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Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has today been successful with his Judicial Review against the Home Secretary’s decision to abolish the PCC role in the West Midlands.

This means the Mayor will not take on policing governance powers and a Police and Crime Commissioner election WILL take place on May 2, 2024.

Statement by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster:

“The High Court has determined that the Home Secretary acted unlawfully and has quashed their decision of 6 February 2024, to approve the takeover of Police and Crime Commissioner powers by the West Midlands Mayor.

“I am pleased that the people of the West Midlands will now have the right to vote for a democratically elected and directly accountable Police and Crime Commissioner at the election on 2 May 2024, 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.

“It defies belief that they had farcically, inexplicably and incompetently failed to read and understand their own legislation, that they themselves had specifically passed only weeks before, to remove the need for a democratic mandate in the West Midlands.

“It was only following legal action, successfully challenging and holding them to account, that they were forced into a humiliating climbdown and a belated public consultation was launched at all.

“Having already acted unlawfully and undertaken a public consultation, they then also ignored the outcome. It was therefore entirely right and proper that I brought the claim for Judicial Review, to ensure that the Home Secretary and the Mayor had finally understood their legal obligations and were acting in accordance with the law.

“The court has determined that the 11th hour, last minute, panic driven, consultation launched by the Home Secretary, was unlawful. The judge found that the consultation was “not sufficient”, “perfunctory” and required respondents to go on a “treasure hunt” to obtain relevant information.  Ultimately it “misses the point of a consultation exercise”. 

“The Home Secretary and the Mayor have wasted everyone’s time and tax payers’ money. In addition, they have been responsible for causing incalculable distraction and disruption, for West Midlands Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Combined Authority and local election officials, not to mention the uncertainty it has created for the general public of the West Midlands.

“I am pleased that the Mayor’s cynical, divisive, unnecessary and undemocratic, attempted hostile takeover of PCC powers has been defeated. I trust that we can now all concentrate on what matters most to the people of the West Midlands, which is ensuring that we all work together in partnership, to prevent, tackle and reduce crime.

“If you are entitled to vote, I would encourage you to register and vote in the election for Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, that will now take place on 2 May 2024.”

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