Yes that is what I will be doing tomorrow. Whilst others are going out of their way to vote for the new Police Commissioner, I will be tucked up in the warm with a nice cup of coffee and thinking to myself… Politics and Policing don’t mix.
The new Police Commissioners will earn between £65,000 and £100,000 a year. Now according to one site they say this about Police salaries:
Salaries vary between forces but the typical starting salary for police constables in England and Wales is £22,680 on commencing service and £25,317 on completion of the initial training period. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the typical starting salary is £23,259, rising to £25,962 after the intial[sic] training period.
Now by my calculations, that is three to four officers that could be on our streets, protecting us and helping every force fight crime, wouldn’t you agree?
Now if you had £100,000 a year to spend on Policing, where would you think this money be spent? Should it be spent on a Police Commissioner or putting officers on the ground?
I go for the second option. Now Police Forces up and down this land are having their budgets cut, they are having to make tough decisions as to what resources they can cut back on. Yet this Government sees fit to go ahead with these elections, and waste money on these elections where they could have been putting it into policing.
And another thing, Tories, Liberals, Conservatives are amongst the candidates, and in my opinion that is bringing in Politics to Policing. It is only natural that if one party member gets elected that they will rule their Force as per their parties manifesto. Out of the 192 candidates only 42 are independent. That means 150 candidates are being backed by political parties.
Apparently this idea is based on the US Style of elections for Sheriffs… and how I see it, it is another cop-out reason for Teresa May, she can blame the PCC’s should the shite ever hit the fan.
According to one BBC News article, the following statements have been made:
Mike Pannett, who has written several books about his time as a serving officer, left the police in 2007 after 10 years with North Yorkshire Police and before that 10 years with the Metropolitan Police.
He said: “I think its a disgrace that they [police officers] can’t be involved in the process.
“How are you supposed to get a balanced view from the police about how they think they operate?
“PCC candidates are allowed to look around police stations but they are shown around by someone from the press office.
“They might look at the mechanics of the control room but they can’t ask the officers’ opinions or find out their feelings. It’s been very draconian.”
Sir Hugh Orde said:
“It is essential that all forces work together at times of emergency. Many forces train far more officers in public order than they need in their area to contribute to a national emergency.
“We want to make sure the people who stand understand these complexities.”
Well I will not be voting for a start… because I don’t believe in bringing Politics into Policing and if some of those candidates are Tory, Labour or Liberal then that is what will happen.
The Home Office site says:
Police and crime panels
Panels are being introduced in each force area to examine the actions and decisions of each PCC. These panels will make sure information is available for you so that you can hold your PCC to account.
Panels will support and challenge PCCs when they carry out their functions.
Panels will focus their attention in important strategic actions and decisions made by the PCC, this will include whether they have:
- achieved the aims in their Police and Crime Plan and annual report
- considered the priorities of community safety partners
- consulted appropriately with the public and victims of crime
So in effect we are getting rid of the Police Authority and replacing it with a panel where the head of that panel COULD very well be a member of a Political Party….great.
Abstaining… you bet I am.