LETTER: Good value for taxpayer?

As the police and crime commissioner has pointed out, we are no longer in the 20th century and that crime has changed in may ways.

It was also reassuring to hear from the chief constable that the force is working ‘smarter, operating under increased demand, reduced resources, fewer people and using the internet’.

However, it should be born in mind that there are many elderly people in this area who do not use or have access to this online facility.

I believe that the introduction of politics into policing is a retrograde step. We would appear to be going down the American route with all that involves.

Is it appropriate that the crime commissioner, elected on a turnout of only 22.56 per cent of the electorate, should have the power to sack the chief constable?

There is of course the overseeing crime panel but even they cannot stop the commissioner from appointing a deputy (always from the same political party!). In Sussex we do not have a deputy although there was one in the past for a short period.

In neighbouring Hampshire the recently defeated Tory member of Parliament is about to become the deputy crime commissioner, chosen again by the current commissioner of the same political party.Needless to say, both on generous salaries. Is it really wise to concentrate this amount of power in one political person?

Policing in this country is by public consent,and in spite of the global communications revolution that we are living through there is still a need for information from the community. To make policing effective at a local level this information is essential and can only really be gained by having a presence on the ground. What evidence is there that crime reduction and detection have improved under this new, fairly expensive and bureaucratic politicalised system?

Does it represent good value for taxpayer?

Margaret Boulton

Beach Crescent, Littlehampton