All eyes will be on voters as Wiltshire is first to vote for Police Crime Commisioner

This Is Wiltshire: Vital role Special Constables Dan Laurie and Jay Bundhoo take part in a police operation in Abbey Meads and Penhill to catch people riding motorbikes on the footpaths Vital role Special Constables Dan Laurie and Jay Bundhoo take part in a police operation in Abbey Meads and Penhill to catch people riding motorbikes on the footpaths

THE nation’s media will descend on Swindon tomorrow to witness history in the making as Wiltshire becomes the first force in the UK to announce its new police and crime commissioner.

PCCs are being brought in by the Government to replace police authorities in England and Wales, and will have the power to hire and fire chief constables and set the force’s budget and strategy.

The Wiltshire candidates are Labour’s Clare Moody, Conservative Angus Macpherson, Lib Dem Paul Batchelor, John Short for the UK Independence Party and independents Colin Skelton and Liam Silocks.

The Wiltshire winner will be the first of 41 new commissioners in England and Wales to be announced as it is the only county to start counting votes as soon as the polls close at 10pm.

A winner is expected in the early hours of Friday. The other areas will not start counting until daytime on Friday.

Sally Sprason, the electoral services manager at Swindon Council, which is running the countywide poll, said the national BBC and ITV News had asked to come to the main count centre, at the Oasis Leisure Centre, where the result would be announced.

She said: “We agreed to do it because we just have the two authorities to liaise between, whereas some police areas, like West Mercia have nine authorities so it becomes difficult for nine results from authorities to come together.We’re only liaising with Wiltshire.”

Turn-out is predicted to be low. The Government has sent out a leaflet to every home to drum up interest, but some areas of Swindon have not received a campaign leaflet from any candidate.

Ms Sprason said: “The Electoral Commission are assuming it’s going to be as it would be for an average local election – 30 per cent plus – but it just depends on the level of interest.”

One election where campaigning has been intense is the by-election in the Blunsdon and Highworth ward, which was triggered by the death of Coun Doreen Dart and which also takes place tomorrow.

The Conservatives need to hold the seat to maintain majority control of Swindon Council.

The candidates are Labour’s Phil Beaumont, Andrew Day for the Greens, John Lenton for UKIP, Cath Smith for the Lib Dems, and Steve Weisinger for the Conservatives.

Comments (11)

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9:26am Wed 14 Nov 12

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

I suspect there will be greater voter numbers (for the area) in the next round of X Factor or any other similar contest.

The amount of information being put around is pretty low, and I have met very few people who seem interested.

I don't recall having seen any leaflets through the door on the candidates.
I suspect there will be greater voter numbers (for the area) in the next round of X Factor or any other similar contest. The amount of information being put around is pretty low, and I have met very few people who seem interested. I don't recall having seen any leaflets through the door on the candidates. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

10:01am Wed 14 Nov 12

Robh says...

I've had one leaflet through the door but no one has tried to find my views on policing. How can anyone claim to represent the public if they don't canvass peoples views.

It seems if I want to know who the candidates are and what they stand for then I have to find out. The whole thing is a shambles.

I can't see the point of having another tier of politicians running the police. We want a more national police force but this move is more divisive.
I've had one leaflet through the door but no one has tried to find my views on policing. How can anyone claim to represent the public if they don't canvass peoples views. It seems if I want to know who the candidates are and what they stand for then I have to find out. The whole thing is a shambles. I can't see the point of having another tier of politicians running the police. We want a more national police force but this move is more divisive. Robh
  • Score: 0

10:18am Wed 14 Nov 12

The Real Librarian says...

QUOTE
Robh says...
10:01am Wed 14 Nov 12
It seems if I want to know who the candidates are and what they stand for then I have to find out. The whole thing is a shambles.
UNQUOTE

Well it could be a shambles, or it could be deliberate.

