As we approach the elections for Police and Crime Commissioner in May one of the outgoing PCC’s has challenged Home Secretary, Theresa May over her recent comments. She stated “People can vote for a candidate who promises the world but delivers unsafe streets and wasted money. Or they can vote for a Conservative PCC who will work with the Government to deliver lower crime and safer communities, all while providing value for money” Although this statement could be challenged for its partisan nature as Tony Hogg has done, it could also be taken as a shot across our bows that if we elect a non Conservative PCC that they won’t be able to work with Theresa May and her Government. It might be assumed that Tony is an Independent PCC or even a member of the Labour Party (across the UK all PCCs are either Labour or Conservative or Independents) but in fact he is a Conservative PCC. He argued that this statement is divisive and that there is no evidence that Conservative PCCs have delivered safer communities than Independent PCCs or Labour PCCs.
It is vital that Tony’s comments are not seen in isolation, and that all PCCs should support his point of view. It will be interesting to see if Katy Bourne, also a Conservative who is the Sussex PCC will join him in his criticism of Theresa May who is clearly signalling that she sees the role of PCC’s to be one of introducing Party Politics into Policing. It is clearly vital to ensure that the PCC we elect is someone who is fully Independent of all Political Parties and not take a risk with Conservatives or Labour Party members who claim they will be Independent of Party Politics.