The big election is nearly here, a life changing opportunity in these most difficult of times. A chance for the people to have their say on the issues that matter most. Yes, it’s the local Police Commissioner elections in the UK!
I only know this for two reasons, a leaflet I got through my door at the weekend and a big poster that has gone up on my way to work. Who can I vote for, and what they stand for is something that seems to be missing unless I go looking really hard for it. Even then I get the usual electoral crap about ‘working with communities’ and ‘reversing years of [insert party] policies’.
So why should I even be bothered? I’ve been brought up to have the utmost respect for the democratic process and vote even when it doesn’t really matter, but this time it feels different.
What’s going on ‘ere then?
I can’t remember wanting to vote for my Police Commissioner, why should the public get a say in who is in charge of policing? I don’t get to vote for the local headmaster or my dentist, why are the fuzz any different?
Apparently it’s all about accountability, but this is such a bad idea. The last people the police should be accountable to is the local public. The masses are idiots, that’s how we’ve ended up with an incompetent Etonian and his buddies ruling the rest of us plebs with a mixture of short-sighted ideological bankruptcy and announcements of populist policy that cater to the morning papers but will be forgotten by the evening’s first editions.
Who will these Commissioners be accountable to? What happens if a racist homophobe gets in on a mandate of right wing violence? The people chose him therefore the police should do his will. Or maybe a multi-millionaire could get elected on a promise of cutting the amount we pay for our policing and in return he’ll have his own trained police force. Why not have elected generals as well.
The police are held to account when we have a strong government and it is Westminster who should be responsible for the control of the police. There should be no politics in the police force, yet all my candidates seem to be representatives from the main political parties, and UKIP. This means the local hoodies are either going to be hugged or deported.
Having an elected commissioner is going to lead to the short-termism you get from those in power who try to keep hold of the reins. No thought will be put into reducing crime in the long-term but draconian measures that get results today but sow the seeds for later years. There will be the continual announcements of a pogroms impact, but what we need is a proper agenda not propaganda.
This is a bad idea, at the wrong time, being headed by the wrong people and not wanted by anyone at all. There was nothing wrong with the current system that better oversight could not have solved. When choosing between what is best and what is easy our government has shown that style always triumphs substance.
The best part about the whole campaign is getting to ‘choose the crimes you want investigated’.
Answer: All of them.
Or how about all of them expect for fraud. I’m much more able to do that than steal a car, so let me live my life free of the worry that I can scam some grannies and get away with it. (Note: I am not really suggesting that I do, or plan to, scam grannies at all!). Could we also lay off the copyright infringement investigations as well?
Although once again, there is an example of the bad idea of an elected official. What would happen if a music industry candidate was elected? Would we be happy that stealing a Justin Bieber song was given higher priority than a burglary (although I would see anyone downloading a Justin Bieber song arrested…although I now may incur the wrath of the Bieber army, so if there are any candidates who would happily protect me from a mass of angry tweens then let me know and you can have my vote).
There is only one person who should be given the role of choosing a Police Commissioner. Someone who has been a victim of crime, a person who understands the criminal mindset, who can see in someone else the bravery and integrity that the normal person doesn’t have. A person who is willing to step aside for the greater good.