Letter: Making the police less accountable

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Sir: The latest and perhaps most frightening example of the politically unaccountable agencies to which William Wallace refers (Letters, 23 August) are the quangos by which the Government proposes in its White Paper to replace the present police authorities.

The Home Secretary will directly appoint many of their members, including the chairman, whom he will pay, and he will have a potential veto over the elected members; he will cash limit their budgets and set key national objectives on the achievement of which police pay will partly depend. He will have the power to force through amalgamations despite objections and will in exceptional circumstances have the power to direct the new bodies on their actions.

Thus for the first time in our history, the police will largely be cut off from the local democratic process.

Yours faithfully,


Surrey County Council

(Lingfield Division)

Lingfield, Surrey

23 August

The writer is a member of the Surrey Police Authority.