Electing police and crime commissioners

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BJ.
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Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by BJ. » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:25 pm

I keep asking myself the same question - why are the majority of the candidates associated with political parties?

For example, here in Derbyshire, I have a choice of four people, i.e. one Labour, one Conservative, one UKIP and one Independent. Surely we don't want people having a political agenda when it comes to running a county's police force? I would have thought the bottom line is 'fight crime' regardless of political leanings.

The last thing we want are messages coming down from Millbank, One Brewer's Green or Great George Street telling the police which crimes to fight and when.
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Skin_and_Muscle » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:47 pm

There's an even more fundamental problem - why would we want our Police Commissioners to be elected at all? Being an elected official (and being associated with political parties) requires you to make calculated decisions and populist statements with a view to getting re-elected. Being a police commissioner is about making tactical (and sometimes unpopular) decisions with a practical goal of reducing crime. The distinction should not be blurred.
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Rizzo » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:49 pm

I've been asking myself the same question, BJ. It all seems such an odd idea to me.
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CJ
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by CJ » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:16 pm

The whole idea is completely bonkers. The Police Authorities were working fine involving some councillors but also some involved in the criminal justice system, so they had a pretty good idea what they were talking about.

and another thing - the sheer cost! the salaries and just how much will they make in expenses?

awful.

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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Kinoulton » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:10 am

The problem with elections these days is that is all about promises and retoric.

In all other forms of life, like how you pick your hairdresser or who is going to service your car, then the decision is made on past performance and recommendation.

But on who bosses our coppers it's going to be about a nice photo and promises which will not be kept.
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Old Hob » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:20 pm

Since 1840 the police have done a good job of (generally) staying unpoliticised. It has not always worked. Police commissioners will kill that and populist decisions to keep some party hack in a job (and to reflect on the national party) will be the order of the day. Recent governments have been obsessed with all things American; this is one idea that should have been left there. The politicking and corruption of US police/political establishment depicted in "The Wire" seems very like a documentary not a drama.
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Latecomer » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:31 pm

Forget the cost of salaries and expenses, what about the sheer cost of holding an election which is likely to attract a single figures turnout when the country is effectively skint? Council officials will sit in our village hall from 7am til 10pm so seventy people can not go and vote. Bonkers!

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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by CJ » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:56 pm

dead right, latecomer. I did that shift once and what a waste of time. loads of officials to watch over very few votes and we got paid loads. nice but wrong

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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Kinoulton » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:40 am

This is slightly off at a tangent but there is a general misconception that the British Royal family have no power.

But if push came to shove and we had civil unrest then the armed services would support the monarchy and ignore the pompous twits in parliament.

I think if the police had a similar allegiance then we might have a proper police force and not when one where inarticulate pontificating idiots appear on TV saying "I can confirm that we have apprehended a male person in connection to an incident that we are currently investigating."

So you've arrested a bloke.
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by h's dad » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:22 pm

I agree with the train of thought on this thread (although I’m not sure about Kinoulton’s revolution).

The fact remains that the election is going to happen so what should an individual do?

Not bother voting and be taken for apathetic?
Turn up and spoil the ballot paper?
Look at the candidates and try and pick who will do most good/least likely to be a freeloader taking part in the gravy train?
Take to the streets with firebrands and pitchforks?

I do note that at least one Leicestershire candidate is a Tigers STH, I don’t know if that should sway the vote :smt002
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Old Hob
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Old Hob » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:25 pm

Further questions arise:

Cross border policing; ie crimes which cross internal boundaries and/or national boundaries such as drug/ people trafficking - what has a LOCAL politician/ police commissioner to say on this?
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by Zdzislaw » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:03 am

There ought to be an option on the ballot paper to the effect of - "I don't want here to be an elected police commissioner".

Off tangent, but did anyone watching the Cenotaph service notice that the Queen, Philip, Anne and Andrew sang the hymns without requiring a hymnal - unlike the politicians. What a bunch of jokers. Restore full power to the monarchy say I.

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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by CJ » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:24 pm

there is the option of saying that, Z. Write it on the ballot paper and spoil your paper. That's what a lot of us down here are going to do. That way you have at least voted - and you are counted on the turnout figures - but you have also made your views clear. And the spoilt papers do get read.

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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by BJ. » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:57 am

I've just been and put my cross in the box and yet again the state will be able to find out who I voted for.

How? Quite simple. I showed my poll card to one of the women at the polling station, she confirmed my name and address and told her colleague my electoral roll number. The second woman then wrote this against a unique serial number which was also on the back of the ballot paper I used to vote. Therefore, any ballot paper can be traced back to the person who used it.
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Re: Electing police and crime commissioners

Post by DickyP » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:34 am

BJ. wrote:I've just been and put my cross in the box and yet again the state will be able to find out who I voted for.

How? Quite simple. I showed my poll card to one of the women at the polling station, she confirmed my name and address and told her colleague my electoral roll number. The second woman then wrote this against a unique serial number which was also on the back of the ballot paper I used to vote. Therefore, any ballot paper can be traced back to the person who used it.
Also been to vote and delighted that in my area there were two independents to vote for - the last thing we need is party political appointees as PCCs.

As to the tracing it depends on what is done with the records afterwards and how soon they are destroyed. There is also a balancing act with preventing electoral fraud which has been rife in the last few years.

As I don't actually care if people know how I voted I'm on the side of doing anything and everything we can to prevent fraud.

Finally it should be remembered that the reason secret ballots were introduced was NOT to prevent people from knowing retrospectively how you voted but prevent people forcing you to vote for a particular candidate as you did it. Of course if the system allows the heavies to come round later and punish you if you voted for the 'wrong person' then it is flawed: hence my comment about what's done with the records and when.
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