Earlier this week I tweeted a thought that in order to minimise the politicisation of policing the role of Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner ( a position to which one is appointed by the Police & Crime Commissioner) should only be open to those who are genuinely independent and not affiliated to any political party.
I am grateful to the Association of Police Authorities for pointing out that the original proposal from the government was that Police & Crime Commissioners could not stand on a party political ticket.
Sadly that has changed.
Is this, plus the cost prohibitive financial requirements, the reason why nationally there is a dearth of candidates?
Should party politics (local or national) have any role in policing?
Both Labour & Tories have in past few years come up with differing solutions to what they see as the issue – Police Authorities in their current guise do not work.
Consequently in November there will be elections for Police & Crime Commissioners. A low turn out for voters has been forecast.
But as the PCC in North Yorkshire will choose / appoint the new Chief Constable should the public take more of an interest & active part in the debate re candidates for PCCs?
Should there be a head to head debate on local radio with PCC candidates?
Will PCC candidates also visit injured cops at the Police Treatment Centres (or if in south the Police Rehabilitation Centre)?
How do PCC candidates intend to engage with the Police Federation? Will they answer a questionnaire which we will prepare with issues our members would like clarity on?
Will they attend an open meeting with our members?
If elected will they have public meetings out of office hours so the general public can get to them and have proper engagement?
Will PCCs explain to the public exactly what they will do with the extra council tax revenue they get from new housing and commercial developments?
Recent events in Humberside have generated a lot of media interest in what had hitherto been something of a damp squib nationally.
I make no comment on the candidates who have thus far declared anywhere in the country.
But in addition to the questions raised above would ask what role is there for anyone currently involved with Police Authorities? If they cannot stand as PCC (with their party backing) – why not? If they can and do then what has changed?
What happens to the current Chief Executive of Police Authorites, who are full time employees with a major role at present? Do they need to be publicly accountable? If so why not tap into their expertise, saving training costs, whilst making them accountable & make them Deputy PCCs?
And The Guardian ran these pertinent questions:
Given the huge cost of moving to PCCs, as highlighted by Associaiton of Police Authorities in their rearguard action to prevent their own demise, should the debate not move from one centred around celebrity personality or high profile to one about the serious issues some of which I believe are set out above?