There as been a lot of ill informed comment about Chris Grayling’s proposals to have elected heads of policing.
Let’s just look at the situation as it currently stands. If crime in your area increased against a national decline or the police were ordered to turn a blind eye to public drug taking, who would you hold to account and how?
Let’s look at a specific example. If crime in London was to soar who would lose their job in 2012, Boris Johnson or Sir Paul Stephenson?
The creation of police authorities was a step in the right direction but it is a flawed model. The MPA sets the budget, owns the properties and employs the non-uniformed police staff. It is part of the delivery machine. It is also the scrutiny body. I can’t see how it can properly scrutinise a process that it is part of.
Operational decisions will still be made by the police but budgets and priorities will be set by someone accountable to the people being policed rather than police authorities.