This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The ordinary people test

These are exceptionally busy days for the new Police & Crime Commissioners.

No matter how experienced they were in their previous roles, I am imagine they are all on a very steep learning curve. Moreover, there will be a legion of people wanting some of their time in order to start building long term relationships of trust and mutual influence. Added to this will be the fast moving conveyor belts taking them towards producing their budgets, precept proposals and policing plans (and the conveyor belts may not be all heading in the same direction let alone towards the manifesto pledges on which they were elected).

If I were a PCC, I would imagine that I could well feel as if my time were not my own any more.

Nonetheless, I would like to ask all PCCs a question: how many conversations have you had in the last two weeks or so with 'ordinary' people? By ordinary I exclude anyone holding an official position as officer or member relating to your task as PCC. By ordinary I include a real live victim of crime, or a person from residents' association, or a parent of young person mixed up in crime, or a student who is afraid to walk to college etc.

How many conversations?

And how will you continue to have these conversations, if not many more of them, as you get ever deeper into the small 'p' politics of your job? Have you arranged a schedule of surgeries in the localities that you now look after? How are you going to find out what the 'ordinary' people who elected you, want, hope and need from the police services and crime agencies that you now oversee?


  1. Bill Chapman10/12/12 09:25

    If you want to get rid of the PCCS, this gravy train for our politicians and their cronies, you can sign the epetition at:

    1. Bill - thanks for your comment - which I have published in the interests of debate and democracy.

      However, I would far rather you were encouraging people to scrutinise closely what their PCCs are doing and holding them to account. You may then generate the ~evidence~ to say that the PCC position is fundamentally flawed rather than merely asserting it. I am watching my PCC closely as well as observing how other PCCs are operating.

      And, as I say below, now is the time to help the PCCs fulfil their roles, as best as possible, in the interests of the people who depend upon the work of the police services and that of related agencies. There will come a time to review this governance model. But now is not that time, in my opinion.