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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Councillor angry about suggestion of more bureaucracy at North Yorkshire Police.

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6:14am 26th November 2010
(Updated 12:48pm 29th November 2010)

Money to be wasted despite cuts to frontline policing

Government plans for elected Police Commissioners will cost the taxpayer more than the current system, it has been claimed.

The election of a Commissioner is expected to cost in excess of an extra £1.85m for the North Yorkshire Police Authority area, or £3 per elector of population.

The Government is changing the arrangements for holding the police to account by abolishing Police Authorities and creating a two-tier bureaucratic system of an elected Police Commissioner and a Policing Panel within local authorities.

Labour's Coun. Ruth Potter, a Police Authority representative for York, says:

"This is a crazy waste of public money. Why change something and replace it with a more bureaucratic system that costs the taxpayer more to run, especially at a time when frontline policing will be hit by a 20% cut in Home Office funding. The money would be far better spent on keeping Police on our streets".

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) raised concerns with Government Ministers last week. They range from the need for operational independence free from political intervention, to the need for high level vetting of candidates for the position of Commissioner, and the need for safeguards over a Commissioner's ability to hire and dismiss Chief Officers.

And more problems lie ahead, according to Coun. Potter:

"It's interesting that ACPO also believes that 'double accountability' to a Police Commissioner and a Policing Panel will create political tensions. It is also concerned about the uncosted nature of the proposed model of accountability and about increased bureaucracy. I've grave concerns that the Government is again attempting to shift the burden of funding to local taxpayers, which means more increases in the police precept part of council tax and higher tax bills for local people".

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