Author Topic: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss  (Read 16390 times)

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Offline Bassettina

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #140 on: November 17, 2012, 04:37:54 PM »
I believe that a vote is a precious thing but try as I might , I could not bring myself to cast a vote for this.

Same here. I have voted in every election since I reached voting age. I've voted in local, national and European elections. I was once one of only 173 people who voted when a single seat for one Wootton Bassett ward became vacant between elelections.

But I could not vote here. There was no way of registering oppoisition to this by voting and no candidate who immediately offered to challenge the new system.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #141 on: November 17, 2012, 05:00:27 PM »
Indeed.

I think its a moral contradiction to treat voting as an obligation. Taken to its extreme, one of the reasons Hitler was partly legitimized was because a swathe of Germans put and x next to his name because many perceived him to be the 'least bad' option.

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What - exercised their decision 'not to vote' based on moral grounds. As much as I would like to agree that a moral stance did play such a significant role in the low turnout, I simply can't.

Des - here's a thread with lots of people making the point that they didn't vote - and people who come from different political angles and who often disagree on other. If there are so many examples from such a relatively small and disparate cohort, you can bet your bottom dollar that there were significantly more nationally.

And I do mean significantly as the media have definately picked up on it and interviewed numerous people who've specifically stated the protest nature of their non-vote. I think its a shame that those who also claimed to disagree with the elections didn't join us - as dropping the turnout even lower would have emphasized the point even more clearly.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #142 on: November 17, 2012, 05:08:52 PM »
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What remains abundantly clear is that a very small minority of voters chose to legitimise the PCC elections by expressing a preference of candidates.

The issue of whether the PCC elections were legitimate is not in dispute, the election itself didn't actually require 'legitimising' and the absence of voters who actually chose not to vote doesn't in any way negate the legitimacy of the election.

In general and local elections voters do not always agree with 100% of the manifestos presented, nor do they neccesarily like or support the individual standing, all too often the decision is made purely on Party Politicla grounds. That there isn't 100% agreement doesn't negate the legitimacy of the election, the candidate or the result.

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A significant number of that small minority also state that they did not agree with the creation of PCC's but voted for a PCC candidate anyway.  I doubt that I need to point out the attendant irony

Many people didn't agree with unitary authorities but still voted for the councillors who made up the body political - that's what happens in a democracy. We compromise and make adjustments, some may call it 'forsaking principles' others may call it pragmatism. Whatever name you give it is fine, when reality dictates that an action will occur, you can be a part of the process or outside of the process, the choice is always and only YOURS

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #143 on: November 17, 2012, 05:18:37 PM »
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emphasized the point even more clearly.

That would have been wonderful if there was an 'outcome' (good word Muggins) beyond that of a PCC being elected anyway.

The choice to not vote is enshrined in our democracy and I for one would not support the Australian system of compulsory voting. However, having decided to not vote the question has to be asked 'what did it achieve' - the media is already over the issue of PCCs like a rash but it will change nothing.  Wiltshire has a PCC - if you considered the Conservative candidate to be the best of what was offered then you will probably be happy and content, if not, just as in any elction you will be put out. If you didn't vote at all because you didn't like any of the candidates or the principle of a PCC that's fine, but you still have one.

I think the absence of voters was for a variety of reasons of which 'apathy' was one, lack of information on the candidates was another as was a lack of real and meaningful information on what the PCC will be responsible for. There was hardly a whisper about 'commissioning' services such as offender management programmes, saftey partnerships, advice and support for victims, drug rehabilitation programmes and so on.

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #144 on: November 17, 2012, 05:45:14 PM »
The lack of information was, to some extent, avoidable. Candidates did get not get a free mail-out of a campaign leaflet, but got support with their web presence. Plus, candidates had to stump up a £5,000 (compared to £500 at general elections).

I thought both these things were odd.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #145 on: November 18, 2012, 08:37:42 AM »
Never mind the publicity, I bet most got in because of the political party they stood for, sort of a 'we don't know you but we want that lot to win' 

If the political partiees had valued their candidates and relished the position, they would have stumped up the cash for a leaflet drop.  Maybe the (local) parties are not that bothered about it either?

Maybe they are coming to the conclusion that leaflet drop are not the best way to commincate and are volunteer time expensive.

Either way, someone must have said not to bother.

'Outcome' is not my word Des, but yet another buzz word, along with 'engagement' etc. At the end of every plan is an expected 'outcome' just as unachievable as those that went before, mainly because the whole blessed thing was misintepreted in the first place.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #146 on: November 18, 2012, 03:07:13 PM »
Quote
What remains abundantly clear is that a very small minority of voters chose to legitimise the PCC elections by expressing a preference of candidates.

