Lib Dem councillors call for elected police chiefs to be scrapped
A group of more than 115 leading Liberal Democrat councillors has called on the Government to abandon its plans for elected police commissioners.
The group, which includes LGA Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Richard Kemp, and Portsmouth City Council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, have called on the Government to drop the idea and replace them with local police boards.
In a letter published today in The Times, the councillors said the recent controversies about phone hacking and tabloid journalists mean there is a need for'a clear separation between politicians and the police'.
'We can think of no situation more confusing to all concerned than one where a politician is elected to lead the police, but does not have any influence over the management,' the councillors state in their joint letter.
'For this reason, we ask the Government to drop the proposal for elected police commissioners, and to replace them with police boards that will work with local government and provide the transparency that is so badly needed.'
According to figures published yesterday by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, police forces in England and Wales plan to lose 34,100 officers and staff over the next four years.
The predicted cuts represent a 14% reduction in the total workforce and HM chief inspector of constabulary, Sir Denis O'Connor, said they were the largest the police had faced in more than two generations.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said cutting frontline officers was 'an irresponsible gamble with crime and public safety', but home office minister James Brokenshire, said forces were protecting frontline services.
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