police commissioners

(32 Posts)
alreadytaken Wed 24-Oct-12 11:11:44

can anyone explain to me why I should not spoil the ballot paper in protest at a waste of money?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 14:22:36

Funnily enough, I just got some communication through from one of our candidates and was about to do a bit of research. In principle, I think it could be a good thing that the police feel more accountable to the people of the local area rather than just the Home Secretary. With investigations into abuse of police power going on such as Hillsborough, it could be healthier if Commissioners were fearful of being booted by the masses. Won't know for sure until we see them in action.

Solopower1 Fri 26-Oct-12 12:50:38

Why is it a waste of money, Already? Genuine question - Cogito has given some good reasons for doing this, but what are the counter arguments?

To answer my own question, I suppose one of them might be the main problem with democracy, ie that if someone wants to be elected, they tend to pander to the most powerful and vociferous members of the public - who are usually not the majority - and that would skew the legal system in some way.

I suppose what I am thinking of is local hysteria about perceived risks prompting a commissioner to put up more CCTV cameras when it would be better if s/he put more money into investigating domestic abuse cases.

Is that the sort of thing people are worried about?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Oct-12 15:26:26

I think people are worried about all kinds of things on a local level. At the moment, I could be wrong, but there's no obvious channel of communication for anyone, vocal or otherwise, to express concerns to the police or say where I think their priorities should like. It all seems to be imposed and the people left out of the decision making.

PhyllisDoris Fri 26-Oct-12 15:30:25

I don't think the chief of police (ie the commissioner) should be political, and I think that he will be under this system. An considering not voting, not least because I have NO info on any of the candidates.

BackforGood Fri 26-Oct-12 15:55:14

What troubles me is that these elections are less than 3 weeks away, and I've not heard anything about either what the role involves / what a Police Commissioner is/does, / or what I should be looking for in a candidate. Nor have I heard who the candidates are, or why they think we should vote for them.

BackforGood Fri 26-Oct-12 15:56:17

x posted with Phyllis - how can we be epected to make an informed choice without the information going out to the public at large?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Oct-12 16:36:29

I got a letter from one of my candidates which had handy links to a website where he can be seen chatting on for about 10 minutes about why he's the chap for the job. None from the others. There's a page on the BBC website that has links to all the candidates if anyone's interested. PCC Information

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 26-Oct-12 16:41:42

It's a stupid idea - you really don't want an local representative focusing on local matters having any influence on the police. As mentioned above CCtV is a good example, or how about focusing on low level teen crime rather than say the bless visible and less complained about things like DV.

You want the police to be independent and do what is right, rather than what they think they should do to retain their position.

I think it has been predicted that these elections will have the lowest turnout in history by a long way.

iseenodust Fri 26-Oct-12 16:47:03

It does seem a bit low profile but local news programmes (eg Sunday politics show last weekend) have started to take an interest.

article this week

I would really urge everyone to vote because it is a position of some power and the regions are bigger than your local MP's constituency so the result may not match your MP (for good or bad).

iseenodust Fri 26-Oct-12 16:50:46

It'sallgoing I can appreciate there may well be some of what you say goes on early days but the reality is that if they do not prioritise properly the serious crime statistics will rise and they will be out. You might also query if you are more at risk of that from a politician who has a national party line to follow (which may not match the needs of your area).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 26-Oct-12 17:14:43

Ignore me smile its not happening up here anyway

headfairy Fri 26-Oct-12 17:18:02

I'm hesitating for the same reasons as backforgood and Phyllis. I've had absolutely no information about the candidates. I don't know the first thing about policing so how on earth can I make an informed choice about who should run local policing? I would hope that the police service are capable of selecting their own leadership based on merit rather than asking civilians to do so.

TiAAAAARGHo Fri 26-Oct-12 17:55:01

I am not voting. I have no info in any candidates and I don't think that it should be a political position. I think elected commissioners will end up pandering to the groups who are most vocal, which will not necessarily correspond to the most important crime issues or the most serious.

alreadytaken Sat 27-Oct-12 09:40:14

shouldn't be a political post - they will be following national party lines anyway, no evidence that it will improve accountability, too large an area to be accountable, simply places more power in the hands of the rich who will be able to lobby. Our local paper gave a little space to the candidates and there is at least one website with a few details. Some candidates nationally claim to be independent, I have no faith in that. No local demand for this, it's just been imposed.

I am strongly tempted to write "none of the above" on the ballot paper.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 27-Oct-12 10:34:07

Isn't it already a politically influenced position? The people who run police forces at the moment tend to come under great pressure from the prevailing government of the day.... under Labour it was all surveillance and DNA databases, under this government it's home-owners and 'three strikes' ideas ... and the public gets no say. If it's going to be influenced at all, isn't it better that the influence is bottom up rather than top down? I'd also liken it to the role of London Mayor. Even though the candidates are affiliated to national parties, the winner very much prides themselves on going against the grain and being their own person.

iseenodust Sat 27-Oct-12 15:06:32

headf The commissioner role is more like the chair of a company than the chief executive. It wouldn't be appropriate for only the police to have a say in who gets appointed. The idea is the commissioner will be there to hold the chief constable to account and give a strategic steer.

cogito depends on who your candidates are. In this area we have John Prescott predicted to win and as he intends to retain his seat as a labour peer...

alreadytaken Sat 27-Oct-12 15:50:14

the influence is not going to be bottom up, it'll be a select group of their friends and those with money, often the same thing I suspect. Although some of the candidates here seem to have arranged meetings they are poorly advertised and tend to be geographically limited. We currently have police authorities with more local links, presumably they will disappear.

