I will be voting on Thursday for one of Warwickshire’s PCC candidates.
I vote in every election because I see it as my duty as a mark of respect for all those who fought in the various wars and campaigns where so many have made that ultimate sacrifice to ensure that we remain a democracy.
I do not agree with PCC’s; I do not want the police under local political control but the Government have decided to foist them upon us and so I will be voting.
The Governments strategy for this election has been appalling, the adverts have been rubbish. It has been overly focused on the police, PCC’s will have other responsibilities as well but the focus has been on having a say about your local police and those other responsibilities have been largely ignored or brushed over.
The Policing minister Nick Herbert left the job in this summers reshuffle, Policy Exchange’s PCC champion Blair Gibbs also left for pastures new this summer. Neither have said anything about these election since but in both cases it does seem an odd time to leave. Although Blair’s departure may have been prompted by the tweet about the 4 horsemen of the policing apocalypse which caused some offence and gave us a bit of an insight into his and his colleagues views of policing.
We have had a few withdrawals because of minor convictions that candidates received as young people and we have witnessed the withdrawal of one independent because he was duped by his campaign manager.
We are left with a range of candidates the majority of whom are white males some of whom are ex politicians or ex Police Authority some of whom are ex police officers and some of whom have no political or police experience.
I have written a few posts about PCC’s, engaged with several candidates via Twitter even #FF’d one @DorsetRachel who I cannot vote for being in the wrong county but who engaged me in a number of debates and even prompted one of the posts I wrote about PCC’s and the reasons they were being introduced & yes I would vote for her if I could.
I and others have commented on the unfair advantage candidates who have political parties behind them have with regard to funding and campaign support whether that support will influence the elections remains to be seen.
Initially I was determined that I would vote independent I actually engaged with one individual who was thinking of standing & who then decided not to because he thought the current independent candidate had more chance. I engaged with that candidate and offered to help but that did not really go anywhere and that is not a reflection on the candidate just the way things work out.
I know who I am voting for because he is the only person who has leafleted my area. Ironically he is from one of the political parties but I am voting for him because he has a plan to raise the number of police officers in my county.
As we have the lowest number of officers in any force I think this is a critical aspect of any future policing plan.
Whether that plan will work remains to be seen but the other two candidates conservative and independent have no plans to do that and so are both to my minds following the party line.
PCC’s are coming, they will be in place sometime next week whether you vote or not. Like me you have a choice as to whether and who you vote for but irrespective of whether you do or don’t they are going to have an influence on policing going forward.
I am looking forward with some interest and trepidation to the impact they will have – described by the government as the biggest change to policing will it truly be that or will it be something of a damp squib.
My turnout prediction 20.15%
So there you have it my quick review of whats gone on, over the past 6 months or so, undoubtedly I will be blogging about PCC’s post election as we see how PCC’s influence policing in the coming years.