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Review calls for top police job to be axed after just 12 months

Evesham Journal: Abolishing PCC would ‘be a backward step’ Abolishing PCC would ‘be a backward step’

WEST Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PC-C) Bill Longmore has condemned a new review which calls for the position to be abolished.

The review into policing in England and Wales, by former Metropolitan Po-lice Commissioner Lord Stevens, was published this week and said the PCC model – which was introduced last year – had “fatal systematic flaws” and should be discontinued in 2016.

But Mr Longmore said abolishing the position would be “a backward step”.

“It is unfortunate that the position of the PCC has been condemned just 12 months in and I hope that good sense will prevail in that, instead of a witch hunt being carried out to undermine the PCCs and their role, politicians will allow the planned work to be undertaken before making further judgement,” he said.

“It is important that in the future there is a fair assessment of what has been achieved in the past year and that the work is judged on its merits.

“As far as West Mercia is concerned, during my term in office I will do everything I possibly can to make the area a happy and safe place in which to live.

“We have already introduced a number of different policies which should bring about improvements in reducing crime and helping victims of crime, and there will be further announcements in the near future.”

The review, commissioned by Labour in 2011, made a number of other recommendations, including abolishing the In-dependent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and merging some police forces.

But Mr Longmore said he also disagreed with this idea, saying: “I think that bigger does not necessarily mean better.

“I would not like to see a day where there were only 10 police forces in this country.

“The whole motive for this is saving money and it will not bring about any improvements in policing.

“However, there are still many lessons to be learnt in policing, especially during these tough economic times.”

West Mercia Chief Con-stable, David Shaw, said the issue was a political one and he should not comment on it.

“The priority for me is to make sure I work as hard and effectively as possible with the PCC so that together, we can deliver the best possible policing that we can in West Mercia,” he said.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Labour would implement the majority of the report’s 37 recommendations if the party is elected at the forthcoming election.

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