Where's The Accountability?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

In response to a report in today's Telegraph citing how Ian McPherson, chief constable of Norfolk Police, had his stamp duty paid as part of £70,000 sweetener to tempt him to the job, Stephen Bett, chairman of Norfolk Police Authority, responded by sayng, "We are looking for people who can think outside the box, do what we want to be done, be accountable and provide the people of Norfolk with the best possible police force."

Now, putting aside the uber-bollocks* that is 'thinking outside the box' (a term I resolutely detest in much the same way I detest those that deploy it), can anyone tell me how Mr McPherson is in anyway accountable to the people of Norfolk? They didn't vote him in, nor can they vote him out. Residents cannot dictate what police priorities should be in their local area, nor can they have any say in the remuneration that is paid out to chief constables employed by their local force. Where's the accountability? Damned if I can see it.

It is now becoming clear that the upper echelons of the police force in the UK is slowly becoming a law unto itself, and the rising power of unaccountable organisations such as ACPO and APA has to be questioned directly. I was never too sure that the proposal from Tories such as Douglas Carswell, Daniel Hannan and Mark Reckless for locally elected 'sheriffs' would work in reality, but I am now starting to change my mind.

NB - The following FOI and response regarding Ian McPherson is worth a look

*Bollocks is not a swear word


One response to “Where's The Accountability?”
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Daniel1979 said...

I am very much in favour of having an elected heads of regional policing, and that those individuals have broad powers over the direction priority setting of those local forces.

It would put accountability in the hands of an electorate, and gives people not just a say, but a stake in local policing. If you want the top job, you have to ask people for a mandate which will result in getting the police on the side of the masses and the law abiding. Those who get elected and are terrible can then be thrown out.

After time, people will look at how their local police force is performing and what they are prioritizing, against other forces and the best ideas and policies will inevitably be called for, and unpopular and unfair policies and practices dropped.

The chief argument against always centres on opposition to "politicising the police", but I always say, take a good look at the appointee's who are running the police force... you can’t tell me that the likes of Brunstrom and Blair are not political creatures! The top jobs in the force have been political for years, so why not have these political cops seek a mandate from and be accountable to you and me; rather than a Jacqui Smith or a David Blunkett.

8 July 2009 at 21:59