Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by Norman Lee Plumpton-Walsh (PR 101)

I last night attended a Policing Forum meeting held by Cheshire Police Authority, in Halton, Cheshire.

In my capacity as both a Criminologist and politics graduate, I have read, in greater detail, the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill.  And arising from this, I have grave concerns.  These are the following:

In relation to the appointment of Commissioner(s), who will police the activities of these people?  -  Checks and balances Police Authorities currently perform. 

In short, if the Police via the Commissioner are permitted to ‘organise themselves’, then aren’t we harking back to the days before Sir Robert Peel?

What is to stop a political/social radical from being elected to the post of Policing and Crime Commissioner?  -  This would trigger the wholesale politicisation of policing.  This could then lead to corruption.

Big business becoming involved to pay for the election process of the Police and Crime Commissioners  -  ASDA or TESCO Police?  I gist, but hopefully you can see my argument. 

These proposals could have been lifted from the iconic 1980’s film, Robocop.  And although we aren’t dealing with robots here, the film depicts what happens when elected commissioners are unregulated, and begin to flirt with businesses. 

What is to stop a Commissioner from diverting resources to his own area of the Constabulary?  -  I.e. more police presence in his own area of the force area.

The only suggestion I would give, as it is inevitable these comments may miss Committee Stage as it is today, 27/01/11, is that there be an independent impartial monitor of conduct of the Commissioner. 

January 2011