The issue of whether the PCC elections were legitimate is not in dispute, the election itself didn't actually require 'legitimising' and the absence of voters who actually chose not to vote doesn't in any way negate the legitimacy of the election.

The PCC elections were lawful and therefore legitimate in the eyes of the law.  One could accurately describe the elections, and the deliberate exclusion of public participation on the process of deciding whether to replace multi-member cross-party police authorities with a single person, as being 'within the rules'....

...but that doesn't legitimise the elections in the hearts and minds of those others, like me, who were and will remain opposed to the change. 

In my opinion the PCC elections demonstrate exactly what happens when the democratic process is incorrectly used to pursue a party political policy objective after cutting the electorate out of the earliest parts of the decision making loop - one of the perils of having a 'representative democracy' is the possibility that those who 'represent' tend to represent their own political wishes, objectives and parties without any reference to the electorate.  We regularly see this in Swindon with Rod Bluh et al.   

Taking short cuts to make changes in governance, whether it be council leadership models or police and fire authorities, will result in the electorate withdrawing even further from the process itself and each time a council or government short-changes the electorate in this manner it pushes the entire democratic process further towards Banana Republican models.

I further suggest that the coalition government was concerned about the perceived legitimacy of the PCC elections and so dropped the first past the post system of election in favour of 'preference' voting - which will always show the winning candidate as having more than 50% of the vote, even when 85% of the electorate didn't vote.   



In general and local elections voters do not always agree with 100% of the manifestos presented, nor do they neccesarily like or support the individual standing, all too often the decision is made purely on Party Politicla grounds. That there isn't 100% agreement doesn't negate the legitimacy of the election, the candidate or the result.

Quote
A significant number of that small minority also state that they did not agree with the creation of PCC's but voted for a PCC candidate anyway.  I doubt that I need to point out the attendant irony

Many people didn't agree with unitary authorities but still voted for the councillors who made up the body political - that's what happens in a democracy. We compromise and make adjustments, some may call it 'forsaking principles' others may call it pragmatism. Whatever name you give it is fine, when reality dictates that an action will occur, you can be a part of the process or outside of the process, the choice is always and only YOURS

An interesting and oft-repeated (with minor variations) point of view which shows what I think is wrong with contemporary political thinking - namely that a small minority of the electorate willingly accept and vote on variations of 'Hobsons Choice' - delivered to them by an even tiner number of Parliamentarians.    In this instance, adopting a 'pragmatic' and 'compromise' acceptance of an unwanted, (albeit 'legal' election), pretty much guarantees that yet more damaged, corrupted and unfair political processes will continue to be delivered to the electorate and that greater numbers of the electorate will body-swerve to avoid them.

This might well be the politics of compromise, but it can't be described as consensus of electoral opinion, and even the term 'governance by consent' is starting to look shaky with less and less people demonstrating their consent to being governed by their taking part in elections.  'Apathy' is too convenient and simple a term, and too broad a brush to accurately describe the decline in electoral participation yet voter 'apathy' is the usual excuse offered by apologists for bad electoral process. 

Many non-voters I've spoken to repeat variations on a common theme: They do not feel that their vote counts for anything and they feel essentially powerless to change anything.  I don't think this is apathy, I think it is a damning indictment of our 'style' of democracy and dominance of party politics. If the former is true of at least 51% of Britains non-voting electors, this would seem to indicate that 'our' democracy isn't working for the majority of the electors, let alone the larger population.

Reál Politik is one thing, and I think most of us would accept day to day pragmatism and compromise in politics and government, but not when it comes to democracy and elections, and the reasons for holding elections.  No compromise should be expected or allowed to creep into elections or the reasons for calling elections, but this election reeks of compromise,  Reál Politiks and political agendas being played out.

The PCC elections are just the latest pus-filled bubo to appear on the diseased carcass of the body politic.





Death: "Would sir prefer the noose, the axe or the guillotine?"

Elector: "Eh?"

Death: "Sir must choose between the noose, axe or guillotine. I have been democratised and electors are asked to elect a specific type of death"

Elector: "Erm...I'd like to die at home, in bed, of extreme old age then!"

Death: "That choice is not on your ballot paper sir!"

Elector: "Oh, doesn't seem very fair....can I vote 'none of the above'?"

