Wednesday, 31 October 2012

PCC Elections - A Question of Priorities

I mentioned one concern about the PCC elections in the last blog. I hope that all candidates are committed to the role and would not treat it as a part-time job. I have another concern. Candidates want to gather support and they will do this by talking about what is important to the electorate. They will prioritise the offences that are significant to individual voters. Even the adverts that ask us to go and vote are doing the same thing by showing someone smashing a house window and stealing a small electrical appliance. Does this mean that nobody will prioritise serious fraud? Who will investigate the likes of Asil Nadir?

If there is corporate fraud then individual voters are only affected indirectly. If there is serious crime which means that a large company has to put a penny on its costs - say a pint of beer from an international producer of beer - then no individual will take this crime seriously, not for election purposes.

I have another concern. We know that Government ministers can't make decisions for themselves but rely on a team of experts to blame for any of their errors e.g. Justine Greening as Minister for Transport. We cannot possibly expect any individual to be an expert in every field. This equally applies to the role of PCC, but let's say we get a candidate who has years of experience within the police service. Are they the best candidates to know what the public wants? This begs the question do the public know what is the best way of directing money within the police service. This begs the question as to whether we should be having these elections.

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