It’s time to ask you what you think about the PCC elections so far. We have a few more days to go before polling day.
Police Commissioners will soon replace the little known Police Committees of co-opted Councillors. They have a duty to agree budgets, set policing priorities and handle complaints for their local police force. So far it has been a fairly quiet election. More recently the BBC has allowed more election debate on the topics that matter in the world of policing.
Whether you wanted these new posts or not, they are coming and it makes sense to engage with the candidates and tell them what you want from your police force. The Commissioners will have to decide their own budgets – you may want them to keep that bit of the spending down. They need to work well with the Chief Constable, and of course avoid any interference with police independence when it comes to handling cases, collecting evidence and bringing prosecutions. They can make a difference in ensuring that the police service reflects people’s perceptions and worries about crime, by telling people what is happening in countering it, and ensuring resoruces are deployed where it matters. If you want particular types of crime targetted, or if you want a different style of policing, now is the time to say so.
I was intrigued to hear the UKIP spokesman say as his number one wish they wanted more women to be in these top jobs, only to admit UKIP has just two women candidates. Do you agree with them about more women in these roles? I see that UKIP is fighting 24 out of 41, and as so often leaving some of the most federalist areas of the country like South Wales, Gwent and Cleveland without any UKIP offering. It would be good to have an update from UKIP supporters who are vocal on this site and regularly use it to urge people to vote UKIP in a way supporters of other parties do not do. How do they see their party’s fortunes going from here? Who should a UKIP supporter vote for where there is no UKIP candidate? Do they expect a “break through” in the PCC elections where they do have candidates?