Camden News - by PAUL KEILTHY Published: 7 August 2008
‘New powers for Mayor Boris will damage Met’
TOO much power over policing in the hands of Boris Johnson could damage both the Met and the Mayor, according to Camden’s ousted representative on the civilian board that holds London’s police to account. A clean sweep of the Metropolitan Police Association (MPA) board this week saw Camden rep Richard Sumray become one of nine independent members axed as part of the City Hall regime change.
Only two of the MPA’s 11 independents, who scrutinise the performance of the police and control spending, survived the cull, prompting former Camden councillor Mr Sumray to accuse Boris Johnson of grabbing “increasing political control of policing and concentrat[ing] power in the Mayor’s office”. “Their view at the moment is that the Mayor should control everything,” he said. “But there is a danger of the Mayor becoming too close to the police. It will make the Commissioner’s job increasingly difficult.”
Mr Sumray had become a familiar face in policing circles over his eight years on the MPA board, representing Camden but also taking a key role in MPA thinking on youth crime and sexual offences.
Announcing the changes, MPA chief executive Catherine Crawford thanked the departing members and said: “The success of the MPA depends on the abilities and dedication of its members. “I know that our new members will be dedicated to the task of ensuring a fair and effective police service for all London’s communities and look forward to commencing their duties.”