Criminal truth about dream of localism

Tim Ridgway considers the impact of new Police and Crime Commissioners on policing

Tim Ridgway considers the impact of new Police and Crime Commissioners on policing

First published in Comment and Analysis by

In less than three weeks Sussex will go to the polls for one of the most important votes in recent memory. Bovvered? Thought not.

For despite all the claims that it embarks on a new era of democracy, the coalition Government’s flagship policy to improve law and order is failing to get anyone a teeny bit excited, never mind raucous enough to be eligible for an Asbo.

Has an election ever been greeted with as much a “meh” as those for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs)?

I write this hesitantly, as I’m as big a fan of having a moan as the next man.

But, really, honestly, what is the point of casting your vote on November 15?

Now all the candidates seem pretty amiable and no doubt I’d enjoy having a chat with them over a warm beverage.

But the person elected and handed a salary of £85,000 a year will be overseeing a budget of more than £200 million and is supposed to be holding senior officers to account.

Looking down the list, there are no political heavyweights among the shortlist of five.

Will they really be able to place Inspector Knacker’s privates in a vice?

Will they really be able to throw out the ideas of a top cop who has served in the force for more than 20 years?

Or will we get a yes man (or woman) to simply nod through the advice of an unelected group of senior officers?

I’m afraid to say the dream of localism will, in reality, become a culture of yesism.

The truth is, unlike our local councils where there is a clear difference between those parties that want to provide more with increased taxes and those that will do less by taking less, there is little to separate those standing to become PCCs.

Campaign pledges

Ultimately, everyone canvassing for your vote will pledge the undeliverable – to reduce crime in your neighbourhood.

There is not a candidate out there that will admit the truth – that the next four years will be among the toughest facing all public authorities.

With funding being squeezed, I want the person in charge of a mammoth public purse not only to grasp issues but not to be afraid to say no.

If it involves sacking a few people then so be it. If it involves telling someone to get a grip, then who cares?

We, the people of Sussex, deserve the best.

And I’m afraid the list of PCC candidates does not inspire me to believe it is nothing more than a costly experiment designed by central government to wash its hands of responsibility when times are tough and funding |limited.

Comments (12)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:18pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Luke72 says...

So far all I've had regarding this is my polling card. No leaflet or letter explaining the implications of it nor any literature from the candidates. It there was so more information on the impact this may have and some actual campaigning from the candidates then maybe it might actually get people involved or even motivated enough to vote. As it stands at the moment I'm guessing this is going to have a very low turn out with regards to the number of voters.
So far all I've had regarding this is my polling card. No leaflet or letter explaining the implications of it nor any literature from the candidates. It there was so more information on the impact this may have and some actual campaigning from the candidates then maybe it might actually get people involved or even motivated enough to vote. As it stands at the moment I'm guessing this is going to have a very low turn out with regards to the number of voters. Luke72
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Luke72 says...

So far all I've had regarding this is my polling card. No leaflet or letter explaining the implications of it nor any literature from the candidates. It there was so more information on the impact this may have and some actual campaigning from the candidates then maybe it might actually get people involved or even motivated enough to vote. As it stands at the moment I'm guessing this is going to have a very low turn out with regards to the number of voters.
So far all I've had regarding this is my polling card. No leaflet or letter explaining the implications of it nor any literature from the candidates. It there was so more information on the impact this may have and some actual campaigning from the candidates then maybe it might actually get people involved or even motivated enough to vote. As it stands at the moment I'm guessing this is going to have a very low turn out with regards to the number of voters. Luke72
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Luke72 says...

So far all I've had regarding this is my polling card. No leaflet or letter explaining the implications of it nor any literature from the candidates. It there was so more information on the impact this may have and some actual campaigning from the candidates then maybe it might actually get people involved or even motivated enough to vote. As it stands at the moment I'm guessing this is going to have a very low turn out with regards to the number of voters.
So far all I've had regarding this is my polling card. No leaflet or letter explaining the implications of it nor any literature from the candidates. It there was so more information on the impact this may have and some actual campaigning from the candidates then maybe it might actually get people involved or even motivated enough to vote. As it stands at the moment I'm guessing this is going to have a very low turn out with regards to the number of voters. Luke72
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Sarah Booker says...

