Friday, 10 September 2010

North Wales Police Authority: do you want our views or not??

This weeks Holyhead and Anglesey Mail includes a half page appeal by the North Wales Police Authority for residents to take part in a survey to record their views on the Coalition Government's plans introduce directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners. One rather gets the impression from reading the article that the majority of the members of the Authority - in the manner of turkeys being asked to vote on Christmas - are against the proposal. Anyway, with the consultation period on the proposed legislative changes ending on September 20th, Douglas Wynne, the Vice Chair of the Authority makes the following appeal:

"Time is short and it is important that the people of North Wales have an opportunity to voice their opinion because it is our job to represent their views. It's vital that they feed into this consultation process so that we can find out whether they think the proposed changes are a good idea or not."

Sensing Wynne's urgency, the Druid last night followed the link given in the H&A Mail and clicked through to take the survey ... only to be greeted by this:


Personally the Druid is entirely in favour of elected Police and Crime Commissioners and would welcome the opportunity to register my view - but I see little point in members of the Police Authority wringing their hands in public, calling for everyone to take part in a survey, and then immediately closing down said survey.

45 comments:

The Great Councillini said...

I'd also welcome the introduction of some democracy into the running of the police service.

It's nice to see them come begging for our views now; when you want them to listen to your views on crime in the local area, they develop big flaps to cover their ears.

So, I wonder if this consultation site is going to be reactivated, or will the Authority look as useless as the service we get off the police?

Groundhog Day said...

Anything that prevents a disaster such as the appointmnet of Brunstrom who did more (aided and abetted by Cllr Roberts the then chairman of the authority)to alienate the population against the Force during his tenure would be welcome. It is time that these tinpot dictators are stopped from hiding behind their elevated positions and are made answerable to the general public. Some of the things carried on by Brunstrom and his cronies in the name of maintaining the law are beyond belief - such as the failed persecution of a whistleblower as far as the courts costing us about £200k not to mention his distasteful production of the pictures of a decapitated motorcyclist and his hounding of motorists using cameras hidden in horse trailers. It was a shameful period for the North Wales Police Force and never to be repeated, therefore I am all for these authority members and the senior officers in the force being directly elected by the people they purport to serve. How predictable though that the survey they ask us to take part in is no longer available.

TGC said...

GHD: I always saw Brunstrom as a willing participant in the government's more experimental policing tactics. Brunstrom always appeared to reflect political ideas of the time, and was the first authority to try new things out very often. So, I've little doubt he was given carte blanche to see how the Guinea Pig public of north Wales would respond.

Anonymous said...

Groundhog Day.

Whilst I agree with the majority of your post I must express my disappointment that yet again the story that Brunstrom released the photos of the headless biker rears its ugly head. It was the vile, scumbag press that took the decision to plaster the biker all over the papers and thus cause grief to his family. All for a sensational story about the mad mullah. There was no need for them to do so.They proactively sought out information to identify him and doorstepped the family to ask the what they thought. The cunts. I doubt whether you would support this activity.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but Brunstrom should know better (and probably did) that to think something shown in a presentation would not find its way into the press. The man courted controversy, and was clearly unphased by the media criticism.

Groundhog Day said...

Personally I always felt that Brunstrom had an element of megalomania about him. He appeared never to accept any views that opposed his own regardless of their validity. An example of this was his insistence on forming a mounted police unit in North Wales - against advice from many sources. It was argued that such units have a place in large cities particularly those where crowd control is required such as in large sporting events. The point was made that in this area we have no such events but he still insisted on going ahead at enormous financial cost to the taxpayers of North Wales, the (correct) decision by the current Ch Constable to disband the unit incurred even further costs. Had the police authority at the time put Brunstrom on a short lead and yanked him back into line a few times when he went off on one of his crazy schemes perhaps things might have been different but with Cllr Roberts in particular giving him so much leeway is it any wonder that the Brunstrom period was such and expensive time in both time and reputation which hopefully the new man can start to put right under new management. I wonder if both Brunstrom and his police authority (he seemed to run the show) would have acted any differently had they been subjected to facing the public to answer for their actions.

mozilla said...

