The Continuing Role of Police Authorities and Proposals for Structural Change

  • Ian Oliver


Personalities play a very real part in the maintenance of a good relationship between the three parties involved in the control of the police service, and it is just as important to select a highly capable and publicly motivated individual to be chairperson of the Police Authority as it is to ensure that the Chief Constable is thoroughly professional both as a police officer and as a man who has to recognise and deal with the sensitivities of government at all levels. The fear of many chief officers is that chairpersons of Police Authorities, in too many cases, may be political pawns placed where they may be manipulated by the party or they may be highly motivated party political animals who wish to exploit their position to maximum partisan advantage. The fear of some elected representatives is that Chief Constables are too independent and that ‘Law and order is too wide a subject to be regarded as a narrowly professional preserve; policing is too important to be left to the police’.1


Police Officer Party Politics Police Force Police Service Royal Commission 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Gabrielle Cox, ‘Community Priorities’, Police Review, 16 November 1984.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. Marshall, ‘Police Accountability Revisited’, in Butler and Halsey (eds), Policy and Politics (Macmillan, 1978).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Michael Banton, ‘A New Approach to Police Authorities’, Police, 1975.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Waddington, The Role of Police Committees: Constitutional Arrangements and Social Realities, Department of Sociology, University of Reading, 1983.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    See I. T. Oliver, ‘Independence and Impartiality’, Police Review, 2 November 1984Google Scholar
  6. and ‘Ulster “Model” to Stay Politicians’ Hand on Police’, the Guardian, 9 November 1984.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ian Oliver 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Oliver
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Scotland PoliceStirlingScotland

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