In less than a month I will vote for the person who I want to represent me as PCC.
This according to the government is to bring some democracy to the process of policing. If it is to be democratic and the PCC is supposed to represent my views he or she is going to need some form of network to gather my views and the views of others in my force area which is Warwickshire.
I have not seen one PCC state how they intend to do this post election – yes they are all out there now gathering views and seeking votes but the real job starts once they are elected. They will take a vow of impartiality and then free of the burden of party politics will be able to represent me and the 500,000 other people in Warwickshire.
If PCC’s are to be the voice of the people for policing then communicating with the community – all the community not just the communities they like or the interest groups etc will be absolutely critical.
I’d be interested to hear from my candidates how they intend to keep in touch with me over the 4 years of their office. I don’t expect they will but I would vote for the one who sets up a proper network across the force area to seek the populations views on a regular basis.
Id like to see a quarterly meeting in each constituency area to seek the views of people regarding crime and policing in that area with the PCC present. In Warwickshire this would mean 6 meetings every quarter.
This would be supported by a monthly meeting of the same group without the PCC to share ideas etc that can then be communicated to the PCC for their information.
This could work in some force areas but I still fail to see how one PCC is going to democratically represent the people of forces such as the Wet Midlands which has a population of nearly 2.8 million and or Thames Valley which has a population of 2.1 million spread over an area of 2,200 miles.
PCC’s cannot afford to follow the parliamentary model of only listening once every 5 years at election time and then relying on that mandate until the next election policing needs change much to quickly for that.