Crime Commissioners are wrong for policing

Mick Gradwell
Mick Gradwell
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There is still a great deal of public apathy towards next Thursday’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections and a very poor public turnout is anticipated at the polling stations.

It is likely many of the pink electoral commission booklets, sent to every household in the UK, explaining the role of the PCC were placed straight into the paper-recycling bin without even being read.

I have received absolutely nothing at my home address from any of the candidates seeking election and am left completely unimpressed by the election statements issued by each of the candidates, which I eventually found on the Internet. All four candidates are affiliated to political parties, so whoever wins the election the politicisation of the police is almost guaranteed. I have little faith in politicians and with just one week to go before the elections it is highly likely I will not be casting my vote.

I cannot get over the hurdle that I don’t want there to be an elected Police and Crime Commissioner. It places too much power and responsibility in the hands of just one person. Also, I have a cynical view that it is being created so this, and future, governments can distance themselves from policing and crime problems and simply say don’t complain to us, speak to your local PCC.

Do the Lancashire candidates have the experience, skills and abilities that match the PCC job description? They have little or no operational policing experience or experience of managing a large organisation. Before you put an X in their box, please ask yourself if you want to give that person the power to hire or more importantly fire a Chief Constable? Do any of the candidates have extensive financial management experience; as they will be responsible for setting the police budget and signing off contracts worth many millions of pounds?

Do the candidates have wide-ranging knowledge of the diverse communities throughout the entire Lancashire area and the individual crime and disorder problems they face?

So as we rapidly approach November 15 it appears we have an electorate that largely does not want an elected PCC or understand the role they will perform.

The wider electorate also knows very little about the individual PCC candidates they will be voting for.

If given the voting option of ‘none of the above’, I believe that would win hands down. I am certain Lancashire is about to elect a person to a very powerful position with a mandate that will be numerically embarrassing and meaningless. Throughout the country we are simply creating 41 white elephants and potentially ruining the police service.

If you would like Mick Gradwell to give a talk to your society, a presentation or an educational lecture, contact 01253 600800 for further information.