Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Association Of Chief Police Officers

Known also as ACPO, this is definitely one organisation that should be culled forthwith as it seems to drive government policy, has questionable financial accounts, has instigated many intrusive police procedures/policies and is subsidesed by the taxpayer who has no ability to ascertain what they actually do and how they work - being at the moment not subject to Freedom of Information requests.

It has come to light that North Yorkshire Police hold the details of over 100,000 innocent people whose details are held on an information management system. Now ACPO have many 'information' systems/policies - see here - and even their own head of Information Management, who is also Director of Information for the Metropolitan Police.

Last year Henry Porter wrote an article in the Guardian headlined "The secret police are watching you - How can an organisation that is not subject to public scrutiny set up a sinister unit to monitor political and environmental groups?". Also last year the Mail ran a story about the cost of ACPO and how much subsidy it receives from the government. That story informed us that an inquiry had been launched into the funding of ACPO, yet it does not appear that any report has been subsequently issued.

The amount of government funding can be seen here and it will be noticed that the total amount increased by over £2million between 2006/2007 and 2008/2009. ACPO is a not-for-profit organisation, limited by guarantee, so the question must be asked how come they had £9.2million 'cash at hand and in bank'? How come, with that bank balance, ACPO needed £16.8million of taxpayer's money in the year 2008/2009?

As Henry Porter asks in his article, just what have our MPs been doing - or not doing more likely - that has allowed ACPO to gain the power that it has, together with the wealth that it has accumulated? From ACPO's own website we learn that "ACPO is wholly accountable to chief officers who in turn, are each accountable to the people they serve and to police authorities at a force level." - in other words they are only accountable to themselves, which in turn begs another question: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Should ACPO be culled and would our police forces be better off without it? To both questions the answer must be a resounding 'Yes'!

With acks to Harriet Green, Adam Smith Institute.

Update: With thanks to IPJ who brings this post to my attention.

1 comment:

JJ said...

ACPOO sounds better!