Hertfordshire police commissioner voices doubts over calls for recall powers
- Credit: Archant
Herts’ crime czar fears a “knee jerk reaction” to recall Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) in the wake of the Rotherham child abuse scandal.
PCC David Lloyd’s concerns follow the resignation of South Yorkshire’s Shaun Wright, who had previously ignored calls to step down from the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and the Labour Party, which expelled him.
He only resigned after he was confronted by angry relatives of alleged abuse victims.
Commissioner Lloyd said: “I don’t think we should have a knee jerk reaction, I think we need to reflect on what has happened so far.
“The outcome has been that the Police and Crime Commissioner’s past has caught up with him and he has resigned. So we don’t have to have a right to recall.”
Before Mr Wright was elected as a PCC, he was responsible for children’s services during a period where 1,400 youngsters were sexually exploited, mainly by men from the Pakistani community.
Mr Wright is not the only PCC who has been attracting negative attention.
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Bedfordshire’s PCC Olly Martins had been investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Independent Police Complaints Commission after allegedly leaking confidential information.
The CPS ruled this week there was insufficient evidence for “a realistic prospect of conviction”.
Home Secretary Theresa May has said there could be a debate about introducing recall powers, if PCCs lose their constituents’ confidence.
Commissioner Lloyd said the current situation could be reviewed, with all elected officials subject to the same recall powers.
“There should be a constitutional review from time to time,” he said.
“You should have exactly the same level of recall as MPs, and if it happens to MPs it should happen for PCCs, but it should be the same for all elected representatives.”
A bill discussing recalling MPs is currently being discussed in the House of Commons.