West Midlands PCC wins legal challenge over Mayor's power transfer - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands PCC wins legal challenge over Mayor's power transfer

Solihull Editorial 18th Mar, 2024   0

THE WEST Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has won a High Court challenge to transfer his powers to the region’s Mayor.

The PCC, Simon Foster, took legal action against the Home Office’s move to end his role and place it under the West Midlands Mayor’s office, currently Andy Street, ahead of May’s election.

However, following a ruling by the High Court, which concluded the Home Office had not provided sufficient information when consultation – it will not go ahead.

Speaking after the ruling the Labour PCC said: “I am pleased that the people of the West Midlands will now have the right to vote for a democratically elected and directly accountable PCC at the election on May 2, whose one and only top priority is preventing, tackling and reducing crime.

“I brought this claim for Judicial Review to fulfil my Manifesto pledge to the people of the West Midlands, the commitment in my Police and Crime Plan and to defend democracy, the rule of law and the rights of the people I represent.

“I was also concerned that the transfer of PCC powers to a representative of the government, would lead to more cuts, more chaos and more crime.

“The Home Secretary acknowledged that he and the Mayor had previously failed to act in accordance with the law, by failing to carry out a public consultation and apply the relevant statutory criteria.”

In November the Conservative Mayor, wrote to the Home Secretary calling for a transfer of powers from the PCC’s office to his because ‘crime in this region has more than doubled’ in the past eight years and he ‘simply cannot allow it any longer’.

In a statement Mr Street said: “I am naturally very disappointed in today’s ruling as I firmly believe that a change in governance is required to help tackle the rates of crime across the West Midlands.

“With crime having doubled and West Midlands Police in special measures, I was not prepared to stand by anymore and so followed the process as set out by the Home Office to merge the PCC role with the Mayoral role at May’s elections.

“I have always believed that a merged role – as is the case in Manchester, London, and West Yorkshire – is best for the West Midlands.

“The Home Office must be the ones to comment on their process, my only interest is in doing what it takes to tackle crime and help people in the West Midlands feel safe again.”



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