Keith Hunter is an applicant for the Labour nomination for Police and Crime Commissioner in the Humberside Police area. He has given TopOfTheCops.com permission to reproduce here his 10 suggested questions for Police and Crime Commissioner candidates, first sent out by him on Twitter. He prefaced his questions with a statement that they were to “avoid superficial (&/or worrying) PCCs undermining the balance in policing.”
Q1- What history can you evidence of interest in policing and criminal justice matters?
Q2-What are the significant current and future national, regional & local criminal justice and policing issues?
Q3. What record of professional delivery and success can you evidence in your recent past?
Q4. What relevance/transference does your professional history have to the work required of the PCC?
Q5. What experience do you have of managing budgets/finance & developing strategy/policy?
Q6. What experience do you have of working in partnership in the local area and what did you personally contribute?
Q7. Can you evidence objectivity, independence of thought and innovation?
Q8. Notwithstanding the Policing Protocol, what’s your personal view of politicians being involved in operational decisions?
Q9. Will u commit 2working full-time(40hrs?)as PCC &undertake no other paid or unpaid role that could distract u from this?
Q10. Disregarding platitudes about being the ‘voice of people’ &’producing a Policing Plan’ what would you actually do?
Let us know what you think – you could be very subversive and use the comments facility to work out the best answers so that candidates can learn and remember them. TopOfTheCops.com is also interested in knowing the questions other Candidates would ask (and would like to be asked!), and questions from people who have no intention of standing for anything, but who just want to know the answers.
Some more good questions.
Yes this is the best set of questions so far. I think if I was writing essential candidate selection criteria I’d also be looking for evidence of an academic understanding of matters criminological. Behavioural science is also a good place to start. You never know it might just come in useful when you’re trying to make sense of those baffling crime statistics, or trying to figure out why so many prolific offenders seem to ignore the best bits of your Police and Crime Plan and keep on returning to your community to commit more crimes …
Then of course there’s your procurement expertise to consider, when it comes to commissioning a complex service (writing tender specifications, attaching strings to contracts – you know the sort of thing I mean) and all the experience you’ve got of constructing executive remuneration packages to incentivise your top performers. That would be the Chief Constable of course …
And how about doing citizen engagement? Do you just instantly connect with everyone you meet, inspiring confidence wherever you go? What are your views on using drugs, recreational or otherwise? What sort of websites do you visit late at night, apart from archived Police Authority minutes? Has anyone ever accepted speeding points on your behalf? Have you paid your tax bill?
Are you really sure you are leading a completely Tabloid-proof lifestyle?!
Some excellent questions here, but surely another key issue is where the candidate sees the private sector in policing? There is a real danger in this role that the PCC could commission key services to the private sector – can they commit completely to keeping services public?
The other point I’ll make (less related to what questions should be asked…) is this: let’s assume we’re all completely opposed to the Coalition’s policy on elected police commissioners, but we accept, now that that policy has become law, that the right candidates should get the job – how should this opposition reflect itself in the kind of police commissioners we want? Well it would be rather contradictory in my opinion – if someone took the view that the coalition was wrong to advocate elected crime commissioners – to then go out and support politicians to do these roles. The least people opposed to this policy can do is, as far as possible, put police INTO the roles of elected PCCs – like they should be – and not politicians? Surely?