Last week’s claims that Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe was too busy to appear before the Assembly seem to support my past suggestion (2mins 15 seconds) that London has police scrutiny by consent.
There has been a lot of criticism of Boris’s policing deputy Stephen Greenhalgh, but I remain convinced that Hogan-Howe deserves more criticism than he’s had so far over his no-show.
The ‘too busy’ excuse heard by Assembly Members raises questions about exactly what Londoners should expect their Commissioner to be doing with his 200 – according to Greenhalgh – working days a year.
Someone in Scotland Yard apparently thinks spending them attending conferences and giving speeches to policy think tanks is more worthwhile than answering questions from London’s elected questioners.
Here – via a very quick Google search – are just some of the things BHH is doing with his limited time in the coming months:
Perhaps the Assembly should ask how many such events he attends each month, especially those months he’s too busy to help them with their enquiries.
Of course those around the Commissioner – perhaps he himself – would say these appearances are a valuable chance for him to set out his position on major issues of the day.
There are those of us who equally believe the same is true of his appearances before a panel with the ability to challenge unsatisfactory answers and to follow-up at future meetings the promises and commitments he makes.
While London waits for his diary to free up, perhaps the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime could pay for the Assembly to visit these important events so they can question the Commissioner on behalf of those who pay his wages?