Death: "No, your options are noose, axe or guillotine.....but I suppose you could spoil your ballot"

Elector: "That means I get to die of old age, in bed then?"

Death: "No, it means you commit suicide"

Elector: "Suicide?"

Death: "Yes, suicide by hanging."

Elector: "There isn't much choice is there?, but wait a minute, I wasn't even asked if I wanted to make this choice, who decided this?"

Death: "Not you, but look, if it's any consolation I'm not happy about this either, it's going to get very boring for me, nothing but dropping, chopping and slicing, I mean, less variety, less travel, production line decapitation, ropes hanging all over the place, longer hours and less pay. What about my job satisfaction eh?"

Elector: "What happens if I don't vote, do I even have to vote?"

Death: "Erm....no. You don't have to vote, but you should be aware of the consequences of not voting!"

Elector: "And they are?"

Death: "You'll be called apathetic!"

Elector: "WTF!??? - I didn't even want this election and you give me three unacceptable choices to vote for - this is Hobsons Choice and you dare call me apathetic?"

Death: "Well, I've got to say something to the media if you don't vote, I could tell them that you 'didn't understand the election' I suppose"

Elector: "How about telling the truth - tell them that I didn't want an election anyway, the choices were unacceptable and 'None of the above' wasn't on the ballot slip?"

Death: "Look, I think we can reach a compromise solution"

Elector: "Do you?"

Death: "Yes. The election is going to happen whether you like it or not so you might as well vote,  so why not vote for whatever option is least-worst?"

Elector: "I'm not so sure I like the sound of this"

Death:"No, hear me out, this is brilliant....how about I give you two votes?  Your first vote is for your first preferred method of death, and your second vote is for your second death preference, sort of a two for the price of one and gives you a better chance of getting the guillotine or the axe if you don't want the rope!"

Elector: "But I don't want the guillotine, the axe or the f*cking rope, I want to die at home, in bed, of extreme old age.....in fact, now I come to think of it, I want women as well....and I don't want to dies of old age at all.... I want to die of sexual exhaustion!"

Death: "I don't think you understand, that's not what you're being offered! what you are being offered is the axe, the guiilotine or the chance to dance the Hemp Fandango"

Elector: "I didn't like Strictly come dancing so I'm not interested in the Hemp Fandango, or the Sisal Two-Step come to think of it, but why aren't cardiac arrest, stroke and spontaneous human combustion on the candidate list?"

Death: "Retired"

Elector: "Retired?"

Death: "Well, redundant actually. We had to let them go. Too expensive you see - heart attacks and strokes often lead to lengthy and expensive stays in hospital  so it's better for the economy if those are no longer an option. The axe and the guillotine are quicker and cheaper, much better for everyone!"

Elector: "Not if you're the poor f*cker with his head on the block! it isn't" 

Death: "That's sexist. We're fully compliant with equal opps and diversity training so I must point out to Sir that it would be Sir or Madam's head on the block, and I would be saying 'Haeed' if Sir was Scottish"

Elector: "Jesus Christ on a bloody bicycle....anyway, no, I won't be voting"

Death: "But if you don't vote, you can't influence the outcome!"

Elector: "I didn't want the election and none of the choices are good choices......so the outcome of the election is irrelevant to me!"

Death: "You've got to be in it to win it!"

Elector: "This isn't a game show..."

Death: "Go with the flow?"

Elector: "Like a kidney stone?"

Death: "Well, you are giving me some pain and I do wish you would p*ss off!"

Elector: " No sooner said than done my old mate!"  [departs]

Death: "Whoops, that's 85 out of every 100 not voting....what is wrong with all these people?"[/b]



Offline Mart

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #147 on: November 18, 2012, 06:26:03 PM »
Read the paper - humdrum
Henley Regatta - page one
Eat die - ho hum
Page three - big bum
Giving a lunatic a loaded gun
He walks - others run
Thirty dead - no fun
Foreigners feature as figures of fun
Do something destructive chum

Sit right down - write a letter to the Sun
Say... "Bring back hangin' for everyone"

The took my advice - they brought it back
National costume was all-over-black
There were corpses in the avenues and cul-de-sacs
Piled up neatly in six-man stacks
Hanging from the traffic lights and specially made racks
They'd hang you for incontinence and fiddling your tax
Failure to hang yourself justified the axe
A deedely dee, a deedely dum
Looks like they brought back hangin' for everyone


The novelty's gone - it's hell
This place is a - death cell
The constant clang of the funeral bells
Those who aren't hanging are hanging someone else
The peoples pay - the paper sells
It's plug ugly - sub-animal yells
Death is unsightly - death smells
Swingin' Britain - don't put me on
They're gonna bring back the rope for everyone


I've got this somewhere.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #148 on: November 18, 2012, 06:33:06 PM »
Quote
Many non-voters I've spoken to repeat variations on a common theme: They do not feel that their vote counts for anything and they feel essentially powerless to change anything.  I don't think this is apathy, I think it is a damning indictment of our 'style' of democracy and dominance of party politics.


