I BELIEVE that the forthcoming role of Police and Crime Commissioner (election to be held on Thursday November 15) is unlawful.
You will know that successful candidates will be required to swear an oath of office and impartiality. This oath includes promises to ‘serve the people’ and to be ‘held to account by the public’ but it conspicuously and importantly excludes allegiance or service to Her Majesty — a major part of the oath sworn by the police whom commissioners will oversee.
By replacing police authorities, whose representatives are local-authority nominations, independent members and magistrates, it will politicise the positions at the head of the forces.
I believe party-political considerations would come to play.
We, the voting public, fully expect our law-enforcement agencies to protect us, so it cannot be permissible for commissioners to have loyalty to two conflicting masters — the public at large and the government led by the Prime Minister.
Absence of allegiance to the Queen would, in my view, prove to mean serving political obligation. As the police serve Her Majesty, it is untenable that they be accountable through commissioners to the Prime Minister, who has no lawful power over them.
Allegiance to the Crown (not Parliament) is paramount in any service to the nation. The Monarch is the nation, Parliament is not. Parliament is not sovereign nor is it lawfully empowered to rule the nation. Parliament serves the Crown so it cannot control the Crown’s police.
I believe the very real danger is, that in commissioners being short-term political appointees, their individual public accountability will be very short while their power will inevitably come under long-term control of the Prime Minister. Why else are candidates generally drawn from the political parties?
In law, the police can never answer to the Prime Minister. They answer to the Queen and her subjects, who are above Parliament. The House of Commons therefore has no business seeking to interfere with control of the police.
Despite claimed impartiality, I believce political appointment of commissioners will ensure control of the police according to party-political diktat.
We want the police to be properly manned, properly resourced and fully independent of all political interference.
(Name and address supplied).