Carswell writes sheriff policy

THE Tory choice to try to win back Harwich at the next General Election is the architect of the new Tory policy to make elected sheriffs responsible for local policing.

By Graham Dines

THE Tory choice to try to win back Harwich at the next General Election is the architect of the new Tory policy to make elected sheriffs responsible for local policing.

Douglas Carswell, who was Tony Blair's opponent in Sedgefield in 2001, put forward his proposal last year in a booklet produced last year for the Tory think tank C-Change.

Mr Carswell's initiative has been taken up by Shadow Home Secretary Oliver Letwin and incorporated into official party policy, aiming to re-engage the Tories with the voters.


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Mr Carswell, who is in Blackpool at the Tory conference, said his plan would make sheriffs accountable for the successes and failures of local policing.

"Responsibility for policing, and for prosecuting criminals, should be handed to a directly elected US style sheriff representing each county, city or large town.

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"Each sheriff would be held directly accountable by local people for how effectively the law was upheld. Chief constables would report directly to local elected sheriffs, who would assume responsibility for their local police forces, and who would be held accountable by local people for the effectiveness of the local police in upholding the rule of law.

"Where police incompetence resulted in failure to convict, the elected sheriff could be held directly accountable for that failure by local people," said Mr Carswell.

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