Personally the Druid is entirely in favour of elected Police and Crime Commissioners and would welcome the opportunity to register my view - Druid you have a blog what are your views?

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Mozilla - Err, I'm in favour of more democratic accountability in setting Police priorities. What I meant is that I would welcome the opportunity to register my view *officially* and directly to the N.Wales Police Authority.

mozilla said...

Are you sure that all Police priorities should be 'democratic'. How would you judge which 'democracy' to follow, local or national, and what system would you use to elect the Commissioners, and would you ban anybody from standing - but would that be undemocratic?

The Red Flag said...

mozilla you know the answers to this. The proposals are for directly elected by the people in that area. You are I think, about to use the rather sad argument I have seen in the Guardian of 'what if they elect someone who is unsutable such as BNP or UKIP candidtaes'.

Well so what if they do. It's their choice. That's what democracy means and if they turn out to be a tosser (like Brown did and like Cameron is doing - being a tosser is not just the reserve of UKIP/BNP) then they can be voted out.

The important thing is the people decide and the Police - who are funded by and supposed to be the servants of the people will more accountable to them.

And perhaps finally they will stop walking round dressed like tramps as they have been doing for the last few years.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Mozilla

"Are you sure that all Police priorities should be 'democratic'."

Yes. The Police is here to serve the public, it is entirely reasonable that their priorities should be set by the public they serve - not bureaucrats in Whitehall.

"How would you judge which 'democracy' to follow"

Not sure what you mean by this question.

"what system would you use to elect the Commissioners"

I would suggest voting.

"would you ban anybody from standing - but would that be undemocratic?"

No, I wouldn't. If you think that a BNP member might get elected I would direct you to examine the results of the monthly ITV Wales polling figures for N.Wales which regularly show less than 1% of residents supporting the BNP.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13.57. You have a, probably right, jaundiced view of Brunstrom but I hardly think he deliberately showed these pictures of the headless biker to encourage the slimeballs to publish them. There are countless such presentations up and down the country in proffesional circumstances where such material is shown as way of example. It would be foolish to think it was not so.
It was said that the bikers mum (I think or possibly gran)didn't know he was decapitated. Her family had kept it from her. She still wouldn't if it wasn't for the bottom feeders of the press pondlife. No amount of trying to shift it on to Brunstrom for cheap personal shots will overcome that.

Anonymous said...

" 'what if they elect someone who is unsutable such as BNP or UKIP candidtaes'."

or even worse someone from Respect or Green Party (whose hierarchy is riddled with ex Socialist workers party) or equally repugnant left parties

mozilla said...

The Police are here to enforce the law of the Crown. The law is either set nationally or in some cases by common law. The law should be applied equally across the nation.

The budgets of the Police is in the most set nationally, with a small precept being decided locally. This leaves a choice for the electorate either to spend more or less on local policing.

Still not convinced elected police commissioners (another layer of bureaucracy) are required.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Mozilla

"The Police are here to enforce the law of the Crown. The law is either set nationally or in some cases by common law. The law should be applied equally across the nation. "

You misunderstand the purpose of Police Commissioners. Laws will continue to be applied equally across the nation. Commissioners will set the priorities of *how the police allocate their resources*. For instance many people may prefer to see less police time spent on traffic enforcement and more on patrolling town centres on Friday and Saturday nights for instance. As an earlier commenter said, Brunstrom would never have set up the unnecessary mounted police division N.Wales if local people were able to input into resource allocation.

"The budgets of the Police is in the most set nationally, with a small precept being decided locally. This leaves a choice for the electorate either to spend more or less on local policing. "

Well, its our money. If we don't think we are getting value for money, then why should we be forced to pony up more for the precept? Adding some democracy to the precept setting will ensure than police forces use their precious resources more efficiently.

