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.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Secret PCC: should I stand again?

Well, well, well.

It has been a long three and bit years. In a way, it has gone by as quickly as a South African innings. And here we are, in the run up to the May elections which frankly I thought I would not have to think about. But against predictions, the Tories won a majority and now I am stuck with having to make a decision on whether to stand again. So I thought I would do a balance sheet, working through all the pros and cons to help me decide...

On the plus side:

The power.

The power!

The unaccountable powerrrr! (I like to delude myself sometimes) I think I may have some smidgeon of influence over the colour of the cells in the new custody suite that I commissioned. I say I commissioned... but the plans were pretty already drawn up by the time I arrived.

But on the down side:

I have seen enough sandwich lunches to last me and my waistline a lifetime. I have become quite an expert in holding cheese and chunky chutney sandwiches and a glass of orange juice, without spilling the chutney down my suit. It's a rare skill but one I have now perfected. But do I want any more sandwiches... ever?

The bounciness of senior coppers has to be seen to be believed. Honestly, it is so bloomin' tiring. They are like chipmunks on speed. Always some new strategy for this. Partnership plan for that. Yet another power point presentation on some whizzo idea they picked up on their trip to the police department in Oklahoma. I could well have had enough...

Partnership meetings. Oh good grief. What can you say about them except that I might like to spend some of my retirement watching paint dry. It would be more entertaining. And interesting. I used to have partnership zeal: they were the future! But now I only have partnership weal: proto pressure sores from sitting too long in these tedious meetings, massaging the egos of different heads of this or that.

And then there's the Police and Crime Panel. I think I am going to do a PhD in nit nit picky picky pettiness: I now indeed, do have plenty of material. Try as I might to keep them focused on me (yes me!) they still insisted on trying to hold the Chief Constable to account. Even though I told them until I was blue in the face that was my job... they still wanted to scrutinise the decisions on the new siren sounds and colour of the cells in the new custody suite...

Hmm. I think I have made my decision... I will miss the team of course: my chief executive, my aromatherapist, my astrological adviser, my part time press adviser and Gordon, my trusted coach and chauffeur. What could I have done without him...!

So, now I have start making my plans for my last 100 days... what will I need to do?


The Secret PCC Diary until now:

Legal disclaimer: just in case you thought this series of secret PCC blogs is based upon a real person or persons: it isn't. It really isn't. Any similarity to a living PCC is entirely coincidental.

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