This morning in Earley I was out with Councillors delivering leaflets and talking to voters about the Police Commissioner elections.
Some were disappointed that so far they had received no literature. We were able to offer them a four sided newspaper about the purpose of the post and the Conservative candidates, and to remind them about the website offerings that characterise this election.
Some could not see the point of the position. I reminded them that someone has to set budgets, establish priorities and appoint the Chief Constable. it is also a good idea to have someone independnet of the police handling complaints. These roles are now to be undertaken by the new Commissioners.
Some said they want the police to be independent. So does Parliament. Commissioners will not be able to interfere in collecting evidence, bringing charges and the other matters that require a warranted officer.
Some said they did not want party politics in policing. Nor do I. However, we have party politics in charge of budgets and senior appointments at the moment , in the form of the Police Committees of elected Councillors, and the elected Mayor in London. The new Commissioners will perform the same political roles as the Mayor of London and the Police Committees currently perform.