16 Mar

Over the past 24 hours the media spin on selected parts of Winsor2 has been breathtaking.

But no one has commented on

Recommendation 64 – Police and crime commissioners should have the power to set the Chief Constable’s basic pay at any level which is up to ten per cent above or below the national rate for a Chief Constable in the force in question.

Does this risk politicising the police service, or is it a good way of dealing with members of ACPO PLC? Depends on your perspective really.

But lets not lose sight, amidst the hyperbole, that many of the facets of the police reform agenda have not been thought through, as this extract from Hansard illustrates

Police National Computer
Yvette Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether responsibility for the police national computer will transfer from the National Policing Improvement Agency to the National Crime Agency; and on what date any such transfer will take place. [97662]
Mrs May [holding answer 1 March 2012]: I announced to Parliament in a written ministerial statement on 15 December 2011, Official Report, columns 125-7WS, plans to phase-out the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which currently operates the PNC. The Home Office is reviewing all of the NPIA’s functions to identify successor bodies for the critical national services it provides.
House Of Commons Hansard Written Answers For 13th March 2012

But in the new world facing policing will all things be put right by Police and Crime Commissioners? Perhaps not.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she has issued to police authorities entering into new contracts before the elections of police commissioners in November. [99165]

Nick Herbert: The Government expect police authorities to continue to implement their plans for reducing costs and delivering transformation—including where this includes entering into new contracts—up until police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections in November 2012. The Government have written to police authorities indicating that while there are no plans for an official period of purdah in advance of the PCC elections, there may need to be some arrangements made in relation to financial contracts in the weeks immediately preceding the PCC elections. We will work closely with police authorities to ensure that they receive clear information about how financial contracts should be dealt with during this time.

House Of Commons Hansard Written Answers For 15th March 2012

And it is not just in the world of contracts where there is confusion – it goes to the elections themselves.

The Guardian has today reported that “Voters face ‘confusion’ over mayoral and police chief elections”

But a more in depth analysis is provided by the Electoral Commission. They state:

Throughout the debate on the PRSR Bill and since Royal Assent (September 2011), we have raised a number of concerns regarding the arrangements for PCC elections and many have not yet been addressed by the Government.

This briefing updates Parliamentarians, and others interested in PCC elections, on two significant areas of continuing concern.

1. Giving voters the information they need

2. Making sure that the elections are properly run

The Electoral Commission warn that  without clear processes and rules in place in sufficient time, trust and confidence in the system may be called into question not only by those who want to stand for election but also by voters.

Surely this demonstrates that police reform needs to be based on sound policy not sound bite policy.

Police and Crime Commissioners can assist with this, but not unless and until the issues raised in this blog and the previous 5 on this topic have been addressed in a sitable and sufficient manner.





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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


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