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I was surprised and interested to hear the Minister talking in such a way about the role of police and crime commissioners. He will be aware of his colleague’s words on the role of police and crime commissioners: they are meant to be key in the implementation of any policing work in a local area. His comments about the concept of co-operation and how that would be ruined by talking to each other speaks volumes about the current mood in the coalition.
The amendments are designed to put on the record the importance of good working relationships—simply notifying and ensuring that people are interacting with each other. The 2005 Act that set up SOCA was passed prior to the introduction of police and crime commissioners—a major reform, as the Government were wont to call it last year. How things have changed, because today we hear the Minister talking as though police and crime commissioners are completely incidental to any decisions about the way in which resources are used in any police force.
I am sure that many police and crime commissioners who have heard the Minister’s words today will be worried by the way in which he talks of excluding them not only from strategic discussions at a national level in relation to the role of the NCA, but in local discussions about what is happening on their patch. The amendments are simply about what is happening on their patch.