Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, has called for democratically accountable leaders in the police force to deliver on public priorities.
In Monday’s debate in the House of Commons on the Police Reform and Responsibility Bill, Caroline supported the establishment of directly elected Police Commissioners to restore a focus on what matters to the public.
During the consideration of the amendment about elected commissioners, Caroline asked:
Does my hon. Friend agree that people feel dissatisfied with the police – unfairly, in many cases – because of the lack of visibility of police on the streets compared with previous years, and the ludicrous deployment of police in back room jobs, rather than out in customer-facing role?”
Caroline’s intervention comes after the revelations that despite a 25% real terms increase in spending on police over the past ten years, only 12% of officers at any time are ‘visible and available’. This is the result of the decision by appointed Police Authorities to place trained officers in backroom jobs.
Speaking after the debate, Caroline added:
“The shockingly wasteful and misdirected practices overseen by our weak and unaccountable Police Authorities will not be supported by the public vote. A directly elected Police Commissioner will be compelled by their democratic mandate to deliver the visibility that the people expect while keeping costs under control.”
“Time and time again my constituents bemoan the lack of police on their streets – we must now admit that this is not due to a lack of officers, but their ludicrous deployment in backroom jobs”.
The Police Reform and Responsibility Bill is one of a number of measures designed by the Government to transfer power from Whitehall back to the people.