To deal with the later first, there were murmurings in Westminster that Grayling was not keen on this idea which would transfer significant powers away from the Home Secretary. Indeed, word was that the leadership were becoming frustrated with Grayling’s failure to develop plans for how the implementation of this idea would work. But in this speech, Grayling is absolutely clear that elected police commissioners are a central plank of the Tory approach to dealing with crime. This is welcome news. Accountability to the local community will make the police concentrate on the crimes that have the worst impact on peoples’ way of life.
In home affairs debates, Holland is normally only referenced for its liberal approach to drugs. But what interests Grayling is its use of non-judicial penalties that can quickly be enforced like grounding orders. The idea is that these penalties restore the link between the offence and the punishment, demonstrate that actions have consequences while not giving people a criminal record. If this innovation travels, then these orders could be an extremely effective way of tackling anti-social behaviour.