now going through parliament. The Welsh Government is pushing for the power, arguing the police are the “only emergency service not devolved”.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Mr Edwards said:
 “The 43 police forces of Wales and England often have different needs and challenges. Policing is a field for which sophistication and complexity is needed in its funding formula to properly account for the relative needs of each force.
“The review last year sought to place greater emphasis on socio-economic data and more general crime figures. Such a formula doesn’t properly consider the workload differences of each constabulary and would have resulted in a £32m cut to Welsh forces.
“Figures provided to me by Dyfed Powys Police indicate that funding our forces in line with population would result in an additional £25m for the four forces in Wales. This is particularly important when we consider that policing is devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland for whom the new formula would not apply.”
 He continued:

 “If policing was devolved to Wales, a position supported by all police and crime commissioners, the overall Barnett formula for funding public services would indeed be based on our population...​“Plaid Cymru will be actively working to lobby the policing minister to implement a formula that does not disadvantage the four Welsh forces, but the case for the devolution of policing to the National Assembly grows by the day and has never been stronger. It seems the best way to protect our policing system is to remove it from the simplistic one-size-fits-all approach at Westminster and operate a system that is developed in Wales and works for Wales.”
I am not sure I agree with a formula based on population rather than soci-economic data  as Plaid are arguing .

But  there could be an argument that a force that successfully reduces crime in areas of social and economic depression may have its funding reduced as it is claimed they are no longer dealing with the same problem anymore and it funding should go wit greater crime statistics.

Population  also has  a problem in funding , Forces with a large  rural area may not have the same problem that large urban areas have , but the complexity of policing such rural areas means that you may have a more dispersed force and that could lead to further expense.

I am not dismissing Plaid and Jonathan's argument , but if the case for devolving Policing to the Welsh Assembly is to be made then I am not sure claims that we could be £25 million a year better off (or worse off) are really the main argument.

What we need is a paper on how a devolved Police force should be run by the Welsh Government.

Would we copy the Scottish Government and have an all Wales Police Force subject to a Minister?

There are questions on how successful this has been and it would certainly be worth looking into.

I really want Policing devolved,but its not the likes of me that need convincing .

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: 

“We have made no secret of our desire to see responsibility for policing devolved to Wales. Policing is the only emergency service not devolved; remedying this would enable stronger joint working with the other emergency services. “Devolution would also enable future legislation affecting policing and community safety in Wales to be properly tailored to Welsh circumstances

If that is true and they want these powers , then shouldn't they be considering how this will be carried out?

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