Turnouts for council elections are always very low, but that makes them easier to win.
Provided you can get your core supporters out, you can get a majority off a couple of dozen votes.
QUOTE Robh says... 10:01am Wed 14 Nov 12 It seems if I want to know who the candidates are and what they stand for then I have to find out. The whole thing is a shambles. UNQUOTE Well it could be a shambles, or it could be deliberate. Turnouts for council elections are always very low, but that makes them easier to win. Provided you can get your core supporters out, you can get a majority off a couple of dozen votes. The Real Librarian
  • Score: 0

10:33am Wed 14 Nov 12

Army of Lovers says...

The whole thing is just another waste of tax payers money by this useless Government.
Surely it could have found a better use for the budget, like giving it away in overseas aid, handing it to the EU to spend on allowing to make more stupid laws none of us agree with or perhaps in legal fees for terrorists to be fed and housed at our expense?
The whole thing is just another waste of tax payers money by this useless Government. Surely it could have found a better use for the budget, like giving it away in overseas aid, handing it to the EU to spend on allowing to make more stupid laws none of us agree with or perhaps in legal fees for terrorists to be fed and housed at our expense? Army of Lovers
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Melgee says...

Total waste of taxpayer's money! Just look at the line up! Politicians probably all failed candidates who have not be selected for parliamentry seats. We need Police Commisioners like we all need a hole in the head. I suppose the winning candidate will spend the first 2 years on their fat salary telling us all what a good job they are doing when in actual fact nothing has changed for the better. Oh! Yes! I won't be voting, my choice as "None of the Above".
Total waste of taxpayer's money! Just look at the line up! Politicians probably all failed candidates who have not be selected for parliamentry seats. We need Police Commisioners like we all need a hole in the head. I suppose the winning candidate will spend the first 2 years on their fat salary telling us all what a good job they are doing when in actual fact nothing has changed for the better. Oh! Yes! I won't be voting, my choice as "None of the Above". Melgee
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Wed 14 Nov 12

itsamess3 says...

Only one candidate has bothered to engage with the public on this site--which is very disturbing as one of their duties is to engage with the public as to what they expect from the police.
Hijacked by the usual brood of we want the judges to sentence more severely.
The job is about producing an efficient police force and an honest force who can present conclusive evidence to secure conviction--rather than the carrot of a lighter sentence.
Tackling the judges is not in their remit-sentencing is also not in their remit (PCC's).
Untie the judges hands and find the prison spaces--it will make a difference.
Only one candidate has bothered to engage with the public on this site--which is very disturbing as one of their duties is to engage with the public as to what they expect from the police. Hijacked by the usual brood of we want the judges to sentence more severely. The job is about producing an efficient police force and an honest force who can present conclusive evidence to secure conviction--rather than the carrot of a lighter sentence. Tackling the judges is not in their remit-sentencing is also not in their remit (PCC's). Untie the judges hands and find the prison spaces--it will make a difference. itsamess3
  • Score: 0

2:48am Thu 15 Nov 12

TreborMint says...

Quite right @itsamess3.

I will be voting but definitely not for Colin Skelton after he sent the Police around to that 80 year old disabled woman when his finger got bitten by her dog.

Think his behavior was disgusting.

http://www.swindonad
vertiser.co.uk/news/
crime_commissioner/1
0006589.Devizes_dog_
bit_me__says_police_
election_candidate/
Quite right @itsamess3. I will be voting but definitely not for Colin Skelton after he sent the Police around to that 80 year old disabled woman when his finger got bitten by her dog. Think his behavior was disgusting. http://www.swindonad vertiser.co.uk/news/ crime_commissioner/1 0006589.Devizes_dog_ bit_me__says_police_ election_candidate/ TreborMint
  • Score: 0

8:36am Thu 15 Nov 12

I 2 Could B says...

Stop spinning the usual lies please, Mr itsamess. Judges' hands are NOT tied at all, they can sentence however they see fit.

