The 1980’s holiday camp comedy ”Hi-de- Hi” is currently re-running on TV. One of its comic characters was childrens’ entertainer and Punch and Judy man, Mr. Partridge. Unfortunately, Mr. Partridge “hates kids” which somewhat hampered his performance and popularity and finally led to his retirement.
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner seems to display a similar antipathy to law enforcement which is a bit of a handicap in his job. He has consistently excused West Midlands Police poor performance in crime detection on the basis of insufficient resources. At the same time, he accumulated a surplus of £100million, spent £30million on police headquarters and built a costly bureaucratic empire. He has failed to ensure that resources are properly directed from side shows to front line policing. This year West Midlands council tax payers will have noticed at 6.6% rise in their contribution to the Police and Crime Commissioner A familiar picture of a socialist in control; muddle, waste and expense.
Rather than stick to his last and deliver effective policing, Jamieson has interfered in rail services which is as much his responsibility as the price of apples in Afghanistan. His inviting the public to complain to him about trains and holding a symposium on the issue was a misuse of resources, a publicity stunt and a distraction.
One of Jamieson’s hobby horses is drugs. At first sight this is unsurprising because it’s estimated that a third of crime is drug related. But Jamieson’s stance is not rigorous enforcement of the law against drugs. Quite the reverse. He has long proposed that heroin addicts should be provided with drugs on the National Health Service. Unsurprisingly, a commission set up by Jamieson has come to his desired conclusion that there should be “safe” places at which addicts can shoot up using clean needles and all at public expense. The report observes that there are no such “drug consumption rooms” in the country blaming “nervous politicians” and “a legal framework which does little to provide comfort for users”.
Jamieson is said to be planning to develop a business case to launch a DCR pilot site. In the event that he does create such a site we expect WMP to arrest him. What Jamieson plans is against the law.
Drug use should be discouraged not encouraged. This means enforcing the law against illegal drug use and supply. If there is not open dealing of drugs on the streets of Sandwell today it’s because of coronavirus not the efforts of Jamieson nor West Midlands Police. Jamieson’s attitude is inconsistent with his role as Police and Crime Commissioner. Like Mr. Partridge, he needs to go.