West Yorkshire’s top cop’s corruption fears over new police commissioners

WEST Yorkshire’s top cop has warned that controversial elections for police commissioners with the power to hire and fire chief constables risk bringing corruption into the service.

Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison said there was a danger that commissioners voted in to govern police forces could influence top officers for their own ends.

He said he worried that a “sense of obligation” could drive some commissioners to give orders that benefit those who helped them get elected.

Sir Bettison, a vice-president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “I am reminded of the adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

“There will be a lot of people appealing for the public vote simply because they want to make the world a better, safer place. Those people are to be celebrated.

“My fear is that (in other cases) it could be the door that unlocks corruption and anything that does has the potential to destroy public trust in policing.”