Police Commissioners

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    Members may have read my letter to the Western Telegraph in the 31.10.2012 issue. I had several U3A members and others contact me. As a result I emailed Mr Salmon, one of the candidates, and within the hour he gave me a telephoned response as follows.

    1 Q – What went so wrong with the Police Authority that the Police &  Crime Commissioner [PCC] system is being introduced?
    A – The Authority committee system failed in that [a] They procrastinated and the committee was too long in reaching a decision, and in several cases failed to take action.
                (b) The PCC will reach a decision faster and take more effective action.
    2 Q – What will be the expenses of the secretariat of the PCC. ?
    A – The existing support staff of the Police Authority will remain.  What will be saved is the expenses of the 19 members of the Police Authority which totalled approx. ?450,000 p.a.
    Comment – The committee expenses is offset by the salary of the PCC which is between ?60,000 and ?100,000 p.a. with no doubt his or her expenses added.
    3 Q – How will the successful candidate be independent of the Party  machine?
    A – The successful candidate will swear on oath to be independent.
    Comment – The supplementary question was – Who was paying for the PCC's election expenses?
    A – These are met in the main, by party supporters of the candidate.
    Comment – My concern is that it will be easier to subvert or influence one person [ the PCC ] than 19 committee members. Secondly there will be a moral obligation on the part of the PCC to pay due heed to the Piper who plays the tune.

    Does any other member share my concerns or am I worrying over nothing?

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