Nottingham demands accountability: Elected Police part 5
A fascinating new blog has been started up at Sack the Sheriff to lobby for the resignation or sacking of John Clarke, the Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Police Authority. Nottingham was recently named as the "crime capital" of Britain both for overall crime and a large number of individual serious offences. The report can be found here (PDF). The blog argues that the local police chief should be held accountable and resign. Yet local people have no real power or say themselves over who imposes policing upon them in Nottingham.
My interest in this was piqued as I have long been pushing for the election of local Police Chiefs to help ensure direct local accountability for the provision of this vital public service and to refocus policing back on a partnership with the community that is being policed. On founding the Metropolitan Police, in 1829, Sir Robert Peel said "Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police." This is a tradition which is perfectly in tune with modern concerns and approaches. Can we say hand on heart today, however that the police are the public, and the public the police? Nobody can honestly answer that, yes, least of all, it seems in Nottingham.