Police Commissioners: Calls To Prioritise Anti-Social Behaviour Lead To Warning On 'Hidden' Issues
Public calls for police commissioners to make anti-social behaviour their top priority have raised fears the new role will be focused on high visibility local issues while problems such as terrorism fall off the radar.
A Local Government Association/ComRes poll released on Tuesday has found 71% of people wanted the directly elected crime chiefs to focus on anti-social behaviour and over half said the candidate's knowledge of the community would affect their vote.
But in response to the polling, the chair of the Association of Police Authorities Mark Burns-Williamson warned that the "locally focused" role could lead to the "neglect" of some "less local issues".
And the lead for futures at the Association of Chief Police Officers Mark Rowley told Huff Post UK he hoped the commissioners would use "equal vigour" to tackle issues other than bad behaviour.
"In a little over a year, Police and Crime Commissioners will start setting police force priorities. It is the hope of Chief Constables that they will focus with equal vigour on both the criminality most visible to local communities such as anti-social behaviour, and, the threats that remain largely unseen such as terrorism, serious organised crime and domestic violence. Both are critical to keeping the public safe."
The poll also found less than one in four are aware that elections will be held for police commissioners next November.
Police commissioners will oversee police budgets, set priorities, and will have the power to hire-and-fire chief constables.