LETTER: Politicisation of police governance

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I read with interest the article on the retirement of Chief Constable Martin Richards and his views on the politicisation of the police under the new arrangements for governance.

These chime entirely with my own perspective. The introduction of a single individual as Police and Crime Commissioner, scrutinised only by the Police and Crime Panel, is very different from the old police authority which certainly had many faults.

However the police authority reflected a balance of geography (as does the Police and Crime Panel) and a balance of party politicians and independent members ensuring that no political party could dominate the decisions and that men and women without any party political allegiance could also contribute to this important role.

With a party political Police and Crime Commissioner, and a Police and Crime Panel made up of 89 per cent party politicians, with a significant majority in favour of the same political party that the PCC is a member of, the die was cast for a politicisation as Martin Richards has explained.

The way for this to change and an arrangement that is more balanced, is for the election of an Independent Police and Crime Commissioner. That is why I stood in the election in November 2012, and although I was not elected, I am very grateful to the many voters in Sussex who endorsed my candidacy.

IAN CHISNALL

Hollingbury Rise, Brighton