Crime panel raises concerns over 'limited experience' of deputy police and crime commissioner for Bedfordshire

PCC John Tizard with Ms Umme Ali Photo: Labour PartyPCC John Tizard with Ms Umme Ali Photo: Labour Party
PCC John Tizard with Ms Umme Ali Photo: Labour Party
The Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel has written to the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) formally outlining their concerns about his deputy’s appointment.

In a letter sent today (June 7) the panel recommended the appointment of Umme Ali as deputy PCC, but asked for the PCC to acknowledge its concerns raised at the confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

The letter said the concerns, in part, related to her “limited experience” in policing and criminal justice areas.

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The PCC has been asked to provide the panel with a “clearly defined” job description with deliverables for the role.

An explanation as to how Ms Ali will fit the demands of the role into her timetable.

And finally, the panel has requested that it is updated when Ms Ali has passed all the necessary vetting requirements.

Yesterday, before the formal decision was sent out by the panel, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) issued a statement that Ms Ali’s appointment was confirmed by the panel at Tuesday’s meeting.

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This statement did not mention the concerns raised during that meeting.

Although there isn’t a legal requirement for the commissioner to wait, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) asked the OPCC why it released its statement before this formal process had been completed.

Also, as John Tizard, the new PCC, has said that transparency is one of his “key themes” why the concerns raised about Ms Ali’s suitability for the role weren’t mentioned in this statement.

A spokesperson from the OPCC said: “We have now received the letter from the Police and Crime Panel detailing their recommendations in relation to the appointment of the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

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“We will be reviewing these recommendations in due course and will then publish them, together with our response to them, on our website.

“The Police and Crime Commissioner is committed to working alongside the Police and Crime Panel, and being open and transparent with the public.”