Calling for a debate on future of Police & Crime Commissioner Role

Posted on: 10th November 2014
Outside Penzance Police station, closed to public

Cllr Sue James joining demonstrators at Penzance Police Station after decision to close the front desk to the public

Calling for a debate on future of Police & Crime Commissioner role might now seem unnecessary, with the General Election not far away and Labour and the LibDems committed to getting rid of the posts. The trouble is, what if those 2 parties don’t form the next Government? Some say that the Conservative announcement to replace the Police and Crime Commissioner role in Greater Manchester, with an elected Mayor, the role is toast! Trouble is, that cannot and would not be appropriate to offer everywhere and personally, I have a real issue with investing huge powers in any single elected post whether it is called a Police and Crime Commissioner, a Mayor, the Governor or any other name someone might want to dream up.

The petition I set up on the Government e-petition site, calling for the cancellation of the Police & Crime Commissioner elections in 2016, is to try to get a debate in Parliament early next year. I believe that Labour and LibDem MPs would get enough support to make the decision to cancel the elections in 2016 and once that decision has been made, perhaps we can switch the flow on money from Police and Crime Commissioner offices to policing.

Why do I feel so passionate about this? Well the role was introduced to increase democratic accountability for the Police but the number of people turning out to vote suggests that the people, are not wanting this. How democratic is it to ignore voters? The posts, their offices and the elections are consuming many millions of pounds at a time that Police station front doors are closing, rural communities struggle to remember when when they last saw a policeman and local councils are being starved of cash.

So far, the petition has been driven by me. Now it is starting to go out of Cornwall and is very slowly but surely gaining ground. The petition, now ranks 439th out of 5,688 open petitions. I have attracted interest, through Twitter and fellow LibDems in other parts of the Country. I am about to launch a Facebook campaign. Within the next month I want to get it to rank within the top 200 e-petitions. Why is that important? It will then feature within the 1st 10 pages of petitions on the Government website so will become more visible to casual visitors to the site.

So, if after reading this you think what I am saying makes sense, click on the link on the right to sign the petition. Ask 10 other people to do the same. Let’s get the debate, get the elections of Police and Crime Commissioners in 2016 cancelled and job done!!