Chief constables have been told not to get 'political' in the run-up to police commissioner elections, the Times reports this morning.
The permanent secretary at the Home Office has apparently written to the top chiefs telling them that any political intervention could be a criminal offence (under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and the Police Regulations 2003).
Police chiefs have responded that Dame Helen Ghosh's letter was "heavy-handed".
But the Home Office insists that the rules apply to police officers at any election - not just PCCs.
Do police and crime commissioner elections merit an exception? After all, the chiefs will be the ones to know if a candidate is making false claims or unrealistic pledges.
Or perhaps Ghosh is right - and police political intervention would only make these delicate first elections even more fragile.