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Now we've had a full day to digest Mark Mitchell's letter to the Police Commissioner, was he actually out of line to release that?
His Labour predecessor said on this show yesterday that Mark Mitchell was huffing and puffing, talking up a big game and chest beating.
To quote Ginny Andersen, “I think it's a demonstration of bravado”, and then saying, "He's getting dangerously close to telling the Commissioner how to do his job.”
Thing is, we all know there's a line between setting a strategic direction and meddling in day-to-day operational activities.
Mark Mitchell noted that, loud and clear, in his letter.
So, what the Minister was doing was not telling the Commissioner how to do the job, but outlining what the priorities of the job are.
That's not meddling, it's managing.
If you want an example of meddling, look no further than sacked Minister Stuart Nash on the phone to the Commissioner over a court case, hoping to persuade him to get prosecutors to appeal for a stiffer sentence.
So why was Ginny squealing so loudly over this? Well probably because she knows Labour hasn't got a leg to stand on when it comes to law and order.
Their priority was to slash the prison population, regardless of how much crime the rest of us had to endure.
That would have meant Andrew Little's letter to the Chief Justice when he took office in 2017 was saying ‘hey... dial it back a bit would you?’
‘Let's not lock up all these bad people... surely, it's OK to stick ankle bracelets on them, even when they're convicted of violent sex crimes or on trial for murder.’
Didn't that work out well.
Point here is that Mitchell's letter to the Commissioner is entirely normal. It's the way things are done.
Issuing it publicly is called transparency. It puts pressure on Andrew Coster but it also sends a message to the front line.
We've heard you, it says, and things are going to change.
And now it's in the public domain, everyone knows what page we're on.
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