Scilly Will Get Representative On New Police Panel

Scilly will have a representative on the new Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel when the current Police Authority is abolished at the end of next year.

The new panels were announced as part of the Government’s Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which will also include the election of a Police Commissioner for the region, who would be expected to hold the force to account on behalf of the public.

However, there are concerns that the elections will be costly and the elected commissioners may not be fully qualified for the role.

Chief Executive of the Council, Philip Hygate, says the Town Hall have been working hard to get a representative for Scilly on the new panel and that has now paid off.

Plymouth has given up one of their three seats to Scilly.

Council Chairman, Mike Hicks, welcomed the news but expressed concerns that the changes had not been fully communicated yet by the Government.

He said a significant proportion of our Council tax is the ‘police precept’, which goes to pay for policing in the region. Devon and Cornwall has for many years had one of the lowest precepts in the country but Mike said it’s not clear how this will be set in the future.

Philip also said his electoral staff would need to be trained in using the single transferable vote system, which will be used for the elections due to take place in November next year.

Councillor David Pearson said he was worried about the financial implications and would like more information before the Council set next year’s budget.

He also said an experienced person was needed in the role, and he was concerned over newspaper reports that the elections could turn into a celebrity popularity contest.

Katie Price recently announced that she wanted to stand for election in Kent.