With regard to the election of a police commissioner, I will not be voting because I consider it to be an utter waste of taxpayers’ money to appoint a nobody who has little or no knowledge of the police or policing procedures.
Despite the lack of knowledge and/or experience, I anticipate a very lucrative salary on offer, plus the setting up of an office or offices with all the associated support staff and of course added costs.
Currently, the police are accountable to a police authority, the courts – both criminal and civil, the coroner, and are overseen by an independent complaints procedure.
Other organisations, such as the legal profession, the medical profession and the press avoid such scrutiny because they simply investigate their own.
Now, the police will have another layer of governance which will be overtly political.
My recollection of politicians, both past and present, is to bask in the glory when things go well and avoid all responsibility when things go wrong.
What if the new policing commissioner has insisted on a particular policy which then fails?
Who will take the blame for that? One of the powers available to the new appointees is the ability to sack chief constables.
There will be 41 police commissioners; what are the odds against there being a race to become the first to sack a chief constable?
What if an appointee has a similar mindset to that of Andrew Mitchell MP? He has demonstrated his antipathy towards the police.
He cannot be the only one to hold such views and I do wonder what level of support one could expect from someone of his ilk when things go wrong, which they sometimes do.
Finally, the elections are but three weeks away, and I have yet to hear from any prospective candidate of any political persuasion.
Is this an indication of their level of commitment?