Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Devolve Policing Now!

I went to the quarterly meeting of the Police Authorities of Wales (PAW) on 17th October where we received a detailed report, written by the Chief Executive of PAW, about the Government’s Green Paper on the future of Police Authorities.

It was quite obvious to me, and I think to most people there, that the London government – and in particular the Home Office – goes about its business pretending that Wales doesn’t exist. They even imply that the police services in Wales should be delivering services from a fund that is only available in England. Moreover, there’s no Welsh input at all regarding this funding because the Welsh Local Government Association is not invited to discussions about it.

There is a growing frustration with the way in which the differences between Wales and England are ignored by the Home Office, so much so that the report contained the statement: ‘The Home Office is not seen to respect diversity in Wales and is actively seen to undermine devolution’.

I know that I’m not the only one who came to the conclusion that responsibility for policing in Wales should be passed to the Assembly as soon as possible. After all, the governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland – and even those of the tiny states of Jersey, Guernsey and The Isle of Man – all run their own police services, so what possible justification could there be for Wales being denied this responsibility?

Cllr Gwyn Hopkins, Llangennech

3 comments:

Draig said...

Quite agree with your point about the need to devolve policing. My understanding however is that this provision is not part of the package of lawmaking powers which will be put to a national referendum in the next 2 years.

The model we are being offered is not the same as the Scottish Parliament, which has a general power to legislate. Shouldn't there be a debate about this as part of a "Yes" campaign?

Plaid Sir Gâr said...

Draig,

You are right; a referendum under the current Act would not include policing. The referendum may be restricted to a narrow scope - that does not mean that Plaid, as a nationalist party, cannot call for and campaign for devolution of additional powers outside that Act.

Penddu said...

Transfer of Policing is not part of the referendum, but does not need to be - it simply needs the waving of a hand or the signing of a pen to transfer the power. But the Home Office just can not let go of anything - they are control freaks.