Brian Paddick: One person is not enough to oversee the police

This week, the Lords will consider the Government's proposals for directly elected crime and police commissioners – one person in each police force area who will set police budgets and priorities, and hire and fire chief constables. Lib Dem peers are threatening to delay the policy, putting down an amendment that will require pilot schemes before full implementation. Former commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, cross-benchers such as Lords Imbert, Condon and Stevens can be expected to speak against the proposals, arguing they will undermine the operational independence of chief constables. As a former senior police officer, I believe opposition to the Government's proposals are right but for the wrong reasons.

MPs and celebrities urged to stand for top police jobs

First elections for new commissioners next May

How Prescott became a key figure in long battle for truth

John Prescott has long condemned Scotland Yard's handling of the original investigation into hacking carried out by a private investigator working for the News of the World.

Police 'kettling' under fire as May refuses to rule out water cannon

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has refused to rule out the use of water cannon for the first time in Britain if future student demonstrations result in further violence.

Paul Vallely: Minorities do not have a pecking order

New figures about homosexuality are irrelevant: gender, race and faith groups deserve equal treatment, large or small

Brian Paddick: I'm British, but had to travel to Norway to get married

I fell in love with a Norwegian man and was able to marry him in an intensely emotional ceremony in Oslo in January 2009.

Lib Dems back gay marriage motion

The Government will "listen very carefully" to Liberal Democrat demands for gay marriage to be legalised, equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said today.

Confused: The Liberal Democrat party disciples who can no longer enjoy the comforts of failure

From national treasure to hate figure of the left, the Deputy Prime Minister must allay colleague's worries this week.

Sienna Miller set to sue 'News of the World' over phone hacking

The actress Sienna Miller is poised to become the latest litigant to join a growing queue of high-profile figures seeking damages from the publishers of the News of the World newspaper over the illegal hacking of voicemail messages.

Action launched over News of the World hacking row

The shadow Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant and former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick officially issued judicial review proceedings over the newspaper phone-hacking row yesterday.

Brian Paddick: Officers on restricted duties should be employed as civilians

It has always been an issue in the police service that those on "light duties" were taking the plum jobs, working 9-5 in a warm, dry office while their colleagues risked life, limb and pneumonia on the streets in all weathers. Yet the problem has become more acute in recent years.

Memories of the day London came under attack

On the anniversary of the July 7 bombings, <i>The Independent</i> speaks to those caught up in the carnage...

Brian Paddick: There are possible explanations for the Kirk Reid case

Following the conviction of the serial sex attacker Kirk Reid, Commander Mark Simmons, who was in charge of rape investigation at the Met at the time, said there was “no explanation” for what the trial judge described as “years of inadequate [police] work”. Well I believe there are possible explanations.

Chris Bryant: No way to appoint our noble lords

With an additional 180 peers the Chamber would have nearly 900 membersand the extra cost would come in at approximately &pound;30.2m a year (at &pound;168,000 per peer pa)

Election night coverage: Channel 4 did comedy while ITV's efforts were just laughable

It began with an unprecedented third-party surge, with Channel 4 opening its campaign for the couch-potato vote 55 minutes before the two established parties – BBC and ITV – even got into the game. There would be, the announcer promised, "very strong language and adult humour", not something that had ever been delivered by the traditional coverage, and it was rapidly clear that the Alternative Election Night really did have fresh policies to offer.

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Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?