Sunday, September 24, 2023

Election: Police and Crime Commissioner

A part of the election on Thursday 5th May is to elect a new Police and Crime Commissioner.  A lot of people don’t really understand why we have to do this and it is yet another aspect of this election year that the electorate find difficult because it’s relatively new and the candidates don’t campaign with the same public presence as the council candidates.

The election of Police and Crime Commissioners was introduced in 2012 when Police Authorities were abolished by the ConDem coalition with the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act.  It was a campaign issue for both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to reform or replace the police authorities, which they both believed lacked accountability to the communities they serve.

Unlike Commissioners, who are high ranking police officers at the London Metropolitan Police, Police and Crime Commissioners are not part of the police, are not guaranteed to have experience in policing and are tied to political parties, forcing party political ideology onto police oversight, in direct contradiction of the oath of impartiality which a PCC must make.  In 2014 the National Audit Office found that there were “few checks and balances” on the role and that the Police and Crime Panels which scrutinise PCCs (and inform the public of their conclusions) have little power to do anything about what they discover (they can suspend a PCC if s/he commits a serious crime).  The change has politicised the function but we still have to vote for who politicises the funding of the police and the assessment of their efficiency and effectiveness.

Here are our choices for Derbyshire:

Tom Snowdon – Liberal Democrats

His campaign priorities are:

  • Campaign to abolish the Police and Crime Commissioners and return to Police Authorities.
  • Campaign to legalise and regulate the sale of cannabis.
  • Reduce costs to fund more community policing.
  • Hold regular public meetings around the county, so residents can voice their concerns.
  • Oppose any moves to privatise policing.

Richard Bright – Conservative Party

His campaign priorities are:

  • Bring back visible neighbourhood policing (there are financial limitations appended to this point)
  • Protect vulnerable people of all ages.
  • Increased rural protections and presence.
  • Increase support for voluntary Special Constables. (25 Voluntary unpaid police officers per year)
  • Embrace new technology to reduce red tape. (Use of mobile technology to reduce paperwork)
  • Keep the public safe and secure from terrorism.

Stuart David Yeowart – UKIP

Mr. Yeowart, who is a former police officer, did not provide a statement to the official Choose Your PCC website but stated on ITV that he wants to use social media and have lots of meetings.  His most public presence is Twitter which is dominated by anti-immigration posts and features this confused paradox:

Hardyal Singh Dhinsa – Labour   (currently Deputy PCC)

His campaign priorities are:

  • Put victims and their needs at the heart of everything that I do
  • Reject the privatisation of Police services
  • Resist further Government cuts to Derbyshire’s police budget
  • Ensure proportionate deployment of police resources to areas of greatest need
  • Prioritise partnership working and make the police accountable to local people
  • Protect elderly and vulnerable people from distraction crimes and abuse

Belper voters might like to consider whether they want the police run by the same political party currently in control of the country and being protested against.

Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

One thought on “Election: Police and Crime Commissioner

  • Chris Copeland

    Mr Dhindsa was my landlord in Allestree for a while. Really nice bloke.

Leave a Reply

GDPR, Your Data and Us:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.