Posts Tagged 'Policing'

PCC report shock: Ex-copper recommends what police want!

The BBC is reporting that the Stevens review of policing in England and Wales is recommending that Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) should be abolished and replaced by a new system.

The review, set up Labour and led by the former Met Police Commissioner Lord Stevens who was handpicked by Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, said PCCs, introduced in 2012, should be scrapped in 2016 and more power given to local councillors and local authorities.  Irony of ironies, this is what Labour wants and what every police Chief Constable wants.

While the public overwhelmingly ignored the opportunity to vote for PCCs, the problem with this recommended return to the previous structure is that it control over policing is blurred and the ability of chief constables to run rings around local councillors as they work in cahoots with local government officers to pursue an agenda separate to that of ‘elected representatives’.

Councillors, who would be appointed to the ‘local’ police authority in return for additional cash and expenses, would be as ineffective as they were previously under the new regime.  But just to make sure the ‘local’ police ‘service’ can walk its own path with minimal interference from the police authority, Stevens says the current 43-force structure is “untenable” and that some police forces should be merged – an act that will further erode the notion of local policing.

In a classic example of the double speak that infests the public sector, Lord Stevens said there were 37 “radical” recommendations, including a commitment to neighbourhood policing as the “building block of fair and effective policing”.  Yet the concept of genuine neighbourhood policing is incompatible with the resulting larger forces that would be brought about through the recommended mergers.

Stevens is just another politicised plod, working to an agenda that relegates crime detection and prevention, and policing according to local priorities further down the police’s list of focus areas.  This becomes abundantly clear as while Conservative Home Secretary, Theresa May, believes the police service’s primary role is to cut crime, Labour supports Stevens’ view that police have a wider “social purpose” too, improving safety and well-being in communities – language right out of the Marxist-inspired Common Purpose playbook.

So if Labour wins the next election we can expect another change to policing that will be made without any reference to the public that has to foot the bill and put up with poor performance, low clear up rates and police ‘managers’ who choose to focus on soft target offences and thought crimes, while serious offences all too often experience low grade investigations and a failure to convict the offenders.

And people still vote because…?

All too predictable

Gordon Brown was renowned for his rehashing and re-release of announcements to make existing commitments or actions already underway appear as new initiatives.  It seems David Cameron is taking a leaf out of Brown’s book.

In an all-too-predictable piece in the Barclay Brother Beano today by Patrick Hennessy, readers are told that Cameron:

… will produce a series of measures that he hopes will give “red meat” to Conservative backbenchers, who are calling for action to appeal to their core voters after poor local election results.

One of the few mentioned is this:

* clamp down on crime with a new “British FBI”, tougher anti-social behaviour measures and community sentences;

A new British FBI?  Apparently Cameron:

… hopes that other items in the Queen’s speech – including the creation of the new National Crime Agency, which is seen as a British FBI; more “intensive” community punishments and moves to seize credit cards, passports and driving licences from criminals – will satisfy critics.

The inclusion in the Queen’s Speech of the creation of the National Crime Agency is a mere formality and is not the signal of a change in direction to appease pissed off Tories.  Its creation is old news.  It was offically announced in June 2011 by Theresa May, who hailed its creation as:

… a landmark moment in British law enforcement.

We were told nearly fully one year ago that the NCA will come fully into being in 2013, with some key elements becoming operational sooner. Its new head was announced in October 2011.  The timetable for it to be formally brought into being was included in the Home Office publication from which May’s comment was taken:

And as per the timetable, the work of putting the pieces into place has already happened.

So given all this, how is it that the Tories are being allowed to spin the widely trailed creation of the National Crime Agency as one of a series of measures that Cameron hopes will give “red meat” to Conservative backbenchers, who are calling for action to appeal to their core voters after poor local election results?  Why is the lamentable Telegraph conning its readers by pushing this matter as a reaction to poor local election results?  If this is what the battle plan to avert a Tory civil war looks like, they are probably be using Wellington’s plan at Waterloo as a template for the defence of the Falkland Islands.

If the NCA is something that is supposed to appeal to core Conservative voters – circa 9.3% of the electorate on Thursday – one wonders how many of them will be pleased when they discover down the line that this is a big enabling step on the patient journey to a cross-border EU policing agency, which carefully maintains the promise not to integrate existing police forces while achieving what Brussels wants.

Update: A subsequent tour of my blogroll shows that the always excellent The Boiling Frog was on to this last night when the Failygraph article was published.  It is well worth reading.  TBF shows that several other Queen’s Speech inclusions mentioned in the Fail are also rehashes.  This is not so much ‘red meat’ for Tories as undercooked Groundhog for the rest of us.


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