David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, has today called the Tory proposals to introduce elected Police Chiefs ‘a dangerous politicisation’ that could lead to extremism in our Police Forces.
David Cameron has pledged that a Tory Government would introduce locally elected ‘Commissioners’ to run Police Forces. The Tory proposals follow controversial comments made by Boris Johnson’s Deputy, Kit Malthouse, who claimed that the Tories now “have our hands on the tiller” of the Metropolitan Police.
David Williams said, “In London the Tories are already claiming that they have operational control of the police. Their proposals nationally are even more ominous. This politicisation of the police is extremely dangerous and only broad-based Police Authorities with Councillors and Independent Members can avoid the potential dangers of politicisation and extremism that a single elected person could create.”
David added, “The operational independence of Chief Officers is a crucial constitutional principle that no government should interfere with.”
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said, “We have never considered introducing elected Commissioners because we are clear that Chief Officers, and Chief Officers alone, are responsible for running their force – there can only be confusion and dysfunction under the Tories’ plans to introduce a second quasi-operational Commissioners. David Cameron’s proposals represent a dangerous politicisation of the police force and I have yet to meet a senior officer who supports it.”
The Tory plans have been described by Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers as “undemocratic” and Scotland Yard have expressed anger at the claims that the Tories are ‘running The Met’ and said that policing was “far too important to be used as a political football”.
David Williams commented, “Do we really want the police in Crewe and Nantwich to be run by one of the Tories on Cheshire East Council? This is a most dangerous right-wing proposal that could seriously undermine our local Police Force and must be opposed at all costs.”