Anonymous said...

Was 'pony up' the best term to use in a comment slagging Brunstroms love of gee gees.

:-)

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 16:11 - *Neigh, whinny, brrr brrrr* foot stomp.

mozilla said...

So what we are really talking about is a local tax. But would the local commissioners be able to set the amount, they believe they need without being capped by national government?

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Mozilla

"So what we are really talking about is a local tax. But would the local commissioners be able to set the amount, they believe they need without being capped by national government?"

The police precept is already in affect a local tax, collected together with council tax. I doubt if national government will need to cap it as voters are unlikely to approve any precept set too high without justification.

mozilla said...

And so why do we need to change the system?

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Mozilla - I have now already described in detail why we need to change the system.

The Red Flag said...

anon 15:31, Respect or Green Party (whose hierarchy is riddled with ex Socialist workers party

I fail to see how you think the Greens, RESPECT or the SWP are in anyway worse than UKIP or the BNP who both fail on grounds of blatant racism alone.

mozilla said...

Um I do not think you have - you have talked about setting local priorities (no need for horse brigade etc), but you have not said whether you think that the police commissioners would be able to set their own local tax independent of central government.

Neither have you put forward an argument why the principle of a local police commissioner is different from say a local elected mayor?

Anonymous said...

Red Flag
"... fail to see how you think the ..."


I'll merely point you to your pseudonym to explain this failure.

Anonymous said...

UKIP are racists? Only in the addled minds of thew left.

I'll leave you to remind readers of this blog who came second and who came third in the 2009 European elections. But as a tantilising clue I'll disclose that Liebour came third.
Would you have us believe that all those voters are racists? Was the woman in Gordos humiliation racist?
Sadly for you, Red Flag, and luckily for us, a reasonable discussion on immigration can no longer be shouted down by inane chanting of racist, racist.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Mozilla

For your benefit, I'll restate my views with regards to need for a democratically elected Police Commissioner.

- It is right that the Police's priorities in each region should be set by local residents and not be politicians and bureaucrats in London.
- I do not believe that the public has enough input into setting the priorities of the Police currently. Local Police Authorities are mostly toothless and I'm certain that 90% of residents would not be able to name a single member of North Wales Police Authority.
- An elected Police Commissioner would allow numerous people to compete for votes of residents based on a manifesto setting out their preferred priorities for the local police. This would engender a big local discussion about what people feel the local police should be doing and they will vote for the person with priorities most matching their own.
- In this way, the general public will have a much bigger say in how Police priorities are set locally.
- Instead of having an annually increasing Police Precept, the onus will be on the Police making their case to local residents that extra money is needed. If they make a good case, no doubt extra monies will be approved. If not, then no extra money.

All of this is preferable to the current system.

The Red Flag said...

anon 18:47 Not only am I most definately not a New Labour member or voter, but as you very well know UKIP profited in 2009 not because of their policies, but because of the blatant theft of public money by the creatures in Westminster coupled with a gross breach of trust by reneging on the referendum for the Lisbon Treaties by trying to be clever with words.

It is not racist to oppose immigration in itself, but it is very racist to oppose immigration of particular colours or religions, or favour one colour or religion over another.

It is also very bloody racist to encourage immigration as a source of cheap labour for big business - which is what New Labour did.

Couple of UKIP facts for you:-
Dr Alan Sked, UKIP’s founder leader, 1993-97 has said: “They [UKIP] are racist and have been infected by the far right”

Nigel Farage (UKIP MEP since 1999, leader of the UKIP group of MEPs in the European Parliament since 2004; former UKIP Chairman, 1998-2000 and cofounder, UKIP) told former UKIP leader Dr Alan Sked “We will never win the
nigger vote. The nig-nogs will never vote for us”.

