A former chief constable has said it is "absolute nonsense" to suggest that elected police commissioners will increase police contact with local communities because of the geographical size of their areas of responsibility.
Tim Brain, who headed the Gloucestershire force, also told Today presenter John Humphrys that the new system "has been designed by politicians for politicians".
Forty-one Police and Crime Commissioners will be elected later this year in areas outside London. Commissioners in the biggest force areas will receive salaries of more than £100,000. Their job includes setting priorities for their police force, overseeing its budget and hiring the chief constable.
The former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, who is seeking to become Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Humberside, said that the role would bring more accountability to strategic planning.
"What we will have now is a commissioner discussing what the community would like in that plan. Once the plan is decided the resources allocated, the chief constable gets on with the job. That's his operational responsibility."
Also contesting the Labour nomination for Humberside's police commissioner are Colin Inglis, a former leader of Hull City Council, and Keith Hunter, a former chief superintendent with Humberside Police.
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