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Conservative conference: Home Affairs Committee member expresses concerns about police commissioners

8 October 2012

I had the pleasure of chairing a fringe event hosted by the Howard League for Penal Reform today on young people and the criminal justice system. The focus for the event was how police and crime commissioners can change the way young offenders are treated. Home Office minister James Brokenshire was very keen to assert that PCCs should be ‘ambitious’ in their plans for dealing with young people. But Home Affairs Select Committee member James Clappison was a little less optimistic, particularly about whether the government is actually pushing hard enough for these commissioners to be a momentous change to policing.

‘I think there are opportunities here, and I think we should be ambitious for them… The police commissioners are getting a higher profile now, and I hope that they will be given support to get an even higher programme, and I hope I can say that with a member of the government here, and that we take as much advantage as we can of this opportunity. They will have the opportunity I hope to lead local campaigns to get into the local press, to give a lead to local people and to meet groups in the local community and to really shape the agenda locally and I hope that’s what they do. But I think they need some support in order to do that.’

Another issue is whether the police and crime commissioners will really have the mandate to be as ambitious as Brokenshire expects them to be. If they are elected on an average turnout of 15 per cent, which is what those close to the reforms expect, this could be difficult.

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  • 2trueblue

    IF it makes them more accountable then I am for it. They can always be voted out next time round, but they should of course be selected from those who have served in the police. It should not be an opportunity for failed politicians to get himself a nice new role.
    I live in an area where our police station has been closed but a smaller town has not had their closed…… not sure of the logic of that! One thing I do know is that it is political.

  • bob8930

    This all very interesting but why is no-one debating the effects of Winsor 2 on policing? It will do far more damage than this.

  • UK Cop

    The Conservatives are clueless on this one. Why don’t we have locally-appointed *CPS Prosecutors* instead? If the police are part of the problem then, trust me, so are they.

  • ButcombeMan

    Tories bafflingly wedded to this idea -without getting the structure right.

    Too many Constabularies. Too small many of them, too inefficent. Too many Chief Constables, too many Chief constables cars, (and drivers). Too many expensive Police HQs. Too many jobs for the boys (and a few girls), too many ranks, too much overtime. too much early retirement. Too few bobbies on the front line, too many people (and too many Officers) in the back office.

    Too little information about candidates, too many, inept political re-treads as candidates, Too few voters with any interest at all in this, whatsoever.

    All too expensive.

    Too many REALLY important, other issues.
    (Continued page 94)

    15% may well be optimistic.

    I shall spoil my paper.

  • Mirtha Tidville

    unwanted by anybody, except Dave, burdensome and damned expensive..I just hope they flop and the next lot scrap them……..if it aint broke dont try to fix it with this silly badly thought out nonsense

  • Daniel Maris

    The boys in yellow…

  • Daniel Maris

    I said a long time ago this is an invitation to corruption and partial policing.

  • james102

    Anything that makes the police more accountable to the
    electorate is good.

    Their professional priorities are no longer the same as the
    people they serve: us.

    • telemachus

      We do not want the US policing culture
      As it is they repress the poor as we saw at Tottenham
      And the ordinary working man as we saw at Orgreave

      • Hexhamgeezer


        • Ian Walker

          That’s unfair. I’ve known many nice tits over the years.

    • bob8930

      That may be the case but I don’t think this will help. It will simply put policing under political control. What next?

  • HooksLaw

    Will councillors elected on a lower mandate resign then? Your assertions based on the quote seem to me to be tendentious.

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