Power invested in one person

I cannot think of a public organisation or authority, be it a council, health authority or school, where the substantial powers of direction and control of monies are invested in one person.

This is about to change, with the election of one Police Commissioner for both East and West Sussex, who alone will have authority to direct the chief constable to follow a certain course, producing a police and crime plan, setting out local policing priorities and, at the same time, having control of the police budget.

The only saving grace is that the chief constable will retain operational independence.

The main political parties see this radical new arrangement to get control of the police.

Why are candidates standing under a political label?

This is a dangerous situation, politics should never be involved in policing.

Indeed, police officers have never been able to become involved in politics.

Policing is a complex and fast-moving profession; the pattern of policing can alter minute by minute, both locally and nationally.

Every police force has a responsibility to be prepared to assist in emergencies in any part of the country, despite ever decreasing resources.

Give the chief constable a chance to be rid of political masters and vote, if you have to, for someone who is independent of a party machine.

Ian Eady

Retired chief superintendent of police,

Sussex, Worthing

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