Sir Hugh Orde, currently in charge of the Association of Chief Police Officers, spoke for his colleagues when he said that he would rather resign than face direct political control from an elected commissioner. He's absolutely right - nobody should be enthused by the pressure brought to bear on Sir Ian Blair by the newly-installed Mayor in London. As Bob Piper mentioned at the time, fans of The Wire will recall how politicised policing became as a result of mayoral influence - but that's something that Chris Grayling won't want you to take from his televisual comparison.
I agree with Sir Hugh Orde that nobody in the main political parties wants to tackle one of the biggest inefficiencies in the police services in the UK - their sheer number and size. We currently have 44 forces across the country and these need to be reduced in number and turned into regional forces. Perhaps the Met - some 30,000 strong - isn't the ideal size, but forces of around 6-7000 would make more organisational sense. The problem is that local people don't want to see the surrender of their local police force and there is a nostalgic attachment to the traditional county structure, not recognising that this is unsuitable for dealing with the major crime threats of today. The neighbourhood policing model offers a solution in that it provides local resources at street level to tackle day-to-day crime and anti-social behaviour, so your local police are no longer even a county force, but the team you see every day out and about in your area. Above that, there is then room for regional policing to tackle major crime and this also allows for a national approach to the most serious of threats.