Shortly before the last General Election, the TaxPayers’ Alliance produced a manifesto. Here is the latest in our series of posts looking at how the Coalition Government has performed in relation to our recommendations.
We believe that taxpayers deserve a say in their local policing priorities – that’s why we supported the idea of elected police commissioners as a better model than the old unaccountable police authorities. The Coalition Government did introduce police commissioners, but the first elections were not successful. They were held on a cold, dark November day, out of sync with the rest of the electoral calendar. Turnout was extremely low and the legitimacy of the commissioners suffered greatly as a result. What's more, stories continue to emerge about wasteful spending by the commissioners and the use of taxpayers’ money to build empires – teams of staff which are not necessary to carry out the job.
The principle behind the idea is good – local residents deserve a say in local policing needs. But the implementation was shoddy, so we have scored a 3.