Can't disagree with the sentiment expressed. The issue is 'what to do about it' short of a coup, which isn't going to happen, what suggestions do you have to get 'enagagement'

Offline Muggins

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #149 on: November 18, 2012, 06:49:02 PM »
In Swindon?  Break the town up into 7 Clusters,without consultation,  then say they were nothing to do with 'engagement' anyway, just service areas, then rejig thoughts and call them localities, then employ one locality lead and one locality facilitator - or at least re-deploy various staff into said positions. Whilst cutting back as many workers as possible so that there is no back up for all those extra people that get 'engaged', whilst trying to get rid of them that are, because they are a bloody nuisance and obviously standing in the way of the hoards trying to get a look in at this engagment thing. 

Meantime taking away any advances won - hard won, made in the past 20 years. Withdraw significant amounts of funding, replace some with 'commisioning'.  Take away transport to enable engagement.  Sell of bits of land that tied places together (or kept them conveniently apart).  Stop organising support and network meetings.

Organise bigger meetings, the message of which is that ..................well, we talked about that the last few days, you get my drift.

Be rude to members of the electorate and refuse to answer letters and emails. Turn everything into a policitical wrangle.

Go on all, I'm sure you can think of things that dis-engage, only by looking at that can we move towards knocking down the barriers. 

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline James

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #150 on: November 18, 2012, 08:55:44 PM »
Seen a few friends over the last couple of days, and PCCs keep coming up negatively - even from the (big and small c) conservatives.
It's a conversation I don't start.
Well educated, active in their communities, middle/upper management level.

Not voting has been the dominant response to their disaffection with PCCs.
The rate of spoiled papers has also risen - 600% higher than in the election (according to the guardian article I just googled).

Apathy certainly counts for a lot, but this is different and requires a different response from those in power.
Stuffing their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes, and shouting "La la la"  is not it.

J

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #151 on: November 20, 2012, 04:00:10 PM »
In Swindon?  Break the town up into 7 Clusters,without consultation,  then say they were nothing to do with 'engagement' anyway, just service areas, then rejig thoughts and call them localities, then employ one locality lead and one locality facilitator - or at least re-deploy various staff into said positions. Whilst cutting back as many workers as possible so that there is no back up for all those extra people that get 'engaged', whilst trying to get rid of them that are, because they are a bloody nuisance and obviously standing in the way of the hoards trying to get a look in at this engagment thing. 

Meantime taking away any advances won - hard won, made in the past 20 years. Withdraw significant amounts of funding, replace some with 'commisioning'.  Take away transport to enable engagement.  Sell of bits of land that tied places together (or kept them conveniently apart).  Stop organising support and network meetings.

Organise bigger meetings, the message of which is that ..................well, we talked about that the last few days, you get my drift.

Be rude to members of the electorate and refuse to answer letters and emails. Turn everything into a policitical wrangle.

Go on all, I'm sure you can think of things that dis-engage, only by looking at that can we move towards knocking down the barriers.

Another way of looking at that is that is to consider the TLOUC, (mouseover to expand), which pretty much guarantees that sooner, rather than later, or even eventually, something happens which was not intended.

I think it is perfectly possible to destroy 'traditional' engagement, but what returns in its place, via a different route and perhaps even different people, is a more pointy, public and sharper type of engagement which the instigators of the original and deliberate disengagement policy find very painful.

This doesn't restore or repair the damage done, but does serve to let the great and the good know, (yes, I think it does eventually begin to seep into their quill pen 'understanding'), that the days when they can escape responsibility for their own behaviours are numbered.

The rules of engagement are changing, but whatever 'new' rules politicians want to enforce are rapidly and regularly circumvented by a faster-moving, and thinking, section of the digitally engaged public.

Offline jennyb

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #152 on: November 20, 2012, 06:18:55 PM »
In Swindon?  Break the town up into 7 Clusters,without consultation,  then say they were nothing to do with 'engagement' anyway, just service areas, then rejig thoughts and call them localities, then employ one locality lead and one locality facilitator - or at least re-deploy various staff into said positions. Whilst cutting back as many workers as possible so that there is no back up for all those extra people that get 'engaged', whilst trying to get rid of them that are, because they are a bloody nuisance and obviously standing in the way of the hoards trying to get a look in at this engagment thing. 

