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Legal & money

Police and Crime Commissioners

(19 Posts)
Mishap Sat 27-Oct-12 16:47:16

The details of local candidates are now out on the website (www.choosemypcc.org.uk) and I have taken a look for my area.

What do people think about this post? - I am not clear how much clout they will have and whether they will simply be like many politicians who are elected to parliament - full of great ideas but pretty powerless in the face of political pressures, budgets and the realities of life.

They will be paid between £65K and £100K a year, so I guess that is one motivation for them to stand. And who will scrutinise them?

Does the process of election seem a valid one? - or is it just window dressing, seeing as I have little idea who these chaps are.

I would be very interested to know what others think.

glassortwo Sat 27-Oct-12 17:04:08

I feel that its just another salary to find when everything is already stretched, and how much clout will they have in changing decisions, we dont seem to have any idea who is standing and have just been advised to go to the web site to check candidates out.
Its costing an awful lot of money to just have the election, but I am not sure if there are any benefits from the addition of this post.

JessM Sat 27-Oct-12 17:28:08

It is an American idea. Elect the sheriff. I find nothing particularly impressive about their legal system, so why would we want to copy it? But thanks for the link.

JessM Sat 27-Oct-12 17:28:38

I think i have just made it clickable:
www.choosemypcc.org.uk

annodomini Sat 27-Oct-12 18:23:21

Dammit! I have just lost a post I was writing about this strange election of Police and Crime Commissioners. The leaflet came through my letterbox yesterday - almost got thrown out because it was bundled with a lot of other flyers and junk mail. It concerns me that, since candidates are financed (deposits are a hefty £5000) by their political parties, they will be strongly influenced by them. They will be in charge of policing budgets and will be able to hire and fire Chief Constables. Will one individual make these decisions, or will they be consulting their parties? Either way would be risky. I foresee conflict with the ACPO, not to mention the Police Federation.

absentgrana Sat 27-Oct-12 18:23:46

I do not want to see the police politicised – and most, but not all of the candidates are ex-councillors, MEPs and other party members. I think Ian Blair did irreparable harm to the Met in the way that he politicised it and London is still suffering from that. I shall not vote – not because I am apathetic but because I believe this absurd idea has been imposed upon the country and I refuse to support it.

Snoozy Sat 27-Oct-12 22:34:00

Absolutely! In my area all the candidates are affiliated to political parties and, as I live in a Labour stronghold, the Labour candidate will win regardless of suitability. Like absentgrana I don't think this should be a political matter. I would prefer to keep the current Police Authority but if I have to have a Commissioner, I'd like someone with the right skills and experience.

absentgrana Mon 29-Oct-12 08:56:50

In my area we have a Labour, Conservative and UKIP candidate and one independent. Not one of them has recognised that local crime figures have been steadily decreasing and clean-up rates have been steadily increasing, but all are, apparently, going to bring exactly these things about. As for ZERO TOLERANCE OF CRIME – it's always in capital letters – this is completely meaningless. Does anybody advocate tolerance of crime?

This is a safe Labour seat in general elections, so at a guess…

janeainsworth Mon 29-Oct-12 09:09:27

Well, absent just to be picky and annoyingwink, I think the zero tolerance applies to the public just as much as the police. If crime is not reported, the figures are meaningless. Failure to report crime is tantamount to advocating tolerance, IMHO.
To give you an example of what I mean, the local boat club of which MrA is a member has suffered a spate of petty vandalism - boat covers slashed, masts taken down etc. MrA was prepared to just give a gallic shrug but I pointed out to him that if this is not reported, he is effectively giving permission to the perpetrators to come along and do it again to someone else's boat. Even petty crime shouldn't be tolerated because it quickly builds up and people within a community feel vulnerable. The police rang him within 20 minutes of receiving his email and they are having a meeting at the club later today to see what can be done in terms of prevention.
I completely agree with you about that the police force should not be politicised i and I won't be voting in the elections for Commissioner either.
It will be very interesting to see what the turnout is - I can imagine that many people who would otherwise vote, seeing it as a civic duty, will be staying at home as a protest and a low turn-out will become a very low turn-out - is there a cut-off like a quorum, below which an election is deemed invalid, do you think?

janeainsworth Mon 29-Oct-12 09:10:58

Sorry about typos in next to last sentence.

absentgrana Mon 29-Oct-12 09:14:27

janeainsworth That is a valid point but is counterbalanced by the fact that many members of the public know very well that the police will do absolutely nothing about some crimes so it seems pointless to report them – a process that can take up a lot of time. However, I should be very worried if a candidate standing to be the local Police and Crime Commissioner advocated tolerance of crime.

I've no idea about a quorum. I would guess not.

annodomini Mon 29-Oct-12 09:27:48

I am in two minds about voting or not in this election. I don't think my vote will make much difference, although they are using a form of proportional representation - a sop the the Lib Dems, I should think - but on the other hand, if, for example, the BNP organised all their supporters to come out to vote, and the rest of us didn't bother, think of the kind of person who might, by default, get elected.

absentgrana Mon 29-Oct-12 09:30:22

anno Even the BNP can only vote for the candidates who are standing and there's pretty much nothing to choose between the four in my area.

JessM Mon 29-Oct-12 09:39:40

I am torn. I would normally support Labour as a lifetime (S Welsh) habit. The Labour candidate is the only one that I would put forward for an interview if I was looking at their CVs. But I fear he may be too keen to please the police unions and that this will make the task of being an impartial manager difficult for him in these troubled times.
Of course Boris fulfils this role in London doesn't he. How do we think that has gone?

glitabo Mon 29-Oct-12 10:02:32

Thanks for the link JessM I have found it very useful and I will vote tomorrow.

kittylester Mon 29-Oct-12 10:48:50

I wish there was 'candidate' called leave things as they are!

My worry is that, unless whoever wins has some personal experience, budgets for victims will be cut. sad

Mishap Mon 29-Oct-12 10:49:53

I think the low turnout that is predicted will make the whole thing totally undemocratic; and I have heard of several people who plan to spoil their ballot papers in protest.

feetlebaum Mon 29-Oct-12 11:34:05

Not voting is a perfectly acceptable form of protest - spoiling ballot papers is pointless. I have never missed a vote since becoming 21 - but I think I shall ignore this one.

When do we vote for dog-catcher? I shall be there for that... </sarcasm>

absentgrana Mon 29-Oct-12 13:30:07

feetlebaum I think the reasoning behind spoiling the ballot paper is that it is an active response to a poll and the member of the electorate shouldn't, therefore, be dismissed as apathetic. However, spoiled votes are not separately counted so it doesn't serve any purpose nowadays in the UK.