Police reform plans criticised by Derbyshire authority

Derbyshire Police Authority has criticised plans to replace it with an elected commissioner.

The authority chief executive has written to the Home Secretary calling the plan "expensive" and "ill-conceived".

The government has said a police and crime commissioner will be directly elected by 2012.

Police authority chairman Philip Hickson said he does not think a single commissioner can do the job alone.

A police authority statement said: "What is being proposed is being rushed through, with no agreed mandate, and is ill conceived."

Cllr Hickson, a Conservative councillor on Derby City Council, said the cost of running an election across the county would cost at least £750,000.

House of Commons

He said: "If there is £750,000 to throw at an election in Derbyshire wouldn't the public sooner have that money given to the police so they can put more officers on the street?"

A letter sent to the Home Office from Simon Bate, chief executive of the authority, said: "It is felt that the final outcome will prove to be unwieldy and a muddle and will probably be more costly and be less effective than the current governance structure."

The government wants the new commissioner to be able to hire or fire chief constables and be responsible for setting a force's priorities.

Home Secretary Theresa May told the House of Commons in July that the police had "become too bureaucratic, too much accountable to Whitehall, rather than to the people they're serving".

Every force area, except London, will elect a commissioner by 2012.

The commissioner will be elected for four years and for a maximum of two terms.

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