Meantime taking away any advances won - hard won, made in the past 20 years. Withdraw significant amounts of funding, replace some with 'commisioning'.  Take away transport to enable engagement.  Sell of bits of land that tied places together (or kept them conveniently apart).  Stop organising support and network meetings.

Organise bigger meetings, the message of which is that ..................well, we talked about that the last few days, you get my drift.

Be rude to members of the electorate and refuse to answer letters and emails. Turn everything into a policitical wrangle.

Go on all, I'm sure you can think of things that dis-engage, only by looking at that can we move towards knocking down the barriers.

Another way of looking at that is that is to consider the TLOUC, (mouseover to expand), which pretty much guarantees that sooner, rather than later, or even eventually, something happens which was not intended.

I think it is perfectly possible to destroy 'traditional' engagement, but what returns in its place, via a different route and perhaps even different people, is a more pointy, public and sharper type of engagement which the instigators of the original and deliberate disengagement policy find very painful.

This doesn't restore or repair the damage done, but does serve to let the great and the good know, (yes, I think it does eventually begin to seep into their quill pen 'understanding'), that the days when they can escape responsibility for their own behaviours are numbered.

The rules of engagement are changing, but whatever 'new' rules politicians want to enforce are rapidly and regularly circumvented by a faster-moving, and thinking, section of the digitally engaged public.


By not engaging with those who wish to engage, politicians ( of whatever hue) drive the populace to find out for themselves. 

And the public are faster, nimbler, more business aware and more used to assessing TLOUC than those in the public domain.

The public also share their knowledge.. another aspect of TLOUC which politicians and public officers don't get.

Most of us have also realised that there are few in public service who appear to want to change the status quo.

However, as they continue to look inward and navel gaze, change is beginning to happen all around them.

And you know what is said about change ..you either influence it or are impacted by it.

The genie is out of the bottle... and I know which option I plan to take.

And to think that I can thank Cllrs Bawden, Foley and Mattock for opening my eyes to what is really going on. Will they put that on their CVs I wonder?

It takes wisdom to know what you know and wisdom to know what you don't know and when to call in those who do. Often the people who do know will advise that evidence and research are very helpful when making decisions. Who knows it might even save a bit of money.

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #153 on: November 22, 2012, 06:20:40 PM »
Quote
A chief constable has announced that he is stepping down after being asked to re-apply for his own job by the newly elected independent police and crime commissioner.

Colin Port, who had been chief constable of Avon and Somerset police, said he had "no intention" of applying for the job he has done for the last eight years.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/nov/22/police-chief-quits-apply-job?INTCMP=SRCH

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #154 on: November 22, 2012, 06:24:47 PM »
Police and crime commissioners lack enough guidance to do their jobs

Quote
Behind the sound and fury over the botched election process for 41 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales lies an organisational mess.

Leave aside a questionable mandate when 85% of the electorate didn't vote and one polling station had zero turnout. Dismiss the meaningless comments of home secretary Theresa May about commissioners setting "strategic local priorities" – a contradiction, with large force areas anything but local. Consider, instead, how on earth they are meant to operate.

With their first priority setting a budget, and their second appointing a chief constable in 26 areas where there is either no permanent chief in post, or where the incumbent is considering retirement, these commissioners have their work cut out – assuming they treat the role as a full-time job on salaries up to £100,000 annually. Some clearly might not.

Commissioners will need substantial administrative support poring over balance sheets to fix multimillion-pound budgets, They can't do this alone. Police authorities were serviced either by a dedicated team in a designated local authority – undertaking payroll and personnel functions for a particular force – or by a freestanding secretariat.

I asked a senior official, tasked with servicing one of the larger forces, what guidance had been received from the Home Office on how a commissioner would operate. "Very little," came the reply. "The way it would work is very much down to individual commissioners … There's been no guidance."

Late in the day the Home Office has indicated that current arrangements for servicing police forces will stay in place until 2014. This means that commissioners will have to work with officials from the former police authorities. And then what?



http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/nov/20/police-crime-commissioners-lack-guidance?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Politicisation of the Police Commissioner vote -- discuss
« Reply #155 on: November 22, 2012, 06:43:28 PM »
I note Bob Buckland is bigging himself up on the back of the PCC petit-elections.  ;)


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