Dr Richard North (UKIP’s former Research Director in the European Parliament, Brussels from 1999-2003) described our Spanish neighbours as “rag-arsed dagos” in
a BBC TV documentary video, The Enemy Within.

Peter Watson (Chairman, UKIP North Dorset branch) distributed anti-Semitic messages via e-mail, including one remark that read “Jewish merchant bankers [are] responsible for the ills of England”. The party refused to take any action when Labour MEP Gary Titley brought it to their attention.

UKIP are exactly as Ken Livingstoone described them - The BNP in suits. Or as another famous person described them - Brown shirts with blazers.

Reminsd us about the chair of London UKIP?

Anonymous said...

You were doing ok until you wanted us to give afuck about what Red Ken has to say.

Shame really cos you nearly persuaded me.

Anonymous said...

If you were to be realistic you would appreciate that the Police are not there to serve the public, in fact this is one of the greatest pieces of misinformation that we are fed and swallow, the Police are there to serve themselves, most of them are masons, and that is a fact.

Most of the senior police officers suck up to the Council executives to make sure that their interests are well looked after, the public in the eyes of the Police are a nuisance and a pain, they create work with their speeding and reporting of trivial crimes, like house breaking. A few years ago, I was unfortunate enough to have my life brushed by a crime. Someone had attempted to break in, while we had gone out shopping. It was about 1:30 pm, I phoned the Police and informed them, the first thing they gave me was an incident number to give to my insurance. This is NOT what I pay my taxes for. Persistance paid off, I told them that I would put a sign by the door CSI Llaneilian, and that I woulkd make sure that the forensic would not be contaminated so the Police could come down and take fingerprints and the like. At this stage I realised, who knows maybe the Police might come round and take my attempted crime scene a bit more seriously. The hours past, the day went, tea came and went, so did supper. We retired to bed, about 12:15 am the following day, plod arrived, two coppers, with a were here now, what's going on attitude, they looked at the mess the perp had done to my door, then left. This is why we have no faith in the Police, would a public elected Police Commissioner have helped, no, at the end of the day, they are unaccountable to no-one and can do what they want, when they want. I keep them away from my life now, that day made me realise, that they DON'T care, about you, me or any of us, all they care about is themselves.

The Red Flag said...

Anon 19:59

Red Ken also said Blair was an idiot. Obviously you think h's wrong over that as well then.

I shouldn't need to persuade you that UKIP are racist. To be able to operate a PC shows a modicum of intelligence therefore it's fair to assume you don't take them at face value like some kind of moron and therefore aren't swayed by their headline single issue like a sheep.

The Red Flag said...

anon 20:26 I can't speak for the Police force as a whole but I can say that I know at least a dozen Police officers on a personal level here on Anglesey, elsewhere in North Wales, in Cheshire, in Greater Manchester and down in Brighton and not one of them is a Freemason and not one of them would even consider joining them either.

Anonymous said...

Well, allow me to enlighten you, if you have a complaint about the local authority and you ask the police to investigate, the mason connection kicks in, one mason is not allowed to interfere in another masons life, it's their code.

The Red Flag said...

Anon I have to say that my experience of Freemasons (again I know a couple of those as well - silly handshakes the lot) is that they are a benign charity thing and a big boys gang. Within it there will almost certainly be a small minority who use and abuse it to their own ends - as with most organisations that is a gurenteed cert, but that is because they are corrupt bastards not because the organisation itself is corrupt.

Bit like the Monday Club or the Militant Tendency - corruption of something they are in as opposed to the actual thing itself being corrupt.

However, I shall (again) breach the subject with the plods I know but I can almost see them wetting themselves at what you suggest.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that they are wetting themselves, with laughter I imagine......

The Red Flag said...

anon 18:01. Point me to my pseudonym.

Well lets see. I served 22 years in the Army (Infantry), been in the Police and had my own business. My grandfather was a tory councillor, my aunty a Plaid one, my father went to Stoneyhurst and Cambridge and my uncle was a National Service conscientious objector and at one time head of Manchester CND. My Mother a lifelong member of the old Liberal Party.

