PCC applies for judicial review into transfer of police oversight powers

Simon Foster

A claim has been lodged in the High Court to spark a judicial review into plans to transfer the oversight of the police force to the Mayor’s office. 

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Foster has applied for the review, to challenge the decision of Home Secretary James Cleverly, who approved of the takeover on December 6. 

A public consultation was then launched on December 21 with 50% of 7,000 surveyed disagreeing with the takeover and 46% agreeing. The decision has now been handed back to parliament. 

Foster said in a statement: “Enough is enough. As Police and Crime Commissioner, my one and only top priority is preventing, tackling and reducing crime. I am committed to complying with my pledge to the electorate. 

“The very last thing we need is a Mayor, who is in denial of the catastrophic and devastating damage his own government has inflicted on our police service, executing a hostile takeover of policing in the West Midlands. It would mean, more cuts, more chaos and more crime”.

Conservative Mayor Andy Street has given his formal consent to the move, which would not take place until after the mayoral and PCC elections on May 2. Labour’s candidate for mayor is Richard Parker, after PCC Simon Foster failed to become the party’s candidate. 

On Foster’s application for a review, a spokesperson for Street told the BBC: “We dread to think how much taxpayer money is being wasted on London lawyers by the PCC in trying to save his job, money that should be in West Midlands Police’s budget to be spent on frontline police.

“To be really clear, the mayor is not subject to this judicial review, and has no intention of backing away from taking the tough steps required to tackle the scourge of crime across the West Midlands.”

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