The Home Office has, late this afternoon, published its Police Innovation Fund awards – press release and more detail. Here’s some initial observations:
- The “new bids to the 2014/15 fund” add up to £30,653,164. The Government had previously announced awards worth c £20million of the declared £50million total fund, so this figure seems about right
- There are four awards that I’ve excluded from the rest of this analysis – namely an award to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (via Essex) worth £159,000; an award to Hampshire and 22 other unnamed forces together worth £657,800; an award to North Yorks and 26 other unnamed forces collectively worth £39,200; and an award to Sussex and fourteen unnamed forces in total worth £498,800
- The only force not to get any declared award from these “new bids” (though possibly one of the unnamed forces above) is West Midlands
- The forces with the three highest cumulative awards (including their share of collaborative awards) are the Met (£7.15 million); Northamptonshire (£3.54 million) and South Yorkshire (£1.81 million)
- The forces with the four lowest cumulative awards are Kent (£20,350), Durham (£32,400), Surrey and Staffordshire (each with £80,833)
- The forces with the “highest pro-rata result” (i.e. largest award per thousand population) are Northamptonshire (each ‘thousand members’ of the population ‘getting’ £5.53), Dorset (£2.06) and Lincolnshire (£1.64). The City of London has been excluded from this as it has a heavily transient population
- The forces with the “lowest pro-rata result” are Kent, Durham, Surrey and Staffordshire (each attracting between a penny to 8 pence per thousand population)
I’m planning to publish further analyses tomorrow, Wednesday 30th July. This will include an examination of where cross-force collaborations have been rewarded.
UPDATE [Tuesday 29th July, 6.30pm]: No reason why you can’t see my detailed analysis to date – it’s here in a Google Docs spreadsheet. Spot anything wrong, or have any questions? Let me know!
The West Midlands PCC by-election takes place four weeks today, on Thursday 21st August, 2014. Nominations close tomorrow, and those that are interested in the official Police Area Returning Officer’s (PARO’s) announcements can read them here. Four candidates have already emerged, according to press reports. They are (in the order they will appear on the ballot paper, and with links to the relevant press story indicating their party selection):
- David Jamieson, Labour [link]
- Les Jones, Conservative [link]
- Ayoub Khan, Liberal Democrat [link]
- Keith Rowe, UKIP [link]
I’ve started a Twitter list for the by-election, which contains the Twitter accounts for candidates (where known), plus those for the PARO and others relevant. I’ll also be monitoring their Facebook accounts (where they have them), and will produce a social media analysis – much as I did for the first national PCC elections in November 2012. Some preliminary observations:
- Neither David Jamieson (Lab) nor Les Jones (C) appears currently to have any Twitter or Facebook presence. (Do please let me know if you know better) [UPDATE: 24th July, 6pm - have just found Les Jones' Twitter account]
- Only Ayoub Khan (LibDem) appears to have an official Facebook page – with (at time of writing) 28 “Likes” [UPDATE: 25th July, 7.30am - overnight that has increased to 109 "Likes"]
- Both Keith Rowe (UKIP) and Ayoub Khan (LibDem) have Twitter accounts. At time of writing this blog, the LibDem candidate has 123 followers, whilst the UKIP candidate has 1900. You can follow these two (and others as I find relevant Twitter accounts) by subscribing to my Twitter list for the by-election [UPDATE: 24th July, 6pm - Les Jones currently has 403 followers. SO, based on current number of Twitter followers, UKIP leads with 1900, Tory second with 403, LibDem 123, Lab "not yet found"]
- Ayoub Khan was a candidate in the first West Midlands PCC election. He attracted 15,413 votes in the first round – sixth out of seven candidates standing at the time
- [UPDATE: 24th July, 6pm] I’ve just found the first “campaign website” – site name reserved, not yet launched… [UPDATE 6.20pm] Have now found the second “campaign website”…
I’ll regularly update this blog during the by-election. You can also subscribe to receive CoPaCC’s newsletter – which will provide regular email updates on the campaign. More details on CoPaCC (which monitors policing governance – i.e. PCCs’ work) are on the CoPaCC website.
UPDATE [Friday 25th July, 5.30pm]: The above four are, indeed, the four candidates…
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary are expected to publish their “Making best use of police time” report this coming week. I’ve been commenting about this for some time (see for example here). I have had several PCCs and senior police officers support my call for HMIC to recognise (and publish) details of the substantial cost burden on forces that result from these HMIC inspections – I, for one, am not convinced that these substantial HMIC demands are “the best use of police time”.
