Senior members of the three largest Westminster parties have expressed a clear concern that electing one of their number will lead to a politicised Police Force. Check out their views here.
Below are comments by more objective observers:
YouGov asked 2400 people ‘Who would you trust more to protect your family from crime?’
- A Chief Constable reporting to a Police Authority, as now – 65%
- A Chief Constable reporting to an individual politician elected as a Police and Crime Commissioner – 15%
- Don’t know – 20%
Fraser Nelson, The Spectator
I struggle to see how party political divisions are relevant to whether you know how to police a city. Sure, coppers have different political beliefs. So do soldiers. But such beliefs are not really relevant to the job.
The Institute for Government
Candidates may require some political skills although the competencies will be different to those for parliamentary and local government roles. PCCs will be elected in “a new political geography”. Police areas cut across political boundaries.
‘We have serious concerns that these changes will undermine the principles which lie at the core of UK policing: operational independence and accountability to the rule of law…. the practical effect of the changes in this Bill will mean that Chief Constable’s and their forces are directly accountable to a local politician and this inevitably politicises policing’
One of the creators of the PCC concept when asked who should be a PCC
“Prominent local business men, ex-magistrates, former police officers, or even people who are involved in the voluntary sector. We can’t have this whole process taken over by party hacks”
Blair Gibbs – Chief of Staff to Policing Minister, Nick Herbert 2007-10
115 leading Liberal Democratic politicians
“recent controversies about phone hacking and tabloid journalists mean there is a need for a clear separation between politicians and the police.”
Leader of the Lib Dems in Lewes
“This concept risks politicising our police force and undermining the separation between the police and politicians…. The risks are obvious; we’ll end up with uneven and politically- influenced policing across Britain, with the danger that the government of the time will show bias towards areas that yield commissioners who share their political persuasions…..Should we not be looking for ways to further assert police independence from politicians?”