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Police/Crime

In an open letter to the South Wales Evening Post local labour councillor John Bayliss has called on the post to be scrapped (original). What is remarkable about this is that the victor of the post Alun Michael is a former Labour MP and won the post on the Labour ticket and was actively supported by Bayliss.

Here is Bayliss:

These elections have featured a historically low turnout of which rival no other election in British history. I personally believe that Police Commissioners elected around the country on the basis of a 10-15% turnout does not give them the authority they require to take office.

True, the PCC elections are divisive and the low voter turnout in Swansea was under 13% of eligible voters very worrying. There is too an argument that the post represents a politicisation of the police and it is one I am certainly sympathetic to. Nonetheless, Bayliss’ intervention so early new commissioner’s tenure strikes me as extremely unwise – the fact is whatever the problems of the process Michaels does have a mandate given his electoral victory. His success will depend on the support of local councillors, in return one of those councillors has said Michael a fellow Labour party elected representative has “no authority” to hold his post. Charming!

The Wire, the US drama which follows corruption and crime on the streets and corridors of power in Baltimore, has developed a cult following in the UK that shows no abating. So much so that Kent Police appear to have taken to mimicking Baltimore Police’s investigative techniques. Think I’m exaggerating? Here is the scene where Wee-Bay ‘confesses’ to a number of open homicide investigations in exchange for sentencing considerations, despite everyone knowing these confessions were bogus:

In the case of Kent Police five Police officers have been arrested over “administrative irregularities” after the officers are alleged to persuaded prisoners to admit to crimes they knew they had no part in as Take into Account (TIC) which would clear outstanding cases from the constabulary’s books and also not be prosecuted. Bunk Moreland would be proud!