Should we vote for police commissioners we don’t want?

From: Michael McGowan, Former Labour MEP for Leeds, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

THE elections for police and crime commissioners on November 15 should be taken seriously, both the public and our police officers need to work together in solidarity in tackling and preventing crime, and the comments of former South Yorkshire police officer Meredydd Hughes (Yorkshire Post, November 5) are both negative and unhelpful.

Few need reminding that the decision to have the elections is a great waste of public resources at a time of austerity and savage cuts in police and other public services, but the reality is that decision to hold the elections has been taken.

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The upheaval across our region among the leadership of our police forces, including the departure of Sir Norman Bettison as Chief Constable of West Yorkshire and the urgent need to appoint an appropriate successor make these elections among the most important in the country.

Mr Hughes should know better than to offer his words of wisdom by talking down the importance of the elections. This region deserves to have the most capable and responsible hands leading our police forces, our police officers need the solidarity of the public in order to carry out their duties, and any failure to use the ballot box on November 15 would be irresponsible and could be dangerous.

From: John Leek, Hirst Road, Carlton, Goole.

THERE have recently been many letters concerning the approaching poll for police and crime commissioners.

Most complain about the lack of information about the candidates, and about the cost, powers and efficacy of these commissioners when in office.

I would predict that this sparse information, and general apathy among the voters will lead to a dismally low turnout. The main problem is that you can only vote for the candidate you support, or at any rate the one you dislike least.

Those who do not like any of the candidates, or think that the whole idea is unnecessary find themselves effectively without a vote.

One alternative (unfortunately too late to try for the police and crime commissioner poll) would be to add an extra candidate box to the ballot paper labelled “None of the above”.

From: David H Rhodes, Keble Park North, Bishopthorpe, York.

IF someone wants to sell me a sofa, why should I have to go online to find out details? Likewise I feel the same about candidates for the new positions of police commissioners.

This whole project has been rushed through with little thought. Why for example couldn’t each candidate “for a small remuneration” have put their CV and policies on a leaflet and enclosed it in the ballot envelope sent to every household?

I misguidedly thought that these positions were to be non-political but each of my prospective applicants have a party attachment. With the current claims of misdoings levied at MPs of both major parties I would have thought that a neutral/independent would be offered better respect for their suitability.

I hope that the following information will be recorded and then published.

The number of votes for each candidate; the number of abstainers and the number of spoiled votes (most likely protest votes).

If the winning person gets in with say only 15 per cent of the available votes then the whole appointment will be a sham and the credibility of that person (however genuine the individual) will count for nothing.

From: Peter Asquith-Cowen, First Lane, Anlaby, Hull.

I DON’T want police commissioners. I hope this expensive exercise enjoys the same fate as Nick Clegg’s abortive bid to introduce electoral reform and the whole thing is consigned to the dustbin.

A referendum on membership of Europe would see a massive turn out, and I think we all know how we would vote on that thorny issue, which is precisely why the Tory-led Government will not endorse it, despite 
giving the Scots a vote over devolution.

It’s one law for one issue, and a different one for another. It will be a bad day for British policing and for the public if this privatisation process goes ahead. The question is: will Labour reverse it if elected in 2015?

Let us wait and see. Personally, I doubt it. Politicians being what they are and convolutedly liberal with the truth, never giving a straight answer to any question.