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Police chief elections would politicise service

Tuesday September 13th, 2011

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has warned that controversial proposals to have police chiefs ‘elected’ would will effectively politicise the service.

Ms Cooper said electing police chiefs would create ‘unprecedented political power over policing’ and would cost more than £100m to set up.

MPs will consider amendments to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which will create the elected commissioners in England and Wales.

Ms Cooper also warned against moving the first election date for the new police commissioners from May to November 2012, which, she said, increased the risk of low turn-outs and extremist candidates being elected.

Ms Cooper said: “Ministers claim these reforms will improve democracy, but in Britain we have long known a flourishing democracy needs impartial police, safeguards against concentrations and abuses of power, and support for the rule of law.”

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