Do you perhaps think Red Flag may be connected to football allegiance? And in fact I have no political allegiance at all other than I scrutinise and vote for the candidate that is actually in a position of being able to unseat the incumbent?

Anonymous said...

I went to work one morning and as I went to unlock my car a man came round the corner of my house and spooked me. I went for me and punched his lights out, he staggered then ran off.I was shook up, drove to work them after calming down I phoned the Police. I told them I would be home later would anyone be able to take a statement off me? They asked what time I would be home, I told them I put the phone down and got on with my work. Later that day, I got home, within five minutes the Police were on the phone, I was told off for taking the law in my own hands, as far as they were concerned prowlers have the right to be on your property! and as far as they were concerned the Police were more interested in the damage and pain I had inflicted on the prowler than myself defending my property, my family and my own being, the law has gone mad, would a publicly elected comissioner be on my side or the prowlers?

The Red Flag said...

Well anaion, you aren't going to like what I say but unfortunately people have a right to walk around your garden etc unless you fence it off and place signs up saying trespassers will be prosecuted etc. Then comes the necxt interesting snippet. Trespass (provided you have fenced everything off and put signs up) is not necessarily a criminal offence. Most of the time it's actually a civil one.

So you say you were protecting your property. Was the trespasser attempting to steal your property ot harm anyone? In fact, can you think of any law that has actually been broken in this example tahat you give other than suspicion on your part? Is it acceptable to hit people on suspicion?

You have the right to protect your property and the well being of you and yours PROVIDED they are under threat. Does suspicion count as under threat?

Very interesting incident. Worthy of a discussion in it's own right

Prometheuswrites said...

I can'y say I have an opinion on this matter yet, as I just don't understand exactly what the criteria are for determining which public service functions should be electable.

A reasonable point earlier about an electable mayor, however these are different public office functions.

My problem would be where we would draw the line; publically elected health trust officers, ombudsmen, judges, auditors, fire chiefs, senior nurses, etc ... you get my drift?

I've always been in favour of putting people into public positions based on moral and practical merit. Especially so when the function is a monitoring function, where the people in that position need to be rigorous and independent;
in the same way that the British Judiciary needs to be independent of the Parliamentary Legislative function.

Red Flag: "(the) corruption of something they are in, as opposed to the actual thing itself being corrupt".

Well put, I've been looking for a turn of phrase like that for some time.

Anonymous said...

The incident speaks volumes, it proves that the criminal or law breaker or prowler had more rights than the victim.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 20 26

Ah yes the CSI Llaneilian sign job. Remember it well. How we laughed in the Lodge that night.

Anonymous said...

@Red Flag at 21 41.

Taking 3 1/2 hours to respond to a leg pull weakens the explanation somewhat
Tut tut

I thought you'd taken it on the chin when you hadn't responded within the hour.

The Great Councillini said...

To answer your original question, Druid, it seems the NWPA don't want our views!

I e-mailed them to ask why the form didn't work, and then disappeared altogether. No response.

I have to say that, whilst there are some good police officers, the service as a whole is certainly not delivering what the majority of the public require of it. In terms of a contract, my view is that they do not provide the service they ask us annually, with happy-smiley brochures telling us how well they've done, to pay for. In law, I think that's called a breach of contract.

The Red Flag said...

Anon 23:41, I hadn't actualy noticed the post until then to reply to it.

Anonymous said...

Fair comment Red Flag.

On a predominantly political blog football/sport is not the first thing that springs to mind of a newcomer when spotting someone calling himself Red Flag. I can see you getting more flack as this excellent blog gathers strength.They truly have wrecked our country.

The Red Flag said...

Well anon, I do consider myself basically socialist however I do not consider New Labour to be socialist at all. I think Labour ceased being socialist some time in the 1970's