Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Police Commissioner's public engagement session attracts just one person

Devon and Cornwall Police Commissioner Tony Hogg today held the first of what he promised would be regular open meetings of his 'Accountability Board'. His promise was to use it to hold the chief constable to account. He had arranged a webcast from Devon County Council chamber and had fourteen police officers and staff lined up. The only trouble was that only one member of the public came along.

I don't think we should criticise Mr Hogg for his ambition - but it is clearly more than a little embarrassing to get so little response.

The public still see crime and anti-social behaviour as important issues. But I don't think they trust the institution of police and crime commissioners to hold the police to account on their behalf. Just look at the terrible turnout in PCC elections. Add in that a number of office holders have made the news for all the wrong reasons and it adds up to a failed institution.

It's surely time to write off PCCs as a failure and scrap the post. Lib Dems (and now Labour) have both committed to doing so.

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