Police commissioners elections ''nothing short of shambles''

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Monday, August 20, 2012 - 10:52 GMT Jump to Comments

The election of new police and crime commissioners (PCCs) is supposed to give the public more of a say in police matters as part of a drive towards greater democracy. The latest elections will not deliver that promise.

The Electoral Reform Society has worked out that the £75m spent on the elections will result in a turnout of just 18 per cent.

The government has been blamed for not making enough of an effort to engage the public.

The coalition has also been criticised for only making information available online, for not carrying out an effective leafleting campaign and for holding the elections in November.

The Electoral Reform Society chief exec Katie Ghose said: "This election is beginning to look like a perfect storm, which could result in the lowest turnout for a national election in British history. Those pulling the strings have not done their homework and as a result this election looks primed to degenerate into a complete shambles.

"Put simply, if the people elected to localise decision-making over how our streets are policed, do not represent local people, what is the point of having them?"

The Home office responded, insisting that "Police and Crime Commissioners will, unlike invisible and unelected police authorities, give local communities a say over policing priorities in their areas and work with the police to cut crime."

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