Police tsar poll undone by series of errors

Have your say

From: Karl Sheridan, Selby Road, Holme on Spalding Moor.

The comments by Ministers that the unprecedented low turnout for voting in the police commissioner elections was due to it being a “new” concept and the fact that the vote was held in November is a load of twaddle.

The vast majority of us who didn’t vote felt the whole thing had become a political issue with the main candidates being either Labour or Conservative. In our own village in the East Ridings (I hate the term Humberside!) we had two leaflets arrive and both were from the Conservative candidate which smacked heavily of political scorn for John Prescott rather than concentrating on the issues under discussion, which in turn put me off voting for him anyway.

John Prescott, on the other hand, failed to distribute any leaflets. If candidates wish to rely on the internet as being their sole way to solicit voters, they are sadly mistaken.

Incidentally, we had no idea that there were apparently a total of nine candidates to choose from either, which says it all. The whole procedure, which cost the taxpayer millions, reflects the total lack of organisation and poor information about the 
given issues – perhaps a further tick box on the ballot form with “Leave the police system as it is” may have induced more of us to turn out.

Just as in the country’s general elections, those lesser-known voices, such as the Green Party and the like, always fail to be well publicised thus leaving the voter with little option other than the main three to choose from – and look what a mess we are in now because of them!

From: N Bywater, Airedale Terrace, Morley, Leeds.

Mark Burns-Williamson studied History and Politics at Bradford University. He is now the new Labour police and crime commissioner. Only 13.3 per cent voted in last Thursday’s election in West Yorkshire. When that level of turnout happens in strike ballots many have said it is not a valid ballot, and I totally agree.

Having a police and crime commissioner will distract the press away from the real issues. We don’t need another layer of management saying ‘no to the cuts’, real issues need to be addressed.

Mark Burns-Williamson is the former chair of the West Yorkshire Police Authority, and is now the West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner – which means things will just stay the same.

From: JW Buckley, Throstle Cottage, Aketon, Pontefract.

I DESPAIR of politicians. They have tried (succeeded?) to foist police commissioners on us. I hear that the turnout at the election was 15 per cent.

Do our politicians get the message? No! But, worse still, they compound their sins by foisting an inquiry on us. Another waste of time, money and effort, at a time when we can afford none of them.

They only need to read your letters section. Take, for example, the excellent letter by David Downs (Yorkshire Post, November 7).

From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme.

POLITICIANS would have us believe that the miserable turn-out for the police commissioner elections was a result of voter apathy.

True to some extent – but many of us either abstained or spoiled our voting papers as a protest at the imposition of political nominees by the main political parties. We are strongly opposed to political control of the police, to which this election makes a contribution.

The concept of a police commissioner may well be a good one but for a start we need a very clear job description; what qualities are required, what abilities, what character and experience? And only after a subsequent, very careful scrutiny of the open-to-all candidature should one begin to plan an election.

Our democracy has been greatly eroded over recent decades, to such an extent that the general public is quite unable to influence either decisions or events. We badly need more democracy, and not less.

From: Lesley Skorupka, Rookery Dale, Boosbeck, Cleveland.

Along with the majority of the country, I did not know who was standing for election and did not bother to vote.

I wonder what percentage of the population would turn out if we were asked whether we wanted hanging bought back?

I, for one, would be at the polling station bright and early to put a cross next to Yes. Now that would be a worthwhile vote.

From: Gavin Macpherson, Dyneley Hall, Bramhope.

The election of new regional police commissioners may have been badly mishandled and badly misjudged, resulting in a record low voting turnout and hundreds of defaced and spoilt ballot papers.

However, now that the dust has settled and our elected commissioners prepare to take up their new and very challenging positions, are we not entitled to ask what the many tens of thousands of people who deliberately did not vote – and, worse, defaced and spoilt legally printed and legally distributed ballot papers – think they have achieved by doing so?

I suggest the best way forward is to grow up and support the commissioners in their very important new role.