I’ve heard many reasons for poor voter turnout at the police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections, ranging from apathy to lack of campaign funds available to candidates.
I believe the real reasons are deeper rooted.
Fundamental to most of us from our early childhood years are those wonderful little words “what” and “why”.
In this case, what was actually wrong with the old Police Authorities?
Why do Chief Constables need elected people in charge of them?
Why can’t we make the police service more accountable to the public?
What were they all doing wrong that required such a dramatic and expensive shift in Britain’s policing structure?
Why do we need another layer of senior police management when huge cuts are being made to police budgets?
Assuming there are sensible answers to these questions, how is a PCC going to change things?
I read a large amount of literature about this new position but nothing about what candidates intended to do if elected.
I suspect most of us would not dream of voting for a politician without seeing a manifesto first, so why not something similar for the new PCC prior to elections?
Then we have issues surrounding the appointment of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioners.
These people are appointed, but can have full powers transferred to them by the elected PCCs and they will earn in the region of £40k. per annum Nobody I asked had any idea who these people might be.
That alone would prevent many from voting.
I’m sure others know a great deal more than me on this subject but, come the next election, nothing will change unless a few basic issues are addressed.
Mr F. Edwards