DCSIMG

Voters treated with contempt over police elections

ELECTION SUCCESS: West Yorkshires first Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson in his first day in the job

ELECTION SUCCESS: West Yorkshires first Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson in his first day in the job

Last week was the first time in many years that I didn’t cast my vote in an election. When the position of Police and Crime Commissioner was first announced, I could understand the plan, although I was not entirely in favour.

In place of the current West Yorkshire police authority the public would elect PCCs to “hold the local police force to account, to set the police budget and the police plan, to stand up for the public and victims and to hire and fire Chief Constables”.

In the words of the Government, police forces would be “democratically accountable to local people, freeing officers from the red tape which takes them off the streets.” But “democracy” appears to have completely been thrown out of the window when it came to the election itself. We, the public (for whose benefit the changes were alledgedly made), were given no information whatsoever about the candidates. We may know some candidates because of their past service as councillors but what about their expertise and track record in policing matters, and their suitability to hold such an important position, one with influence and power over the fourth largest force in England and Wales? We were kept in the dark. It appears that these farcical elections have been reduced to party political elections. 
There is no way that I would ever vote for a candidate without having some idea of whether or not he/she would be up to the job. We have been treated with contempt by the politicians.

David Union

Grange Close, Outlane

 

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