One of the current political issues I’ve been thinking a bit about lately is the political accountability of the police. So I was interested in this article by Martin Kettle and I agree with his conclusions. This may be because the author seems to be partially inspired by “a Liberal Democrat from Haringey” whom he quotes but doesn’t name.
Who is this Haringey Lib Dem? No idea. But well done for talking sense whoever you are!
The relevant part of the article is below:
“Most policing, like most politics, is local. Unless and until the Home Office lets go and allows local police authorities to take real responsibility for policing, rather than wrapping them ever more tightly in centralised objectives and suffocating them with jargon, the reform process will be stalled.
Yesterday I heard a Liberal Democrat from Haringey explain with enviable clarity why spending more government money on child protection will not in itself prevent tragedies like that of Baby P. “You can make very bad use of a lot of resources and you still don’t sort the problem,” he said. “The problem here is about transparency and openness, whether the council is embracing its critics, how open it is with its residents – it’s not just about how many people there are on the ground doing the job.”
He might have been talking about policing. Every word applies with equal force to a policing reform process which seems to have almost entirely lost its way. It would be nice to think David Blunkett, learning from his mistakes, will help guide Smith out of the maze. But I think the man from Haringey may have a clearer idea of what is needed.”
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.