It’s less than one hundred days to go until the start of the 2012 Olympic Games. You’d know that, were it not for the fact that the celebration of this milestone was so completely overshadowed by the news that it’s less than two hundred days until you have the chance to vote in a Police & Crime Commissioner.
Yes, elections are really that close. Can you believe it?
Okay, I jest – there’s a good chance that many people didn’t know that elections for the new position are to be held on November 15th.
It may seem a long way off but trust me, with all the excitement of England winning the Euros and Team GB hoarding gold medals in London, the big day will be here sooner than you realise.
I’ve already written about the plans to replace Police Authorities with single elected representatives and at the end of the article had promised to post updates as and when we know more about the vote.
Well, with the two hundred day milestone being celebrated with street parties up and down the country now seems like a good time to do so.
First of all, if you missed November’s post on PCCs and don’t fancy reading it now (even if it does feature Batman), the basic idea is that Police & Crime Commissioners will have responsibility for overseeing their local police forces. They’ll be able to set priorities for the police and hold the Chief Constable to account.
This job is currently done by a panel of bods drawn from a variety of sources who are known as the Police Authority.
At the moment PCC candidates are jostling amongst each other for their party’s nomination, a process which I assume involves speed eating competitions, bleep tests and possibly musket duels.
In the Labour camp for the West Midlands there’s Mike Olley and Bob Jones. For the Conservatives, Joe Tildseley seems to have the nod and for the Liberal Democrats, Ayoub Khan has expressed an interest in running.
Of course these are early days and as a week is a long time in politics, over the twenty eight something weeks leading up to the elections the selection of candidates could well change completely.
There’ll be further information published ahead of the elections themselves – most important on how and where you can vote – and there are a number of websites on which you can find more information on PCCs.
As the election campaigns begin to pick up speed, it’s going to be interesting to see what issues candidates decide to concentrate on to attract interest. Keeping bobbies on the beat, reducing response times and cutting paperwork all seems to be popular topics from looking at their pledges.
Just as important too will be how they seek to make good on these pledges and I’m sure as we near the elections discussion will grow around many of the topics being raised.
As I ended the last post on PCCs, I’ll end again by saying that as soon as we know more about the elections, the candidates and the issues I’ll try and pull the information together in the form of another sassy blog. Until then stay tuned…