Brighton and Hove City Council has a survey on its site asking if people have received the information leaflet.

http://consult.brigh
ton-hove.gov.uk/publ
ic/bhcc/comms/bookle
t/booklet

We're all supposed to receive one from the Electoral Commission.
Brighton and Hove City Council has a survey on its site asking if people have received the information leaflet. http://consult.brigh ton-hove.gov.uk/publ ic/bhcc/comms/bookle t/booklet We're all supposed to receive one from the Electoral Commission. Sarah Booker
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

Sarah Booker wrote:
Brighton and Hove City Council has a survey on its site asking if people have received the information leaflet.

http://consult.brigh

ton-hove.gov.uk/publ

ic/bhcc/comms/bookle

t/booklet

We're all supposed to receive one from the Electoral Commission.
Is the leaflet about the candidates? Or just saying "There's an election" ? The former would be useful, indeed essential if we are to try and choose a candidate. The latter would be, for me anyway, a waste of paper.
[quote][p][bold]Sarah Booker[/bold] wrote: Brighton and Hove City Council has a survey on its site asking if people have received the information leaflet. http://consult.brigh ton-hove.gov.uk/publ ic/bhcc/comms/bookle t/booklet We're all supposed to receive one from the Electoral Commission.[/p][/quote]Is the leaflet about the candidates? Or just saying "There's an election" ? The former would be useful, indeed essential if we are to try and choose a candidate. The latter would be, for me anyway, a waste of paper. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

And yes, I agree with Mr Ridgway's analysis. I'd also add I think politicising the police is a terrible idea. A step in the right direction might have been if all the candidates were independent and political labels not allowed. Too late now of course and I'm sure some people will just use it as an opinion poll and vote for the Labour guy because they don't like David Cameron.
And yes, I agree with Mr Ridgway's analysis. I'd also add I think politicising the police is a terrible idea. A step in the right direction might have been if all the candidates were independent and political labels not allowed. Too late now of course and I'm sure some people will just use it as an opinion poll and vote for the Labour guy because they don't like David Cameron. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Thu 1 Nov 12

Sarah Booker says...

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit wrote:
Sarah Booker wrote:
Brighton and Hove City Council has a survey on its site asking if people have received the information leaflet.

http://consult.brigh


ton-hove.gov.uk/publ


ic/bhcc/comms/bookle


t/booklet

We're all supposed to receive one from the Electoral Commission.
Is the leaflet about the candidates? Or just saying "There's an election" ? The former would be useful, indeed essential if we are to try and choose a candidate. The latter would be, for me anyway, a waste of paper.
It explains the voting process, because it isn't a straight forward one cross vote.

It's on this PDF: http://www.electoral
commission.org.uk/__
data/assets/pdf_file
/0014/151133/PCC-boo
klet-public-info-web
-England-English-FIN
AL-LIVE-tagged-pdf.p
df

The website http://policecrimeco
mmissioner.co.uk/ provides the same information about the candidates as we do on this site.
[quote][p][bold]Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sarah Booker[/bold] wrote: Brighton and Hove City Council has a survey on its site asking if people have received the information leaflet. http://consult.brigh ton-hove.gov.uk/publ ic/bhcc/comms/bookle t/booklet We're all supposed to receive one from the Electoral Commission.[/p][/quote]Is the leaflet about the candidates? Or just saying "There's an election" ? The former would be useful, indeed essential if we are to try and choose a candidate. The latter would be, for me anyway, a waste of paper.[/p][/quote]It explains the voting process, because it isn't a straight forward one cross vote. It's on this PDF: http://www.electoral commission.org.uk/__ data/assets/pdf_file /0014/151133/PCC-boo klet-public-info-web -England-English-FIN AL-LIVE-tagged-pdf.p df The website http://policecrimeco mmissioner.co.uk/ provides the same information about the candidates as we do on this site. Sarah Booker
  • Score: 0

7:30am Fri 2 Nov 12

sosparty says...

