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Smith cautioned over police polls

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Direct elections for policing representatives would lead to 'blame-shifting and buck-passing', home secretary Jacqui Smith has been warned by the Local Government Association.

"Competing mandates between directly elected crime and policing representatives and the manifesto commitments of the local authorities their force covers will undoubtedly lead to blame-shifting and buck passing between the police authority and its local authorities, and push them in different directions."

In a letter given support by all three main parties, LGA chair Sir Simon Milton (Con) rubbished government proposals for these separate elections crime and policing representatives.

He said: "No-one I have talked to about the policing green paper believes the proposals to introduce directly elected crime and policing representatives will strengthen police authorities or provide greater accountability over the funding of the police.

The government has proposed that voters in each crime and disorder reduction partnership area would elected a representative, who would chair the partnership and also sit on the local police authority.

From the neighbourhood to the national: policing our communities together

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