Confidence in the police shaken says senior MP

Public confidence in the police has been shaken by a “dangerous cocktail” including the “plebgate” affair and the results of the Hillsborough Inquiry, a senior Labour backbencher said yesterday.

Keith Vaz MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, which will begin an inquiry into police accountability, integrity, internal corruption and malpractice next month, said it is a “defining moment” for the service.

He called on Prime Minister David Cameron to host annual summits with senior officers and called for “a new Magna Carta” for policing.

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In the Sunday Express, Mr Vaz said recent events had dented the public’s confidence in the police.

Writing about the alleged altercation between former chief whip Andrew Mitchell and police officers at the gates of Downing Street, dubbed “plebgate”, Mr Vaz said: “Take a police officer apparently masquerading as a member of the public, a confidential log book finding its way into the public domain, add the results of the Hillsborough Inquiry, which have resulted in thousands of serving and former police officers being investigated, and the fact that 26 out of the 43 police forces do not have a permanent chief constable, and you have a dangerous cocktail.”

Mr Vaz also pointed out that morale among officers is even lower as they feel like they lack Government support.

He criticised Home Secretary Theresa May for trying to enforce radical changes on the police force without having a proper dialogue with officers.