I added this comment:
I don't think local referendums are a way forward as it would lead to a patchwork of different governance structures across the country - making cross border collaboration even more difficult (and many problems). Also if one area voted against having a PCC, what would they be voting for in its place?
I think a far better approach would be to (almost) start again and decide what kind of local governance structure is really required for good joined up delivery of justice, confidence and community safety. There are several options, and much will depend upon the legislative schedule of an incoming administration. Even if a majority Labour government is elected in May 2015, organising a good replacement in time for the May 2016 PCC elections is tight, probably too tight.
So the options might include:It all comes down to what do we need from policing & crime governance: what design principles can we agree upon and then let's create a structure that matches them.
There are lots of possibilities. But almost anything has got to be better that what we have at present!
- Boosting the powers of the Police & Crime Panels to moderate the activity of the PCCs
- Adding in some more non execs to the PCPs in parallel (these people added much diversity in all senses of the word to the previous Police Authorities)
- Create 'mini' PCC style governance structures based upon some degree of proportionality of the votes caste - so you might end up with 3 Police & Crime 'Senators' - one Indie, one Labour and one Tory in charge.
- Shift control of policing over to the Health & Well Being boards
- Create elected police authorities