Tories Want To Put Mayors In Charge Of Met

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 102 months ago
Tories Want To Put Mayors In Charge Of Met

knitted_police.jpg
Knitted policeman by Heather Brown / M@ Brown
The Conservative plan to put US-style elected police commissioners in charge of forces across the country got a little clearer today, as shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said he'd scrap the Metropolitan Police Authority and put the Mayor in charge of London's crime detectors.

The Tories argue elected commissioners would increase democratic accountability and remove swathes of bureaucracy, but there are deep concerns on the other side about police independence and whether it would lead to local pandering at the expense of national co-ordination of the big stuff. Now, there's an argument that says we already have the Mayor in charge of the Met, so what'd be different? They say the MPA's oversight role could be fulfilled by the London Assembly... which some Tories also want scrapping. Um.

Off the top of our heads, here's something which could have gone very differently without the MPA and with Boris in charge. Remember the Mayor's opinion of the G20 protests? We seem to recall the phrase "Orcs of Mordor" being used, and a hearty backing of the Met. But it was the MPA, in their role as independent scrutineers, who held an investigation into people's experiences at G20, even before the report condemning public order policing tactics came out.

Do we really want our Mayors - of whatever political persuasion - from hereon in to be ultimately responsible for how we're policed? There are problems in the force, yes, but surely adding another level of politicisation isn't going to help anybody.

Last Updated 27 November 2009