Police and Crime Commissioners – modernisation? (Ho-ho)

No doubt this change to Police and Crime Commissioner builds to large payouts for those who have hitherto been involved in the Police Authority? So will it be ‘finish on friday and pick up the dosh’, then ‘start afresh on Monday on higher wages in the same office’?

On a vote (if theat’s the word?) of 3% to 5% of the voting electorate, someone who knows bog-all about how to run a police force area, hold its purse, distribute its largesse, sack – where necessary – its Chief Constable (and presumably hire another one in his place?) and generally decide policy on the large area, is left with no public mandate to act.

On the other hand, the ‘winner of the dosh’, might just as well be an ex-high-ranking Police Officer. OK. Very good..but what if that person was a high-ranking ex-Police Officer in the same area as that for which he now becomes Police and Crime Commissioner?

In Cheshire, that is precisely what has happened. John Dwyer, who left Cheshire Police in 2001 at the rank of Acting Chief Constable, takes his pension from Cheshire Police pot, and now is able to act above the head of the Chief Constable.. and potentially to sack him.

Equally, any peccadilloes – assuming there might have been peccadilloes at all, and I have no personal knowledge of any – can be held over he head of the new Police and Crime Commissioner by currently serving officers of that same police force.

Is there some conflict of interest in this? Who will examine the situation? The Electoral Commission?

Surely if that body had wanted to consider conflicts of interest, it might have put in place some bar to ex-Senior Police Officers standing for Police and Crime Commissioner, within the area in which they had worked?

Is ‘acting with a conflict of interest, in public office’ a criminal offence? Does it rank as ‘misconduct in public office’? In that case, can it be expected that the Chief Constable can send a bobby to arrest the new Police and Crime Commissioner?

If he does, can the Police and Crime Commissioner sack the Chief Constable?

If that happens, will anyone have the time left – or inclination –  to catch criminals?

We did not vote. A turnout of 13.7% of Cheshire electors, gives nobody a mandate to act. It shows a very clear wish not to have any such person as a Police and Crime Commissioner.

It is very interesting to note that as yet there seems to be no figure given for ‘spoilt ballot papers’. Wonder why?

The fact that there was a careful counting of second choice votes, in order to make up this rotten, undemocratic, brass-faced assault on public democracy, is an utter disgrace.

Being forced to jump from Frying-pan-Police-Authority – which seemed to have little, actual wielding of any ‘authority’  – into the fire-of-Police and Crime Commissioner, seems to begin with a blatent crime being perpetrated against the public.

What a fine way to honour our criminals!

Sans peur et sans reproche? Non!

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