Posts Tagged ‘Avon and Somerset Police Authority’

Authority calls for pause before “policing is politicised”

Posted on Thursday 28th April 2011 at 8:11 am by SH (Editor)

The debate on introducing directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners moved to the House of Lords yesterday following Lib Dem peer calls for a ‘postponement’ or ‘pilot.’

Members of the Lords debated the Police Reform and Social Responsibiilty Bill and the proposed introduction of a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to England and Wales.

Avon and Somerset Police Authority Chair Dr Peter Heffer, who has previously said that we are “sleepwalking into the politicisation of policing,” has welcomed Lib Dem calls for a pause.

Dr Heffer said: “In my view, we need an NHS style pause on this reform, it is far too important an issue too be rushed through at a time of enormous change and upheaval for the police.”

“I have been clear about the risks of introducing an elected Police and Crime Commissioner to Avon and Somerset and would be amazed if the police were not put into the hands of one political person. As I have said before, they are the only likely candidates that have the resources and mechanisms to wage an election campaign. It is a worrying prospect, along with the concentration of power in one person. You do not hear people calling for their local hospitals and local schools to be run by one person so why would you want that for the police?”

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Source: Avon and Somerset Police Authority

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Parliamentary committee criticises unfair police funding

Posted on Wednesday 2nd March 2011 at 10:00 pm by SH (Editor)

Avon and Somerset Police Authority has been listed as the country’s second biggest financial loser missing out on £20m a year, according to a recently published Parliamentary Report.

The report by the House of Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee lists how much each of the country’s 43 police forces receives from the Government against their assessed needs, it shows Avon and Somerset as missing out on £20m a year it is calculated as needing.

The complex government funding formula is designed to address the needs of individual areas but, according to the report, throws up “unexpected winners and losers” leading to perceptions of unfairness.

It lists Avon and Somerset as the second-most hard-done-by force in the country and the Police Authority responsible for setting the police budget says it is the taxpayers of Avon and Somerset who end up paying the price.

The Police Authority says that if the funding was distributed fairly, according to what the force is assessed to need every household could receive a council tax reduction of £36 a year.

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Source: Avon and Somerset Police Authority

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Police Authority debates budget and funding plans

Posted on Wednesday 2nd February 2011 at 8:22 am by SH (Editor)

Members of Avon and Somerset Police Authority’s Finance committee heard recently that 1,300 people have had their say on this year’s budget and given their views on cuts to police funding.

In December and January members and staff of the Police Authority carried out telephone, on-line and face to face consultation with residents and local authorities. Residents were asked about their policing priorities, the police budget and the policing part of the council tax, following the Comprehensive Spending Review, which outlined a 20% cut to police funding over four years.

On the question of the policing part of the council tax the results were mixed across the different consultation methods. In the telephone and online surveys, which represented 1,203 residents, 64% favoured a council tax increase. In the focus groups held in each of the six policing districts of Avon and Somerset the majority of residents did not favour a council tax increase.

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Source: Avon and Somerset Police Authority

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Poll shows opposition to having a politician oversee the police

Posted on Saturday 25th September 2010 at 1:56 pm by SH (Editor)

Nearly three quarters of voters say they are not comfortable with a politician overseeing policing, according to the Avon and Somerset Police Authority’s (ASPA) poll on Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Police Authority asked a series of questions on its website to gauge public opinion for some of the radical proposals outlined in the Government’s ‘Policing in the 21st Century’ consultation paper.

One of the fears is that a Police and Crime Commissioner would politicise policing and that was echoed by the majority of voters, with 72% saying they were more comfortable with an independent person rather than a politician overseeing policing.

Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Authority Dr Heffer said: “I would be amazed if the police commissioner was not a political person due to the cost and time needed to wage an election campaign. In the proposed changes the day-to-day influence of 17 people including councillors and members of the community would be lost and replaced by the single interests and priorities of one elected person.”

Nearly 70% of voters believed introducing an election did not represent value for money and Dr Peter Heffer said the costs implications were madness given the pressures on budgets.

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Source: Avon and Somerset Police Authority

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