Still none the wiser as to why we need crime commissioner
On Wednesday, October 7, I had a card pushed through my door telling me about the election of the police and crime commissioner for Leicestershire.
It stated that for information on candidates standing in my area I should to go to a website (see end of letter) , so I did.
Under the title "What is a Police Crime Commissioner?" I am informed that the role is independent and the person will be elected to oversee how crime will be tackled in your police force area.
Beyond that, it gave absolutely none of the promised information on our local candidates.
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I then opened my Mercury to see the three hopefuls. One has been selected by the Conservative Party, another has been selected by the Labour Party – not exactly what you could call independent, is it?
A few pages on, I got to the First Person column, where I read the PCC's main aim will be to cut crime and ensure an effective and efficient police service is delivered within the Leicestershire Police area. (I rather naively assumed that was what the Chief Constable et al were doing already).
The article then says "they" will be able to set the priorities for Leicestershire Police.
We are then told that the new PCC will be monitored by the Police and Crime Panel – is that not rather like the present Police Authority, or am I missing something?
The main difference being that we stand a better than even chance of having a single party political animal telling the Chief Constable what his priorities should be and then holding him to account when the political aims are not met to the satisfaction of said political animal.
To top it all, I understand we are expected to fork out about £70,000 a year for the privilege of having a commissioner.
I am writing this in the hope that someone can tell us all why we are about to have the top – and therefore, presumably the most suitable men and women for these posts who champion the cause of law and order throughout the UK – become political stooges.
What's next, elections to choose somebody to instruct our High Court judges on how to interpret the law?
Gordon Duncan, Anstey.