It’s only two weeks until the first-ever elections for Police and Crime Commissioners is held in England and Wales. The elections – to be held on 15 November – will see the creation of 41 commissioners covering each of the police forces in England and Wales except the City of London and Metropolitan police forces which have separate arrangements.
The new PCCs will be charged with securing efficient and effective policing. They will not be police officers but will hold the chief constable to account.
Prime Minister David Cameron said it’s important that people vote in these elections. “People are going to be voting in their own law and order champion: one person who sets the budgets, sets the priorities; hires and fires the chief constable; bangs heads together to get things done. If you want more tough policing, you can get it. If you want coppers who are on the beat, on your street, cracking down on antisocial behaviour, focusing on the things you care about, then don’t just talk about it, get out on 15 November and vote for it.”
However, the elections have been criticised for having attracted few inspirational candidates and for becoming too party political.
Labour party leader Ed Miliband sees the elections as a chance to put Labour’s stamp on local policing. “Labour is determined to stand up for local communities in these elections. The Government is making the wrong choices on crime, taking frontline police off the streets, weakening powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, and opening the door to the privatisation of core services. Labour candidates will fight the impact of these reckless changes, working within local communities to bring about the change people want.”