Mixed reaction to police set-up

PEOPLE in Oxfordshire are keeping their powder dry when it comes to standing as an elected police crime commissioner.

Every police force in the country will have a police crime commissioner on an £85,000 a year salary from November.

The newly created roles are the result of a Goverment shake-up which will see the demise of local police authorities.

Anyone on the electoral roll in Oxfordshire will get a chance to vote for their choice of a commissioner representing the Thames Valley in a polling day set for November 15.

But as yet, no-one has put themselves forward in the county for the job.

The commissioner’s powers are far reaching and include the ability to sack chief constables, set out a five-year police and crime plan, determine local policing priorities and set a local precept and the annual force budget in consultation with chief constables.

Labour Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said last night the commissioners were not needed and labelled them “a colossal waste of money”.

While the idea for commissioners, brought in by the Conservatives, was to make the functions and budgets held by police authorities more accountable, Mr Smith argues: “There’s no demand for this from the public.

“At best I think it risks confusion in the direction of police forces and at worst it opens up suspicion of political interference.

“It’s going to consume more money and the police are under enough financial pressure as it is at the moment.”

However Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood, a Conservative, supports the move.

She said: “Given that fewer than 10 per cent of people currently know they can go to their local police authority if they have a problem with local policing, getting the chance to elect and hold to account police and commissioners promises to give local people a much stronger voice in how their streets are policed.”

Oxfordshire county councillor Kieran Mallon, a Conservative, has refused to rule himself out. He said: “It seems to be the case that people in Thames Valley are keeping their powder dry.”

Deputy Chief Constable Francis Hapgood said: “The force and police authority are working closely together to ensure a smooth transition from the police authority to the PCC.

“A project board is in place that is addressing the areas of change. It is really important that policing services continue to be delivered throughout the change.”

Comments (10)

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10:45am Wed 11 Apr 12

is-it-really-necessary says...

I'll do it !
I'll do it ! is-it-really-necessary
  • Score: 0

11:39am Wed 11 Apr 12

Joe Chapman says...

'However Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood, a Conservative, supports the move.

She said: “Given that fewer than 10 per cent of people currently know they can go to their local police authority if they have a problem with local policing...”'

That suggests to me a wider issue around educating communities about policing. It appears to me to be a reflection of the general problem. Perhaps it would make more sense to do some advertising or give the police cards to give to people or just fix the issues that would make people want to go to the police authority in the first place?
'However Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood, a Conservative, supports the move. She said: “Given that fewer than 10 per cent of people currently know they can go to their local police authority if they have a problem with local policing...”' That suggests to me a wider issue around educating communities about policing. It appears to me to be a reflection of the general problem. Perhaps it would make more sense to do some advertising or give the police cards to give to people or just fix the issues that would make people want to go to the police authority in the first place? Joe Chapman
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Wed 11 Apr 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

I'll do it for half the money, and I'll even work from home ;)
I'll do it for half the money, and I'll even work from home ;) Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Wed 11 Apr 12

JanetJ says...

Don't suppose there will be an option to say "I don't want one - use the money to save local services"
Don't suppose there will be an option to say "I don't want one - use the money to save local services" JanetJ
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Wed 11 Apr 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

JanetJ wrote:
Don't suppose there will be an option to say "I don't want one - use the money to save local services"
No, afraid not, don't forget, we're all in this together.....
[quote][p][bold]JanetJ[/bold] wrote: Don't suppose there will be an option to say "I don't want one - use the money to save local services"[/p][/quote]No, afraid not, don't forget, we're all in this together..... Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

8:14am Thu 12 Apr 12

JonHarvey says...

I am one of two shortlisted candidates for the Labour nomination. More information about my campaign is here:

http://jonsharveyfor
thamesvalleypcc.blog
spot.co.uk/

Please watch this space...

The Labour Party's policy in our 2010 manifesto was to have elected police authorities rather than a single PCC replacing the existing structure. But this position is now on the statute book and Labour will be fighting these elections vigorously.

There are many issues to be debated. Uppermost in my mind at the moment is the prospect that policing will become fragmented into a set of contracts with private sector suppliers.

Just as we are seeing the beginning of creeping privatisation of our NHS (Surrey community health is now being run by Virgin Healthcare) - we may see this in policing...

Does that worry you?

It worries me... a lot.
I am one of two shortlisted candidates for the Labour nomination. More information about my campaign is here: http://jonsharveyfor thamesvalleypcc.blog spot.co.uk/ Please watch this space... The Labour Party's policy in our 2010 manifesto was to have elected police authorities rather than a single PCC replacing the existing structure. But this position is now on the statute book and Labour will be fighting these elections vigorously. There are many issues to be debated. Uppermost in my mind at the moment is the prospect that policing will become fragmented into a set of contracts with private sector suppliers. Just as we are seeing the beginning of creeping privatisation of our NHS (Surrey community health is now being run by Virgin Healthcare) - we may see this in policing... Does that worry you? It worries me... a lot. JonHarvey
  • Score: 0

9:23am Thu 12 Apr 12

Cathena says...

The posting should be on personal qualities not political fancies.
The posting should be on personal qualities not political fancies. Cathena
  • Score: 0

9:53am Thu 12 Apr 12

JonHarvey says...

I think it has to be a combination of both - a transparent set of policies combined with deep experience & understanding of how the police function. I know I bring the latter, and I am planning to develop the former as the campaign builds. (Although I am not without ideas already of course! My blog has more information.)
I think it has to be a combination of both - a transparent set of policies combined with deep experience & understanding of how the police function. I know I bring the latter, and I am planning to develop the former as the campaign builds. (Although I am not without ideas already of course! My blog has more information.) JonHarvey
  • Score: 0

11:38am Thu 12 Apr 12

JonHarvey says...

I look forward to hearing about what the other parties are doing by way of selection.

The Conservatives said they were going to run open primaries. Is that still happening?
I look forward to hearing about what the other parties are doing by way of selection. The Conservatives said they were going to run open primaries. Is that still happening? JonHarvey
  • Score: 0

8:14am Fri 13 Apr 12

JonHarvey says...

Could we see this happening in Thames Valley?

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-sou
th-yorkshire-1769886
5

"Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has criticised plans to replace traditional beat bobbies with police community support officers (PCSOs)...."

Is such a move a prelude to outsourcing PCSOs to a private sector supplier...?
Could we see this happening in Thames Valley? http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-sou th-yorkshire-1769886 5 "Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has criticised plans to replace traditional beat bobbies with police community support officers (PCSOs)...." Is such a move a prelude to outsourcing PCSOs to a private sector supplier...? JonHarvey
  • Score: 0

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