Politicising the police

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.

2 responses to “Politicising the police

  1. I take your point James however:

    1) I believe the Mayor can already work to remove the Chief if results fall short of expectations (How is Sir Ian Blair anyway?)

    2) I believe that allowing any politician to define policies and budgets could easily be subject to abuse and politicised to support an election agenda (you will of course recall that it was the Tories who originally suggested the government free the BOE & Interest Rates from political control by seceding such authority to what is now the MPC. It's akin to Tony Blair controlling the military, which I think many would agree is a demonstration (in under 45 seconds) of how the power to deploy our national force can be subjugated to the will of a foreign agenda.

    We need stronger democratic checks & balances not the further concentration of power such as a move enabling a Sheriff of London would facilitate.

    Thoughts?

    Al

  2. I take your point James however:

    1) I believe the Mayor can already work to remove the Chief if results fall short of expectations (How is Sir Ian Blair anyway?)

    2) I believe that allowing any politician to define policies and budgets could easily be subject to abuse and politicised to support an election agenda (you will of course recall that it was the Tories who originally suggested the government free the BOE & Interest Rates from political control by seceding such authority to what is now the MPC. It's akin to Tony Blair controlling the military, which I think many would agree is a demonstration (in under 45 seconds) of how the power to deploy our national force can be subjugated to the will of a foreign agenda.

    We need stronger democratic checks & balances not the further concentration of power such as a move enabling a Sheriff of London would facilitate.

    Thoughts?

    Al

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s