The latest promise from Katy Bourne is to reward all PCSO's by letting them off not paying their council tax.
1, I don't think the new PCC's will have the power to stop people being charged council tax.
2, if you're going to let PCSO's off with their council tax, why not others, who do just as much for society in large. Police officers, nurses, bin men, the list goes on and on.
Typical crazy promise from Katy Bourne. This lady is the least qualified for the role.
The latest promise from Katy Bourne is to reward all PCSO's by letting them off not paying their council tax. 1, I don't think the new PCC's will have the power to stop people being charged council tax. 2, if you're going to let PCSO's off with their council tax, why not others, who do just as much for society in large. Police officers, nurses, bin men, the list goes on and on. Typical crazy promise from Katy Bourne. This lady is the least qualified for the role. sosparty
  • Score: 0

7:34am Mon 5 Nov 12

Old Ladys Gin says...

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit wrote:
And yes, I agree with Mr Ridgway's analysis. I'd also add I think politicising the police is a terrible idea. A step in the right direction might have been if all the candidates were independent and political labels not allowed. Too late now of course and I'm sure some people will just use it as an opinion poll and vote for the Labour guy because they don't like David Cameron.
The police are already politicised eg Commissioner of the Metropolitan police is chosen by the Mayor of London, and answers directly to them.
The police have been playing the political game for a very long time.
[quote][p][bold]Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit[/bold] wrote: And yes, I agree with Mr Ridgway's analysis. I'd also add I think politicising the police is a terrible idea. A step in the right direction might have been if all the candidates were independent and political labels not allowed. Too late now of course and I'm sure some people will just use it as an opinion poll and vote for the Labour guy because they don't like David Cameron.[/p][/quote]The police are already politicised eg Commissioner of the Metropolitan police is chosen by the Mayor of London, and answers directly to them. The police have been playing the political game for a very long time. Old Ladys Gin
  • Score: 0

11:12am Fri 9 Nov 12

brightonian57 says...

It is now less than a week to the vote, and I have only received a voting card, no booklet, no other information at all. If the booklet arrives in time for me to read it before the 15th, I may consider voting. If not, I won’t be wasting my time.
It is now less than a week to the vote, and I have only received a voting card, no booklet, no other information at all. If the booklet arrives in time for me to read it before the 15th, I may consider voting. If not, I won’t be wasting my time. brightonian57
  • Score: 0

10:34pm Fri 9 Nov 12

mimseycal says...

Well, I had some questions I wanted answered and as the lack of detail on the ground is conspicuous in its absence, I emailed the respective candidates ... Only three have bothered to respond so as far as I am concerned it is a three horse race.

Then there is the openly stated political affiliations which stick in my craw, to put it mildly ...

The whole process stinks to high heaven but not attending the voting isn't an option either. Rock and hard place really ;)
Well, I had some questions I wanted answered and as the lack of detail on the ground is conspicuous in its absence, I emailed the respective candidates ... Only three have bothered to respond so as far as I am concerned it is a three horse race. Then there is the openly stated political affiliations which stick in my craw, to put it mildly ... The whole process stinks to high heaven but not attending the voting isn't an option either. Rock and hard place really ;) mimseycal
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Chieftain11 says...

My sympathies are with senior police officers who have spent their lives fighting crime.

Now they will be subject to the childish whims and fancies of political ideologies that range from the 'hang-em and flog' brigade to anarchist thinking basket cases.

As for Deputy PCC' they will be chosen by political parties who paid the PCCs deposit. Jobs for the boys, nothing more.
My sympathies are with senior police officers who have spent their lives fighting crime. Now they will be subject to the childish whims and fancies of political ideologies that range from the 'hang-em and flog' brigade to anarchist thinking basket cases. As for Deputy PCC' they will be chosen by political parties who paid the PCCs deposit. Jobs for the boys, nothing more. Chieftain11
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree