Police and Crime Commissioners — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:13 pm on 3rd December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Imbert Lord Imbert Crossbench 3:13 pm, 3rd December 2014

I thank the Minister for his Answer but he will be surprised that I and thousands of others do not share the enthusiasm for this system. Surely it cannot be right, or indeed safe, to introduce the evils of party politics into policing decisions and activity. Does the Minister agree that politics and policing should be worlds apart and that politics should have no influence on policing activity or decisions—particularly operational decisions which, despite what the protocol might say, is likely to happen? He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Would the Minister care to comment on the television programme “Meet the Police Commissioner”, in which the only police and crime commissioner to put her head above the parapet was asked about her daily workload? She was asked what her first task was when she arrived at her office in the morning, to which she replied, “I do my nails”. When her large staff, who I think amounted to 16, appeared to be downcast or bored she said that she took her dogs into the office to cheer them up—the staff, I presume, and not the dogs.