The Police & Crime Commissioner elections are to be held on 5th May 2016. Meanwhile the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has been doing the rounds:
Northern Echo reports that "the Cabinet Minister agrees 'a thorough and independent' inspection of Cleveland Police necessary" ... "Chris Grayling, leader of the House of Commons, said he supported the demands of Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton for a thorough investigation into the force by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). On a visit to the region to support Matthew Vickers, the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in Cleveland, Mr Grayling told The Northern Echo: "There are concerns about Cleveland Police that continue to roll on..."
"Mr Wharton, the Conservative MP for Stockton South, last month said Cleveland Police was "rotten" and said he could not be confident the force could investigate itself. He urged incumbent Labour PCC Barry Coppinger to use his power to call in HMIC for "an independent and thorough investigation of the force".
"However, Mr Coppinger responded by saying that the HMIC had recently completed a thorough inspection of Cleveland Police which concluded there were no areas in which it was failing."
""This is nothing more than a political stunt.""
Indeed, clearly the general Twonks are aggrieved that the PCC at Cleveland is not a Twonk, and are quite happy to call in the reputation of Cleveland Police Force into disrepute.
From, selective memory, the PCC's job is to act as an interface between the Force (whose job it is prevent, reduce and fight crime) and the Public (who demand safer communities). It is not the role of the PCC to reduce Crime but to ensure that the Police are acting effectively, efficiently and measure the activity of the Police in terms of enforcing the Law. At no time has Law enforcement been the role of the PCC and at no time has the PCC's role had to be politically motivated.
So, what appears to have gone awry? The very act of 'election' of PCC has political motivation. The electioneering strengths and abilities of the two main political parties (Labour & Conservative) as well as the significant costs involved in any election campaign, has meant more often than not that the PCC 'winner' is a candidate from either of these two political wedged parties. Any person, is invited to apply for the PCC role, non political, independent etc so long as they are able and willing to be the Public interface between the Public & the Force. The PCC once elected is purported to be non-political, and AFAIK must sign a citizens oath declaring such (as do most civil servants) before accepting the role.
It must be extremely 'disappointing' to read that the Tory Minister Chris Grayling, together with failed Northern Poorhouse Minister James Wharton (out-lout) are interfering in what should be a community democratic selection.
So much for devolution, and they wonder why people don't vote.... the turnout for the last PCC was 31% (ish). Despite the high costs of the PCC election the response was poor, given the importance of such a public, yet quite powerful role.
Looking forward, the upcoming PCC elections are once again being dominated by the two political heavyweights, and wedged candidates. Should any independent 'candidates' step forward we would be pleased to advise the same.
In North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan has, it appears, successfully, won over the HMIC : http://www.northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/news/police-and-crime-commissioner-...
“As North Yorkshire is the safest place to live in England, I am pleased but not surprised that HMIC has recognised North Yorkshire Police are effective in keeping people safe and reducing crime... The fact that the force was judged ‘good’ overall is a tribute to the efforts of the policing family, including officers, staff and volunteers.
“While the force performed well on three of four assessment areas, it fell short in one regard and was judged to need improvement in its work to protect vulnerable people and support victims. This is one of the reasons why the Chief Constable and I are investing an extra £3m in protecting vulnerable people, something the public of North Yorkshire clearly told me was their number one priority when drawing up the police and crime plan.
“That money will be used to expand the Serious Crime Team, create a Non-recent Child Abuse Investigation Team, increase the capacity to tackle online offences including those involved in child sexual exploitation. It means North Yorkshire Police is in a better position than ever to protect vulnerable people”.
No nonsense from Ms Mulligan, having effectively taken over a difficult 'role' from the previous incumbant ... whilst also recognising and promoting the introduction of new technology, co-operative working across force boundaries (national and international) and also implementing cost savings on 'sentimental structures' over 'intelligence and action'. Give or take a few community led 'partnerships' along the way.
Ms Mulligan's record speaks for itself: http://www.northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/news/julia-mulligan-vows-to-continu...
However, not to be complacent, looking further forward it is strategically acknowledged that a future 'Force' would be a combined emergency services 'Force', of the Ambulance, Fire & Rescue operating under and alongside the Police. This is a no brainer .... the 101 service is already in place.
Labour's PCC selected candidate is a Firefighter ... but more about him later.
Nominations for PCC candidates is about to close : For more information see here: http://www.apccs.police.uk/home/2016-police-crime-commissioner-elections/
Oh, and just for future reference : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35767882
Wouldn't it be nice if politics melted into ... those who want to stay on the planet and those who want to exit. Either way ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHhiiNnIjY
Yup. 'politics' boring innit... ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKrVegVI0Us
Ah, so here we go: http://www.cfwd.org.uk/uploads/PCCReportFinal.pdf