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Why the PCC Elections are a bit of a Farce

You may be worried that a PCC will politicise the police force, but you should still make sure to go out and vote

The government has embarked on a large media campaign to get people to vote

Like me, you should have received your polling card through your letterbox this week – and if you didn’t, why aren’t you registered to vote?

It might even be your first opportunity to vote in a national election. But if you’re not someone who follows politics or current affairs very closely, you were probably confused by what it was for or discarded it as yet another takeaway menu – but what you held in your hands was another place marker in history that this Government has created.

You might have seen the rather menacing and, indeed, graphic awareness advert that has recently been released (you know, the one where the man gets beaten up on this bus, and the bus shelter gets smashed up). If not, here it is – try not to get too upset:

The government released this advert to promote the upcoming election

It’s probably the first and last you’ll hear of it, however – with the exception of this post. The Electoral Reform Society is expecting only 18.5% of the possible voting population to actually turnout at their local polling station; this is compared to 65% in the 2010 general election. And commentators are largely blaming the lack of publicity about both the elections and the candidates. Nominations for candidates, who are usually put forward by political parties, closed only this week, meaning that voters cannot yet find out about the candidates even if they wanted to.

But why is it all so important? Well, basically, you need to decide which politician you want to spend £65,000 to £100,000 to tell police officers to stop people committing crime. OK, maybe not so cynical… although, despite our regular condemnations of their service, I don’t think employing forty-one of these Police and Crime Commissioners is going to make the service any better than it already is.

And even so, isn’t it possible that each candidate, like all politicians, will be looking to find the “popular” crimes? And, by that, I don’t mean ones that criminals like committing, but those that most people are concerned about or the victims of. For example, littering, anti-social behaviour and drunkenness; perhaps neglecting the more serious and damaging crimes of serial theft and rape. (Again, cynical me…)

Perhaps this new initiative is just a way of allowing the Government, and politicians, to stick their oar into a part of society they haven’t yet got full control over yet. Now the legislation is through parliament, though, there is little we can do to stop it, and the fact that it was (and still is) little reported in the media means that the majority of society won’t even have their say.

Sceptical as I am, I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure you vote in this election though. If you want to make sure you have a say on what the Brum police get up to, grab your polling card and go to your local polling station on November 15th. And definitely make sure you check out the details of the candidates on www.choosemypcc.org.uk from October 26th.

Don’t forget and don’t miss out.

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