Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill

Memorandum submitted by John Gerrard (PR 103)

I do not think that the current Police Authority set up should change. The vast majority of the public are happy with the makeup and accountability of the Police Authority. I feel that under the present system I have a voice in how the local Police force is run. Our Police force is excellent. We have regular pen public meetings where we meet with the Chief Officers and the Police Authority. We also have regular meetings with our directly elected councillors whom make up part of the Police Authority.

 I do not see how such a critical role can be undertaken by one person. This bill will increase bureaucracy and weaken public accountability. The public have great faith in the present set up which was devised to de-politicise the police. There is a very real danger that this bill will undo al that has been achieved and once undone I cannot see it being put back. It is also of concern that during the austerity that we are making cuts to all public services in order to save money and reduce the deficit and then this bill comes along and it requires money to be found to implement it and the selection process. Quite simply ridiculous.

 I hope that the committee sees sense and drops this bill as soon as possible. Moral among the police and public is already too low.

February 2011