Unpublished letters on Police and Crime Commissioner (2).

Sent to the Guardian, 9 August 2012.

To: 'letters@guardian.co.uk'

Subject: Police Commissioner rules should be challenged.

Dear Sir,

The barring of Bob Ashford because of a minor conviction 46 years ago is absurd (8 August http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/aug/08/bob-ashford-labour-police-commissioner). Surely everyone agrees with the concept of rehabilitation and this legislation ignores that. I also hope Simon Weston changes his mind and does run for Police Commissioner in South Wales. Politicians have created a system rigged in favour of themselves. David Cameron said this is a "big job for a big local figure" but the only credible well known independent candidate pulled out, partly because the election was becoming too political. Candidates have to drop everything for an election in mid-November, find a £5,000 deposit, and face established party machines. MPs can stand and only resign if they win but police officers, council workers and now magistrates, cannot. The Government, judging by your comments and letters pages, are clearly losing the debate over police commissioners. The Home Office has called for "Dynamic leaders, community champions, pioneers and entrepreneurs" to stand. I'd add Victims' campaigners. Mr. Weston ticks these boxes but is barred because of a teenage conviction. History tells us of many tearaway teenagers who change their lives and become heroes, Simon Weston is one. I recommend a quick change in the Law (which surely with thought must breach some human right).

Kiron Reid

Lecturer in Police Powers.

An earlier version sent to the Times (6 July 2012) and a letter on the same subject sent to Metro 3 July 2012, also unpublished.

Sent: 06 July 2012 13:36

To: 'letters@thetimes.co.uk'

Subject: Police Commissioners rigged for politicians.

Dear Sir,

Unlike your correspondent Jane Haworth (July 4) I hope Simon Weston changes his mind and does run for Police Commissioner in South Wales. His pulling out of running shows that politicians have created a system rigged in favour of themselves, as several correspondents argued. David Cameron may have said this is a "big job for a big local figure" but the only credible well known independent candidate I have heard of has just pulled out, partly because the election was becoming too political. Candidates have to drop everything for an election in mid-November, find a £5,000 deposit, and face established party machines. MPs can stand and only resign if they win but police officers and council workers cannot. Despite your Leading Article of 28 May the Government, judging by your letters pages, are clearly losing the debate over police commissioners. The Home Office has called for "Dynamic leaders, community champions, pioneers and entrepreneurs" to stand. I'd add Victims' campaigners. Mr. Weston ticks these boxes but is barred because of a teenage conviction. History tells us of many tearaway teenagers who change their lives and become heroes, Simon Weston is one. I recommend a quick change in the Law (which surely with thought must breach some human right) and that people in South Wales encourage Simon to reconsider his decision.

Kiron Reid

Lecturer in Police Powers.