Derbyshire Police Authority Supports Calls for Caution on Police Commissioners

 

Posted on 27th April 2011

Derbyshire Police Authority has welcomed proposals to postpone the ‘big bang’ introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, outlined by the Liberal Democrats Home Affairs Lead in the House of Lords, Lady Hamwee. Lady Hamwee has said that she would prefer to see the idea, which represents the biggest change in policing governance for generations, trialled in parts of the country for three years before it is implemented nationwide. 

Ann Barnes, Vice Chair of the Association of Police Authorities said; “the APA supports the call by the Liberal Democrats to allow communities which wish to try out this revolution in British policing to do so as pilot schemes.

“The risks of introducing elected Police Commissioners (PCCs) into the UK are clear – we could see politicisation, higher costs, the concentration of powers over policing with less influence for minorities and important policing priorities neglected. What are less clear are the benefits being claimed for this think tank policy by its proponents.

Policy should be guided by what the people want, and what works.”

To date there has been no formal evidence, from the Government or other parties, that local people want police commissioners - according to recent YouGov pollsonly 15% back the idea.

Simon Bate, Chief Executive of Derbyshire Police Authority, said: “The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill will have its second reading in the House of Lords on April 27th. It appears that it will be subjected to detailed scrutiny and assessment following which it is likely that more amendments will be put forward. It has already had more amendments than any other Bill in history on its passage through the House of Commons.

“Derbyshire Police Authority has repeatedly voiced its concerns regarding the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, planned for next May. We have concerns about the timescales, the cost, the introduction of such a massive change just before the Olympics and the massive workload for one person.

“We will watch how the House of Lords take their views forward with interest.”

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