by Matt Gallagher on February 17, 2013
The article below reports the (successful) efforts of local Lib Dem MP John Leech to recover the costs incurred by Greater Manchester Police in the wake of the G4S Olympic fiasco. Well done to John, but isn’t this something the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner should have led on, not a local MP?
In a post published on this site on 5 November 2012 I talked of the waste and inefficiency that still bedevils a giant organisation such as GMP, and how this should be tackled before simply throwing more money at the problem. I warned that vague promises to force the Government to stump up more money for the police would fail, and candidates should be open about their plans to raise Council Tax instead. The local press didn’t report this, and now we hear that the first action of our Police and Crime Commissioner will be to raise Council Tax by 3.7%. I sincerely hope that this raise will be accompanied by concrete proposals in the imminent Policing Plan to address waste and inefficiency, otherwise all we will have achieved is the same police force with the same inefficiencies, but it costs us more.
For the sake of the people of Greater Manchester, and their police force, I hope this additional money will be used wisely, to fight crime and the fear of crime, to listen carefully to those affected by crime and to tackle their concerns in a positive and proactive way. At a time of austerity, when every penny counts, it is important that the money paid by Greater Manchester Council Tax payers is used to good effect.
I will be monitoring how this additional money is being spent, and whether anything is being done to cut waste and inefficiency. I will also be looking for more openness and transparency in how our police service is being run and managed.
If you witness, or experience inefficiency or waste by the police or commissioner’s office, let me have the details, either by using the ‘Your Views’ facility on this site, or by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your views and opinions matter and should be heard.