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.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beware 'loudist' influences

I went to an excellent workshop in Houses of Parliament on Tuesday last to discuss Labour's plans for the NHS & Social Care with Andy Burnham and members of his team. This meeting included Diane Abbott talking about public health which is about to shift to local authority control next spring.

She made the very cogent point that planning public health must be done on the basis of need not just on who makes the most noise.

Let me call this idea 'loudism' (as opposed to localism). I fear that PCCs could be subject to 'loudist' influences. Perhaps police authorities and chief constables always have been?

One of the most critical budgetary decisions made is how to distribute scarce resources. I argue that police resources should be shared out to the geographical areas and crime types which generate the most harm. However I am concerned that the 'worried but loud and (relatively) safe' communities get a disproportionate slice of the cake. Am I right to be worried?

I trust that Labour PCCs will use their powers & influence to ensure that resources are spent on reducing the most amount of harm for the communities they represent. (Indeed the odd FoI inquiry or two into how resources are currently allocated may already be winging their ways to police authorities, as I write.)

But how will other PCCs make this decision?

Moreover will chief constables see it as their job alone to decide and implement resource allocation formulae? Is this an operational or politico-strategic decision?

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