Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by Andrew Barnes (PR 10)

I am writing to express my concerns over the proposal to introduce elected Police and Crime Commissioners as a way of making the police more responsive to local opinion.

 As you are aware the public response in Avon and Somerset has been overwhelmingly against this change at a time when there are far more serious issues to be tackled. Are you going to respect local opinion and not implement or will you go ahead and wonder we are sceptical of how the change will make the process of setting police priorities more democratic.

 There appears to be no proven model for this change (the US situation is not comparable and hardly an exemplar anyhow).

 There are opportunities to make the police more efficient including tackling their very generous conditions of employment and this is where the energy should be directed not at another unproven reorganisation.

 There is considerable scope to make the Police Authority more effective and certainly to be more open with the public about how they are making the police accountable but this isn't the way.

December 2010