Monday, 10 December 2012

Nottingham Police and Crime Commissioner

Following on an election lead up that was initially something of an information free zone, and an outstanding Nottingham Citizens event to challenge the candidates to commit to action on a series of "asks", we now have Paddy Tipping as the elected PCC for Nottinghamshire.

Police Targets
According to the Electoral Commission leaflet that landed on BFTF's doormat before the election, the PCC will:

Oversee how crime is tackled in their area and aim to make sure the Police are providing a good service.

and is a role that includes

*Meeting the Public regularly to listen to their views on policing
*Producing a Police and Crime Plan setting out local Policing priorities
*Deciding how the budget will be spent
*Appointing Chief Constables and dismissing them if needed

It was the "make sure the Police are providing a good service" bit that caught BFTF attention. This is clearly an important part of the job, and one that ought to be amenable to some kind of measurement. I.e. What criteria will the PCC use to decide whether the Police have "provided a good service". Seems like fair enough question to ask, so BFTF did, using the email address here, also asking how the PCC would ensure that the Police adopted a holistic and long term approach to Policing and did not focus exclusively on achieving short term targets?:

The PCC team responded, very quickly, with a response that included:

"Firstly, the Commissioner is currently preparing a detailed 5 year plan which will be published [here]following consultation sometime in the new year...

Secondly...Various performance indicators and targets (including long term targets) are being considered and will be agreed and published so members of the public can see and monitor progress over time...

BNP leaflet demonising Muslims
BFTF has been wondering whether a BNP leaflet that has been distributed in Luton should be accepted as part of the rough and tumble of politics. The leaflet was in a 1930's Germany style (with Muslims being the target rather than Jews).

The Office of the PCC forwarded BFTF's question to the Office of the Chief Constable, as it related to an operational matter. They responded with remarkable speed, sending a pdf letter which stated that distribution of leaflets similar to that shown above would very likely fall under the offence of "distribute written material to stir up racial hatred" which is contrary to sections 19(1) and 27(3) of the Public Order Act 1986.

The letter added that if BFTF (or presuambly anyone else) became aware of leaflets similar to that above being distributed they should report the matter to their local Police station immediately.

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