I tried to find information on the local candidates, couldn't find much online.

ClareMarriott Sat 27-Oct-12 20:55:19

It's a bit rich when they are closing police stations to ask us to vote for candidates who, if truth be known, are virtually unknown to us. Here in Whitstable , Tim Collins ( he of the rousing army speech to his troops ) was rumoured to have been a candidate but for his own reasons he has chosen not to stand . Bloody hell, what a man to have had !!!!!

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Oct-12 20:57:44

I would have more faith in the post if the candidates in my area had cared enough to give me some information about themselves.

As it stands I have done all of the research. It makes it seem like its just another polictical gravy train.

Solopower1 Mon 29-Oct-12 10:46:43

So in order for people to have the information they need to vote, the prospective commissioners would, presumably, have to make it available. They'd have to tell us what their job involves and their views on how best to do it. At the same time as doing it.

So wouldn't it mean that someone else would have to do the job while the prospective commissioner is gearing up his/her media campaign, being interviewed on TV, writing pieces for local press, etc?

Or do police commissioners have time to do all this as well as their job?

BackforGood Mon 29-Oct-12 23:41:15

But surely they are not appointed yet ? confused
and yes, I do think it's pretty sensible to let people who are being given the responsibility of appointing someone - ie the general public - information about both what the role is all about and why they think they should be elected into the role. That sounds pretty reasonable to me.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 07:00:59

"media campaign, being interviewed on TV, writing pieces for local press, etc?"

I'd have thought this will be one difference with the elected police commissioners to the current arrangement ie. they'll become more visible. At the moment - and I may be in a minority of one, I realise - I couldn't tell you who is the head of my local police authority or what their priorities are. If they are forced into the spotlight as a result of being elected rather than simply appointed and allowed to operate fairly anonymously in an office somewhere, wouldn't that be a positive change?

iseenodust Tue 30-Oct-12 14:43:46

Best source of info :
candidates info all areas

Apparently John Prescott has been seen campaigning outside a supermarket. We've had one campaign leaflet through the door.

BackforGood Tue 30-Oct-12 22:50:02

Thanks for the link Iseenodust.
At least I now have a list of names!

TheBeetle Wed 07-Nov-12 14:36:22

Many candidates, whilst standing for parties have very little funding. In South Yorkshire candidates are operating on very little against a Labour candidate funded by the unions, Party, Branches etc.

This is very important since he is by and large expected to win. Unfortunately, he was the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's services at the time of the Rotherham grooming scandal where over a hundred young girls were systematically sexually abused by gangs of males.

He continues to defend this in various ways, suggesting it is a national problem, but Ofsted reported services under his directorate as "Poor" in 2009.

This is largely being withheld from the public by a biased local press.

It is therefore crucial, that whatever part of the country you are in you do some investigation into your candidate and more importantly ensure you act to make sure those you would not want in charge are not elected due to your apathy.

Use the home office website http://www.choosemypcc.org.uk/ and find your candidates and read carefully what they say and everything else you can find out about them.

Good policing is vital to keeping our children safe. A police Commissioner will play a huge part in that by targeting resources at Child Protection, grooming, trafficking etc.

edam Wed 07-Nov-12 14:42:48

Thanks for the link iseenodust. AIBU if I cast my vote against the first candidate I've looked at, who used 'less' when it should have been fewer? grin

Goodness only knows what the whole thing will achieve. Seems a half-arsed idea that has happened somehow without much actual thought (bit of a theme with this govt.) Probably a waste of money as well. But I will vote, because I was brought up by people who drummed it into my head that we were jolly lucky to have the right and people had died for it and so on.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 07-Nov-12 14:54:14

@edam... YANBU. Someone that careless with grammar has probably got unclean habits.

iseenodust Wed 07-Nov-12 16:24:51

The BBC is running regional programmes tonight on candidates / the role. 7.30pm or find on iplayer after kids' bedtime.

edam Wed 07-Nov-12 19:11:09

One of the most disturbing aspects of all this is how badly represented women are. Only a tiny minority of candidates are women. And when you look at crimes that disproportionately affect women, like domestic violence, it's unlikely that a politician who depends on winning the popular vote is going to focus on that area. Rape and DV services may be neglected or lose funding in this new system. I hope I'm wrong about that, but it is a real worry.

iseenodust Wed 07-Nov-12 21:59:59

The BBC programme was a disappointment. Not much enlightened discussion and when it went to regional the candidates from Lincolnshire got to say a sentence each and the ones for Humberside didn't appear.

edam I have to say DV is one of the things that has been mentioned by some candidates, quite a few have chosen to focus on victims of crime.

picketywick Thu 22-Nov-12 12:26:38

Our PCC was on the radio , making decisions, theday after he was elected.
Seems determined to make a difference. Time will tell

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