Dear Editor, Retiring West Midlands Chief Constable Sir Paul Scott-Lee is wrong to suggest that unwanted “super forces” could still be his legacy. In fact, the proposals for regional police forces were originally drawn up under the Lloyd George government in the Great War.
Sir Humphrey’s aim was to get the paperwork flowing to Whitehall standards (cough).
In classic Whitehall thinking, this proposal gets dusted down every few years and, just as Sir Humphrey famously told Jim Hacker, ministers of other parties get the same advice but different words are used – and there really is a version for the Liberals!
Sir Paul seems to forget that the UK has a number of regional crime squads for handling matters which are beyond the remit of a single constabulary.
Nobody but a few career civil servants have ever really wanted regional policing and if they were ever set up, costs would go up even faster than when the unwanted and bloated West Midlands force was imposed on voters in 1974.
I would advise any other supporters of regional policing to watch the episode of the TV series “Yes Minister”, which deals with Hacker being conned into promoting an integrated transport plan.
The arguments are the same!
Spencer Avenue, Coventry