Re: Shadow Home Secretary’s Plans to Replace PCCs
While I can see the Labour Party’s position when you consider some of the negative media interest that we’ve had, most recently around the shocking events in South Yorkshire, I think it would be rather hasty to introduce wholesale change so soon. This would wipe out many of the positive elements of our work, most notably the engagement with local communities throughout Derbyshire and our work to provide an enhanced service for victims in the county.
The vast majority of PCCs around the country have and continue to make significant positive contributions to ensure the policing of their communities is delivered in an appropriate manner, particularly when you consider the extremely challenging circumstances imposed by the Government’s funding cuts.
Turning specifically to Derbyshire I, with partners, have driven the increased focus onto alcohol-related crime, domestic violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence and the work to ensure that children and young people in this county are properly protected. I have also funded, through my Crime Prevention Grant, over 40 schemes which make a real difference to individuals, volunteer support groups, and local communities, including the new BMX track at Mickley which I formally opened last week. One of the most notable differences that I make as PCC is to act as the ‘glue’ that pulls together local organisations to improve areas of concern, both strategically and at local community level. We are in danger of losing all of this.
I accept that the current system has some flaws, particularly around accountability, which is highlighted by an issue such as the Rotherham CSE case, but there are other ways to address this instead of re-inventing the wheel – again.
I’m sure that we will learn more in the Shadow Home Secretary’s speech to the Conference on Wednesday, but there are some positive indications, such as her announcement that applications for gun licences in future will no longer be subsidised by the police budget and ultimately the taxpayer. This is something that I have long called for and I welcome it wholeheartedly.
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Posted on Monday 22nd September 2014