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Friday, 31 October 2014

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‘New Cumbria police and crime commissioner should know crime issues’

COUNCILLORS have raised concerns about how much knowledge the new police and crime commissioner will have about Barrow.

A presentation on community safety was given to Cumbria County Council’s local committee for Barrow.

Members of the committee also raised their concerns about what effect the new police and crime commissioner role will have on policing in the town.

Cumbrians will go to the polls on Thursday to select the county’s first police and crime commissioner.

Elected commissioners are replacing police authorities, which until now have monitored the work of police forces, across England and Wales.

They will have powers to hire and fire chief constables and set police objectives and force budgets.

Those vying for the role of crime commissioner in Cumbria are: Conservative Richard Rhodes, Labour’s Patrick Leonard, Liberal Democrat Pru Jupe and Mary Robinson, Independent.

At the meeting, Mark Clement, safer communities manager for the council, said Safer Cumbria, a new board including elected members and other representatives, had been formed to form links with the police and the new commissioner.

The group will also prepare a community safety agreement which will document the council’s crime priorities to the commissioner, however the new official will be able to draw up their own police plan.

Councillor Bill Wearing said he was unsure about the autonomy of the chief constable.

Councillor Anne Burns said she was concerned that the candidates were not aware of the type of crime issues in Barrow.

Councillor Dave Roberts said he was worried about how quickly the commissioner will have to prepare a budget only months after taking up the role.

He said: “The budget will have to be put together in February. We are going to have someone coming in who doesn’t know what is going on in Barrow.

“I think it would have been much better to give them a year in the job before they start on the budget.”

Have your say

The Police Commissionner issue makes me feel uneasy. Firstly it politicises Policing. Secondly it raises the possibility of someone with no financial or management experience at this level taking up a post where these skills will be required at the highest level. Thirdly, how can it be left to someone outside of the Police to decide the fate of very senior Police officers. Lastly, they may bring skewed priorities. Tackling antisocial behaviour seems to be a common mantra among candidates for these positions. Do they not think that the Police would be tackling that now if they had the recources. Murder, rape, drugs and robbery etc won't go away. We need more Police.

Posted by koollkat on 14 November 2012 at 16:48

Are these councillors being deliberately daft?

The commissioners have a CUMBRIAN brief not a Barrovian one in the same way as the county councillors have a CUMBRIAN brief.

Posted by Tony on 12 November 2012 at 17:37

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