'Publish and let Peers decide' – call for Home Office to end secrecy over public consultation on PCCs


Posted on 26th April 2011

APA Deputy Chair Ann Barnes today called on the Government to release the hitherto secret full analysis of 900 responses to their public consultation on proposals for Police and Crime Commissioners, saying:

“The Government's costly plans for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), elected by AV next May face a rough ride in the Upper House tomorrow. Concern at the damage that this revolution could do has spread deep inside the Coalition with the Liberal Democrat leads in the Lords and a former LibDem candidate for the London Mayoralty calling for a halt on this risky scheme. And little wonder, since the Liberal Democrat manifesto opposed Conservative plans to put power over policing into the hands of a single elected 'Sheriff'.  

Yet while the chorus of concern grows, and polls put public support for PCCs at just 15% (YouGov/Liberty 30.03.11), sheriffs’ supporters seem silent. The Home Office received over 900 responses to its consultation on police reform last summer but refuses to reveal what support, if any, these submissions evidenced for elected PCCs.

In the absence of an evidence base or a clear electoral mandate for this risky reform, we urge the Government to publish a full analysis of responses to their consultation. Such transparency would assist their Lordships' essential revising function and could help allay the growing concerns of professionals, politicians and the public that PCCs threaten to imbue the British model of policing with partiality, politicisation and chaos.”



Notes to Editors

  • For enquiries please contact the APA Head of Press and Public Affairs, Nathan Oley (07714 399 760 / Nathan.oley@apa.police.uk ).
  •  Full story on the LibDem proposal: http://bbc.in/dNucjv. The House of Lords will consider the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill during its Second Reading debate on Wednesday 27.04.11.
  • The Association of Police Authorities (APA) represents all local police authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the British Transport Police Authority, the Civil Nuclear Police Authority, and the Ministry of Defence Police Committee.
  • Local police authorities (through the APA), along with the Home Secretary (the Home Office) and chief officers of police (ACPO), make up the tripartite relationship which is responsible for the governance of policing in England and Wales.
  • Police authorities are currently made up of local people: a mix of local councillors and independent members (selected from the community) of which one must be a magistrate. 
  • The job of the police authorities is to:
    • consult with local communities to find out what they want the local police to do
    • set the budget for their police force, and decide how much local people should pay for policing in the local council tax
    • set the strategic direction for policing locally and decide what the police should focus attention on locally based on their consultations with local communities
    • appoint (and, if necessary, dismiss)  chief constables and senior police officers
    • make sure the police force is continuing to do a better job


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