Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by James Dickety (PR 07)

I heard you were looking for the public’s view in regard to these proposals and I believe there are fundamental flaws with it, firstly policing in the last few years has become overly political and popular to talk about when a large majority of its work should remain outside the grasp of Politian's, this is to maintain the integrity of forces and to ensure they police fairly. My concern is that with this proposal the police will be even more at risk as one person’s election promises will be bulldozed through risking other services, also by trying to reach these promises it will inevitably create more work for forces through target setting etc despite at this current time forces having being cut. By making policing a political issue we risk undermining its fair nature and as a result the effectiveness of the service we have today especially if teams are chasing up more trivial crimes as ‘that's what the public want'.

Another concern to me is the cost to implement the first system, first the cost of local elections up and down England and Wales will not be cheap to run plus all the additional cost in communication as a result of an election, at a time when force budgets are being cut this seems unnecessary.

However that is not to say the current system is not in need in reform the current tripartite system leaves local authorities woefully the weaker side and the public voice is under represented, no one knows their authorities role and no-one knows who they are which does need to reform.

However my solution would be to improve the current system – maybe by putting a more prominent role of the local people already in local government in these new authorities and increase publicity, saving money, keeping the integrity of the force and avoiding a one man view of crime which arguably will not be the true view of crime but the populist one, the public want to hear.

December 2010