What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
29 views
29 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
62 views
62 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
103 views
103 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
89 views
89 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
118 views
118 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
160 views
160 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
121 views
121 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
257 views
257 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
201 views
201 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
213 views
213 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
243 views
243 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
18 views
18 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
328 Views

A ballot-proof police force?

 

Photo: Rui Vieira/PA

Last month I received a personal letter from the Home Secretary. It read:

Dear Gabriel,
I am pleased to offer you a place on the National Police Commissioners Selection Panel. An application was automatically submitted on your behalf on your eighteenth birthday.

Your job will be to scrutinise carefully every candidate for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner, and ensure that the one ultimately appointed is the most competent. Their job will be to produce local police and crime plans setting out the objectives of their force, to be generally responsible for its budget and to make crime and disorder reduction grants (naturally, I’m assuming you know what these are), alongside the other functions set out in Part 1 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011– you have read it, of course?
You will be joined on the Selection Panel by around 50 million other people, the vast majority of whom will not be familiar with these criteria, and exceptionally few of whom will ever meet any candidate face-to-face, let alone read all of the campaign literature.
Laters,
Terri May
homesec93@gmail.com

September saw Parliament pass the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act. From now on, police forces will be supervised by Police and Crime Commissioners elected by the public.
Now, I’m not entirely sure that this system is a good idea. Despite being an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes – not to mention having a soft spot for John Grisham books, the Hardy Boys, Tintin, 24 and Spooks – I can’t honestly claim to have sufficient knowledge of the way police forces are managed to discern the best candidate for their leadership.
The first election will happen in 2012, and it will be a genuine first: nobody knows what sort of people will stand; whether they’ll be aligned to political parties; whether they’ll be former police officers – who can tell how it will play out?
It is likely that the campaigns will take one of three forms:
i.    The Apprentice boardroom: essentially a popularity contest in which the candidate who spouts the most convincing (albeit meaningless) buzzwords is elected. This sort of campaign will generate rhetoric such as, “I’ll put 110% into the job…”
ii.    The political debate: candidates will be selected on the basis of their views on crime policy, ASBOs, community sentencing, police cautions. The difficulty here is that by trespassing on the territory of legislators, judges and the law itself, a police commissioner democratically elected for their opinions could become a challenge to any of these authorities.
iii.    The competence assessment: the best thing that could happen is that the candidates will try to demonstrate how they would fulfil the job’s criteria, and be the best at performing its legal functions. There are, however, two issues here: firstly, a good old-fashioned interview-panel can assess competence just as tens of millions of voters – if not better. Such a panel would also be massively cheaper. The second problem is that the electorate wouldn’t have a clue how to weigh up different candidates, and would likely turn things into a popularity contest anyway.
In political science, the general rule when designing structures and institutions is to be ‘teleological’: form should follow function. It must be decided what an office is to do before it is decided how to fill it. We must ask ourselves why it is that a police commissioner should have to be elected.
Members of Parliament are elected because they make political and moral choices on our behalf, so it is as well that they should generally represent the opinions of the country. To take an example from the opposite end of the spectrum: teachers are not meant to exercise any real discretion – rather, they should be following a curriculum. They need to have very specific qualifications which are in fairly short supply. There is no conceivable reason to appoint teachers on the basis of a vote because they do not need to represent anybody’s views (indeed, they should refrain from bias) and there is no guarantee that the ‘lottery’ of elections would result in the most qualified and competent people getting the jobs.
Civil servants are not elected because they must be politically neutral, as must MI5, MI6, the armed forces and, indeed, the police service. I really do not want to find myself, in ten year’s time, chatting to friends about how “my police commissioner’s a Tory, but there’s a Labour force just a few minutes away.” That may be just a ‘slippery slope’ musing which never becomes reality. But we simply don’t know how this could turn out.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
29 views
29 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
62 views
62 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
103 views
103 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
89 views
89 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
118 views
118 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
160 views
160 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
121 views
121 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
257 views
257 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
201 views
201 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
213 views
213 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
243 views
243 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
18 views
18 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
12 views
12 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018
Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
16 views
16 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
29 views
Arts
29 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
62 views
Arts
62 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
58 views
Film & Theatre
58 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
88 views
Arts
88 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
84 views
Campus News
84 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
120 views
News
120 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
103 views
Arts
103 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
89 views
Interview
89 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
119 views
Lifestyle
119 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
118 views
Lifestyle
118 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
160 views
Arts
160 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
121 views
News
121 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
257 views
Arts
257 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
190 views
Film & Theatre
190 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
201 views
Sports
201 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
213 views
Arts
213 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
243 views
Arts
243 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1300 views1
Campus News
1300 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
18 views
News
18 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
20 views
News
20 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
12 views
News
12 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
16 views
Campus News
16 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
33 views
National News
33 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
25 views
National News
25 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
48 views
Music
48 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
59 views
Arts
59 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
96 views
Music
96 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…

News
74 views

Maniac: a madcap adventure into troubled minds

Olek Młyński - October 5, 2018

With the release of Maniac, Netflix once again proves itself as an artistic powerhouse. This mini-series is a whirlwind of creativity containing often confusing, madcap ideas. But,…

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign
Sports
76 views
Sports
76 views

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign

James Cohen - October 4, 2018

In 1988 Nike premiered their, now infamous, “Just Do It” campaign, showing 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge. 30 years and a lot of…

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future
Science
120 views
Science
120 views

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future

ecrm20 - October 4, 2018

My project is about how we can explain the predictions made by machine learning algorithms. For example, if we have an algorithm that tells us whether an…