"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 8 March 2010

Too Early To Cheer

At first sight the article in the Times this morning makes encouraging reading; finally, someone is seeing ACPO for what they are; finally, the Conservatives will bring this unaccountable private limited but publicly-funded company to heel. Or will they?
"...One police source told The Times: “I would be amazed if ACPO survived the election of a Conservative government.” ... The three-page briefing note contains a critique of the structure of ACPO, pointing out that although it receives vast amounts of public money, the association is a private limited company that is not accountable to the public or Parliament and not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.

The document outlines how, despite its private status, ACPO accrued operational policing roles in counter-terrorism, civil emergencies, intelligence gathering and ports policing. It also has subsidiary companies providing criminal record checks, security advice and road safety training.

The Tory note accuses the body of “bankrolling a ‘gravy train’ of ex-police officers who retire with a substantial police pension and then take up either consultancy work or full-time employment with ACPO”. It adds: “Parliament has never had the opportunity to debate the role of what is arguably one of the most powerful publicly funded bodies in the UK.”
Unfortunately, the article ends with a quote from an anonymous 'Conservative spokesman':
“The current Shadow Home Office team has not seen this document and it does not reflect the current relationship with ACPO.”
I hope they're just keeping their powder dry because ACPO really needs sorting out; it should be disbanded.  It's a powerful lobby; it doesn't serve the people, it takes public money yet remains unaccountable and is exempt from the FoI Act.  If the Conservatives win the GE there'll be many more similar organisations also deserving of their attention.  When the date of the GE is finally announced I hope they come out with all guns blazing.

2 comments:

  1. "If the Conservatives win the GE there'll be many more similar organisations also deserving of their attention. When the date of the GE is finally announced I hope they come out with all guns blazing."

    Problem is GV, so far all the shots that have been fired have been blanks and I can't see that changing on past form. Its about time all three parties stopped talking in generalities and started putting 'meat on the bones'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree butI didn't like to say that Mr W - I'm trying to be optimistic :-( If they get to grips with ACPO it will be a good start.

    ReplyDelete

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