Dee Doocey: London Mayor should not take over the Metropolitan Police Authority’s role

Commenting on the statement by Theresa May, the new Home Secretary, that she intends to push through plans for directly elected police commissioners, Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly policing spokesperson and a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority said:

For ten years the Metropolitan Police Service has been accountable to Londoners through a police authority. To now place all that accountability in the hands of one person would be a serious mistake.

“Boris Johnson struggled to even chair the Metropolitan Police Authority, so the idea that he, or indeed any Mayor, could now do the work currently carried by the whole Authority would be the first mistake made by the new Home Secretary.

“London needs a broad based police authority representing the immense diversity of the capital.”

Currently, the Metropolitan Police Authority comprises 12 members from various parties on the London Assembly, and 11 independent members. Of the appointees, one is appointed directly by the Home Secretary and the others through an open recruitment campaign. Members serve for four years.

Guardian blogger Dave Hill points out that Boris Johnson did in any case bypass the MPA as well as the Home Secretary in removing the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair in October 2008.

It’s concerning to think how a London Mayor would handle even more concentrated powers over London policing.

Chris Huhne said in November 2009:

An elected sheriff could lead to even more rabid politicisation of policing than we have already seen under sharp-shooter Boris.

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This entry was posted in London and News.
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3 Comments

  • Andrea Gill 14th May '10 - 3:24pm

    Boris has charisma but the thought rather does worry me…

  • Patrick Smith 14th May '10 - 3:38pm

    The new Chair of the GLA is right to oppose the new Home Secretary on the appointment of a one Police Commissioner to replace the MPA does not engender more confidence in wider accountability of the police across a diverse range of Londoners.

    Surely it makes most sense to invite Sir Hugh Orde the Chair of the Chief Police Officers and Mayor of London and Chair of the MPA and Chair of the GLA to meet with the Home Secretary to discuss the best approach to widening that role of the MPA, not the reverse?

  • Paul Webbewood 14th May '10 - 4:58pm

    The MPA is its initial form was hardly a good advert for democracy. The problem was the opaque process for appointing independent members and giving them equal voting rights with the electeds. I suspect that in 2004-08 a disproportionate number of Labour supporters were in place as independents and that this contributed to Tilfen Len Duvall defeating Richard Barnes in the election for chair in 2004.

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