Commissioning Crime and the Police
Today we see the political parties naming some of their candidates for election as Police and Crime Commissioners. Thus we see the begining of the politicising of the police. The Police are charged with “maintaining the Queen’s Peace”, not the “Government’s Peace” – I do not look forward to a political apparatchik “Commissioning” our police. Should we see a difference when we move from a Tory Direct Police Authority to a Socialist Police Authority? No, so why make it political?
“Because the police have to be democratically accountable” say the proposers. The current system (police authority committees) seem to do just this (albeit indirectly) whilst keeping the police out of politics most of the time (although in the North East we still suffer the distrust arising from the politicising of the police during the miners’ strike).
What next? Electing the magistrates and judges?
We live in a system of indirect democracy – even the Government is effectively indirectly elected (by the weight of numbers of MPs elected to parliament – we do not have presidential elections to “make the PM democratically accountable”).
Apparently Police and Crime Commissioners (people who commission crime?) are an improvement and police committees should be abolished because we don’t know the names of people on the police committees. Well I have news for our politicians – most people don’t know the names of their MPs or their councillors – do we abolish them and replace them with a President and all-powerful Mayors?
I hope not.