Just a few days ago, the Bedfordshire PCC tweeted about this:
I have a personal interest to declare here: not only am I Chief Executive of CoPaCC (which monitors police governance), but I also live in Bedfordshire (so I have a keen interest in “best use of police time” here in the county). So I’m very supportive of the stance, set out in this tweet, that Olly Martins is taking with HMIC.
I’ve previously suggested that, once the HMIC Inspection report is published, forces should publish the cost of meeting HMIC’s request for information. That is, if HMIC doesn’t itself publish this information (which I strongly believe it should – but probably won’t).
We’ll know soon whether HMIC have listened – or decided to ignore these entirely fair representations. Given HMIC Chief Tom Winsor’s remarks to Olly Martins (reported in his tweet above) – it’s a great shame that HMIC themselves aren’t more accountable.
The parable of the “mote and the beam” comes to mind.
The Association of Chief Police Officers today published a “statement on the future of ACPO“. Here’s an extract:
The statement refers to a review by General Sir Nick Parker, which was commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).
There are several elements of particular note in this ACPO statement. Here’s a couple:
- the complete absence of any mention of PCCs. Surprising, given it’s PCCs that will – at the very least – have a heavy influence on ACPO’s future;
- a vote to house a new body “within, but independent of, a host force”.
Which “host force”? Maybe a PCC will volunteer ‘their’ force – but there are probably more local disadvantages than positives in their doing so. Maybe the Met? But they’ve recently publicly declared that they’re ‘just for Londoners‘. How about the National Crime Agency? Well, that makes some sense – but it’s not a “force” in the traditional meaning of the word.
I think there’s another option. PCCs – rather than ACPO – should invite the British Transport Police (BTP) to host the new body. The BTP have national responsibilities, plus a tried-and-tested governance mechanism through the British Transport Police Authority. Often the ‘forgotten force’, they have over the last few years made very significant strides forward.
PCCs – over to you…
UPDATE [Wednesday 16th July, 12.30pm]: here, for reference, is the APCC’s related press release, just published.
The Metropolitan Police has today announced plans to “just recruit Londoners”.
However, the Met Police also has extensive national policing responsibilities, such as on counter terrorism.
As the Met Police now seem to accept that they are there “just for Londoners”, is it time to accept the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recommendation to “strip the Met Police of counter-terror duties”?
Perhaps the Home Affairs Select Committee will make that very point to the Home Secretary when she gives evidence at this afternoon’s HASC meeting…
The Ministry of Justice has been following up its announcement of £12million in awards to PCCs with some social media publicity for a selection of these awards. There are some interesting features associated with this publicity – but I’m going to refrain from commenting until it appears that the Ministry has completed its campaign.
Here, at time of writing this blog, are the Ministry’s promoted awards to date…
Thursday 3rd July: Derbyshire (Facebook and Twitter)
Friday 4th July: Suffolk (Facebook and Twitter)
Monday 7th July: Surrey (Facebook and Twitter)
Wednesday 9th July: Merseyside (Facebook and Twitter)
The “Local Government Innovation Taskforce”, commissioned for the Labour Party’s Policy Review, has today published its “Final Report: People-powered public services”. Ed Miliband has written on this in the Guardian, under the heading “The future is local – if Labour is elected”.
The report and associated article contain important implications for the Police and Crime Commissioner model of police governance. For example, from page 5 of the Taskforce report:
The “local authority Policing Boards” were first proposed (alongside two alternative approaches to policing governance) by Lord Stevens’ Review of Policing (page 17):
One consequence of such a “Policing Board” approach would almost inevitably be much greater direct control by the two main political parties over policing governance. Currently there are 16 Conservative, 13 Labour and 12 Independent PCCs, elected in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in November 2012. Although there are many councils with “no overall control”, the “leaders of each local authority” (i.e. the proposed members of any new Policing Boards) are currently predominantly Labour or Conservative. So almost every Policing Board would be made up of Labour and Conservative party-sponsored Local Authority Leaders, with very few (if any) independents, or indeed councillors of any other political party.
“Keep politics out of policing” – the campaign message of many an Independent PCC candidate – resonated with a significant proportion of the public (and, in many cases, with police officers and staff) back in November 2012. Might Independent PCCs be tempted to resurrect that battle-cry?