That the Home Secretary chose not do so, or promise laws so residents can force by-elections to vote out crime tsars who have lost the public’s trust, casts doubt on the seriousness of pledges to reform policing and root out misogyny.
Mrs Patel was well-received by activists who welcomed her promise to “redouble” her “efforts to ensure women and girls feel safer” after Sarah was abducted, raped and murdered by serving police officer Wayne Couzens.
As she set out an inquiry into this horrific crime, a simultaneous statement from the Home Office pointed to the expectation of all police officers that all of their colleagues “uphold the same standards and values that they do”.
Strong words on paper, they’re also disingenuous unless the Government reverses the current anomaly that excludes crime commissioners from ‘recall’ laws – the means by which MPs can be held to account by their voters if their conduct, and actions, falls short of the standards expected of them.
Draft legislation was debated by Parliament in late 2014 before falling by the wayside. Relevant then, it is even more urgent now if the overhaul of policing necessitated by Sarah’s murder, and other tragic cases, is to be underpinned by genuine public accountability rather than discredited ‘leaders’ like Mr Allott staying in post due to the misplaced loyalty of longstanding colleagues on crime panels.
If the Home Secretary thinks this is acceptable, how are women to start trusting the police again when people like Mr Allott – in positions of power – can say whatever they like, whilst answering to no one?
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app, receive exclusive members-only offers and access to all premium content and columns. Click here to subscribe.