'No' to plans for elected police chief
Move 'too expensive' says Beds Police Authority
Government plans for elected police and crime commissioners have not found favour with the Bedfordshire Police Authority.
The authority is concerned that the proposals will mean more expense for local taxpayers, make real representation for local people impossible and see policing more susceptible to political interference than ever before.
Penny Fletcher from the authority said: "These plans have been rushed through and there is little or no clarity in critical areas such as cost implications.
"It is estimated that these elections will cost in the region of 50 million in this 'age of austerity' when we are supposed to be doing everything we can to reduce costs.
"We have no indication yet on the salary for this much-vaunted individual, but looking at the responsibility and scope of the role, the pay will have to be commensurate with that of the chief constable.
"And then there is the support structure, the police and crime panels. It will all cost money."
She added: "We have serious concerns that the sheer election process will mean that only those with a campaign mechanism, such as political parties, or those who are appropriately funded, will be able to stand.
"Not many people will fall into this bracket."
Should the proposals be given the green light, chief constables will be hired and fired by an elected individual rather than the police authority.
The authority is asking members of the public for their views on the proposals. To contribute, log onto www.bedfordshirepoliceauthority.co.uk and answer the questions on the home page.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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