Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A member of the police authority launched a scathing attack on plans to create an elected police commissioner in Devon.
Magistrate Lynda Price likened the new role to that of a gun-toting American sheriff, and said it wasn’t right for this country.
Speaking to Ottery Town Council last week she said the change would politicise the role of scrutinising the police.
In November members of the public will go to the polls to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in every force area across the country.
The role will replace the current scrutiny system, the police authority, which Mrs Price has been a member of for a decade. She said: “It’s not about protectionism; we believe it’s the wrong way to go. I just think its going to be very, very difficult for them.”
Currently there are 19 members of the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority, made up of 10 councillors and nine members of the public.
They are unelected, and are responsible for appointing, and where necessary removing, the Chief Constable, setting the police precept, and scrutinising the force’s work.
Mrs Price said: “Don’t think the PCC is going to replace the police authority, because they are very different jobs.
“This is a fundamental shake-up of the system.”
She also criticised the lack of transition, with the PCC elections on November 15, the police authorities will be disbanded only a week later.