A radical shake-up of the police is to be announced this week by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
One of the proposals is to abolish the current system of independent Police Authorities and instead have elections at local level for police and crime commissioners, the first of which will be held in May 2012. The commissioners would have the power to set budgets and hire and fire Chief Constables.
However, the new plans have already provoked opposition from the Police authorities who would be scrapped under the new system.
Police Authorities have always been independent of any political influence. There is no doubt that having locally-elected officials will mean that the police will lose any impartiality that they now have.
Decisions about policing will no longer be based on what is right for an individual community. Instead, choices will now be politically-motivated.
This cannot be right.