Are the Police Being Politicised? – The Results Are In

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8 Responses

  1. david says:

    Policing has always been politicised, there has not been a ‘golden age’ in our recent post-1945 history where politics was not involved. Now whether politics and politicians intervened in ‘operational matters’ is of course loudly denied, but one suspects they did. I do not refer to operational policy around a national event such as the Miners Strike, but local and sometimes individual decisions.

    The PCC concept is in my opinion rests on a “leap of faith” as to their effectiveness – some of which is now clearer – and partly reflected in the criticism of the Stevens Report. I have my doubts that the actual design and detailed procedures around them enable the elected PCC to be effective. They are in a “no win” situation. Whatever changes they do make are peripheral to the public’s concerns, although some like ending police custody for the mental ill are very welcome.

    Do they hold their police via the Chief Constable to account? That maybe largely dependent on the relationships established and their determination where the small discretionary amounts in the PCC’s budget will be spent. I have yet to see much substantive evidence they do. In the West Midlands there has one major policy decision on business partnerships and a very minor one on how PSD presents its results. Have planned police station closures been stopped? No. Are more police officers on neighbourhood duties? No, as they are doing more response work.

    This being the ‘media age’, reinforced by the ostensible ‘demands’ of social media, the PCC’s appear to be falling into the easy virtues of public relations. Hence the cited statements of your PCC on other websites than his own. See the COPACC report on PCC & police use of Twitter & Facebook: http://copacc.org.uk/compare-pccs/

    Now we don’t know if a labour government will retain the role of the PCC. Even if they are the next government, as polling suggests, will police governance be a legislative priority? More of the same, with a stronger emphasis on neighbourhoods and partnership – with no extra money. Will local PCC’s of another persuasion be robust in saying no?

    .

    • Thank you for your contribution David. I don’t know very much about the West Midlands Force/PCC as it’s not my local one, but I do know that the West Midlands PCC fully supports the decision to kick A19 into touch and begin recruiting again. http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/np/coventry/news/newsitem.asp?id=15781 Surely that’s a good thing in anybody’s book?

      My point really has always been that no PCC should have to make things up or over exaggerate them, if he/she is up to the mark there should be plenty of good work to cite, not make claims that don’t really hold water, and I don’t care what party they represent.

  2. david says:

    Policing has always been politicised, there has not been a ‘golden age’ in our recent post-1945 history where politics was not involved. Now whether politics and politicians intervened in ‘operational matters’ is of course loudly denied, but one suspects they did. I do not refer to operational policy around a national event such as the Miners Strike, but local and sometimes individual decisions.

    The PCC concept is in my opinion rests on a “leap of faith” as to their effectiveness – some of which is now clearer – and partly reflected in the criticism of the Stevens Report. I have my doubts that the actual design and detailed procedures around them enable the elected PCC to be effective. They are in a “no win” situation. Whatever changes they do make are peripheral to the public’s concerns, although some like ending police custody for the mental ill are very welcome.

    Do they hold their police via the Chief Constable to account? That maybe largely dependent on the relationships established and their determination where the small discretionary amounts in the PCC’s budget will be spent. I have yet to see much substantive evidence they do. In the West Midlands there has one major policy decision on business partnerships and a very minor one on how PSD presents its results. Have planned police station closures been stopped? No. Are more police officers on neighbourhood duties? No, as they are doing more response work.

    This being the ‘media age’, reinforced by the ostensible ‘demands’ of social media, the PCC’s appear to be falling into the easy virtues of public relations. Hence the cited statements of your PCC on other websites than his own. See the COPACC report on PCC & police use of Twitter & Facebook: http://copacc.org.uk/compare-pccs/

    Now we don’t know if a labour government will retain the role of the PCC. Even if they are the next government, as polling suggests, will police governance be a legislative priority? More of the same, with a stronger emphasis on neighbourhoods and partnership – with no extra money. Will local PCC’s of another persuasion be robust in saying no?

    .

    • Thank you for your contribution David. I don’t know very much about the West Midlands Force/PCC as it’s not my local one, but I do know that the West Midlands PCC fully supports the decision to kick A19 into touch and begin recruiting again. http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/np/coventry/news/newsitem.asp?id=15781 Surely that’s a good thing in anybody’s book?

      My point really has always been that no PCC should have to make things up or over exaggerate them, if he/she is up to the mark there should be plenty of good work to cite, not make claims that don’t really hold water, and I don’t care what party they represent.

  3. ideb8 says:

    Yes, it’s the endless false headline claims at sunrise whch are so pernicious, many of which must be withdrawn or denied by sunset – having already performed their task of public deception before a morning coffee can even alert you.

    “training provided by Dyfed-Powys Police to Police Officers within the force is focused on force priorities to reduce crime”
    ..sounds very much as though training revolves round crime targets (despite their abolition, according to the Home Secretary) which are said not only to tempt ‘early risers’ to improve – and to claim as having personally improved – in aid of their own promotion, but also still to be distorting response options, policy and resources.

  4. ideb8 says:

    Yes, it’s the endless false headline claims at sunrise whch are so pernicious, many of which must be withdrawn or denied by sunset – having already performed their task of public deception before a morning coffee can even alert you.

    “training provided by Dyfed-Powys Police to Police Officers within the force is focused on force priorities to reduce crime”
    ..sounds very much as though training revolves round crime targets (despite their abolition, according to the Home Secretary) which are said not only to tempt ‘early risers’ to improve – and to claim as having personally improved – in aid of their own promotion, but also still to be distorting response options, policy and resources.

  5. ideb8 says:

    The House of Lords debate (Thu 5th Dec 2013) on the Independent Police Commission Report by Lord Stevens was also interesting.

    Links and some excerpts:

    http://lordsonpolice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/police-independent-police-commission.html

  6. ideb8 says:

    The House of Lords debate (Thu 5th Dec 2013) on the Independent Police Commission Report by Lord Stevens was also interesting.

    Links and some excerpts:

    http://lordsonpolice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/police-independent-police-commission.html

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