The crime of political policing

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From: Keith Moore, Box Hill, Scarborough.

YOUR Editorial regarding the new police commissioners (Yorkshire Post, May 14) misses the primary reason why there is an obsession in Whitehall with driving this policy through regardless of the public’s wishes.

Their objective is to gain total political control over British police forces to create a mirror of the policing model in the USA where chief officers are elected and so susceptible to manipulation by politicians who can pull all the strings under threat of de-selecting officers who oppose their will.

The British policing model has, since the inception of modern policing, been to distance command of police forces from political control and this has angered politicians over the years.

Politicians and their Home Office mandarins began eroding the independence of chief c onstables by the requirement that officers could only be promoted to chief officer rank if they had Home Office (political) approval, as a few forces found to their cost when seeking to promote candidates of their choosing against the will of the Home Office, whose sanction then was to threaten to withhold the Police funding grant.

Sadly, perhaps because of the smokescreen of “more public accountability” used by the politicians who sponsored the proposed change, which already sufficiently exists through the existing police authorities and various local committees, the public did not wake up to this threat or realise the dangers of political control over their police forces.

Policing in the UK will be the poorer for the imposition of these new political tsars, both in terms of the destruction of police independence and financially given the huge costs your editorial exposes of creating yet a further layer of unnecessary administrative bureaucracy.

From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

I HAVE just read your front page (Yorkshire Post, May 14) regarding proposed Government expenditure of £125m on crime commissioners.

Can someone please tell me what this job entails to warrant that sort of salary?

I would have thought that whatever it is, it would be taken care of by the Chief Constable and other high ranking police officers or are they going to be sat on their hands?

Even a treasurer is reported to be getting £100,000.

They must be awfully busy people to be getting paid that sort of a figure. You would think a senior maths student would be able to do that job.

I have yet to include the chief executive who will be paid £116,000. Talk about jobs for the boys.

In this period of austerity we are experiencing at the moment, it is the people who do the donkey work at the bottom of the ladder who are taking all the flak.

I don’t often agree with Yvette Cooper, but she is right when she says the cost of this futile exercise would pay for another 3,000 constables who will do a far more useful job.

Taken for a ride to make a profit

From: BJ Cussons, Curly Hill, Ilkley.

YOUR report that British Gas warned that the trend for retail energy costs “remains upwards”, with wholesale gas prices 15 per cent higher for next winter (how do they know that now?) and other costs set to add £50 to the cost of supplying the average household this year says everything about how British Gas operates (Yorkshire Post, May 12).

It doesn’t matter how the average customer tries to cut down usage they are going to be taken for a ride as the company is going to create profits at their expense.

Currently, the production of bills on the internet says a lot about “other costs”.

As I struggled to open a simple “your bill” a week or two ago I ended up with an astonishing seven pages (it might have been eight only one was so useless I didn’t print it).

Several pages repeated information, then there are the useless “your average consumption” past, present and future tables.

All could have gone on two pages maximum.

How much “other cost” emanates from their appalling website and presentation of bills?

Who can create true competition in this industry?

And does anyone know of a supplier who does keep their billing costs down?

The lives lost aimlessly

From: Peter Hyde, Kendale View, Driffield.

ONE really does wonder how the politicians have the neck to come on TV and say that we are protecting ourselves by sending young men and women to die in Afghanistan.

It has become so common place to hear of yet another young life lost that it barely causes a stir on the news programmes.

Yet in five or how many years time when we have finally withdrawn from this region, it will return to the state it was before Bush and his poodle Blair dragged us out there.

Victoria and the Mighty Russian Bear could not quell the Taliban (let us not forget in those days America armed them).

Why do we think we can make any long lasting difference?