It's a little know legal fact that they can also sentence higher than sentencing guidelines allow 'if it is in the interests of justice' and so all these 2 year sentences for murder by dangerous driving where the judges whinge on about how they 'have their hands tied' is just yet more of their usual nonsense.

They are duplicitous individuals with a disturbing agenda. All of that is made worse by the fact we're forced to pay many of them more than the prime minister earns.

With regards to the PCC's, yes, that's right, they have no sway over the judiciary or sentencing - which is why I've pointed out, from day one, that they won't actually be able to make any difference to anything.

It really doesn't matter which criminals you ask the police to arrest if those criminals then get sent home to (not) do 10 hours 'community service' upon conviction.
Stop spinning the usual lies please, Mr itsamess. Judges' hands are NOT tied at all, they can sentence however they see fit. [p] It's a little know legal fact that they can also sentence higher than sentencing guidelines allow 'if it is in the interests of justice' and so all these 2 year sentences for murder by dangerous driving where the judges whinge on about how they 'have their hands tied' is just yet more of their usual nonsense. [p] They are duplicitous individuals with a disturbing agenda. All of that is made worse by the fact we're forced to pay many of them more than the prime minister earns. [p] With regards to the PCC's, yes, that's right, they have no sway over the judiciary or sentencing - which is why I've pointed out, from day one, that they won't actually be able to make any difference to anything. [p] It really doesn't matter which criminals you ask the police to arrest if those criminals then get sent home to (not) do 10 hours 'community service' upon conviction. I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

10:14am Thu 15 Nov 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

itsamess3 wrote:
Only one candidate has bothered to engage with the public on this site--which is very disturbing as one of their duties is to engage with the public as to what they expect from the police.
Hijacked by the usual brood of we want the judges to sentence more severely.
The job is about producing an efficient police force and an honest force who can present conclusive evidence to secure conviction--rather than the carrot of a lighter sentence.
Tackling the judges is not in their remit-sentencing is also not in their remit (PCC's).
Untie the judges hands and find the prison spaces--it will make a difference.
"Only one candidate bothered to engage on this site" - and even he didn't bother to answer any of the questions put to him (mainly about how he's actually going to pay for all his grand plans for more than a couple of years!)

They're all completely pointless, and I'm puzzled where this idea actually came from that this PCC thing would be a good idea. Voting for someone from a group of people I know nothing about to do a job I know nothing about. The manifestos are all useless - just full of pipe dream promises that can't possibly see the light of day once they're actually costed properly.

For the first time since I was eligible to vote, mine will be wasted this time, and I feel bad about that. However I would also feel bad about voting for someone I had no belief or confidence in and none of the candidates have given that. If there was a "none of the above" I'm sure more people would turn out and vote...

All it seems to be if you ask me is an excuse to add a layer of obfuscation in a non-job and remove a level of responsibility from the chief constable. This way, no-one is truly accountable and no-one can be fired for doing a poor job.
[quote][p][bold]itsamess3[/bold] wrote: Only one candidate has bothered to engage with the public on this site--which is very disturbing as one of their duties is to engage with the public as to what they expect from the police. Hijacked by the usual brood of we want the judges to sentence more severely. The job is about producing an efficient police force and an honest force who can present conclusive evidence to secure conviction--rather than the carrot of a lighter sentence. Tackling the judges is not in their remit-sentencing is also not in their remit (PCC's). Untie the judges hands and find the prison spaces--it will make a difference.[/p][/quote]"Only one candidate bothered to engage on this site" - and even he didn't bother to answer any of the questions put to him (mainly about how he's actually going to pay for all his grand plans for more than a couple of years!) They're all completely pointless, and I'm puzzled where this idea actually came from that this PCC thing would be a good idea. Voting for someone from a group of people I know nothing about to do a job I know nothing about. The manifestos are all useless - just full of pipe dream promises that can't possibly see the light of day once they're actually costed properly. For the first time since I was eligible to vote, mine will be wasted this time, and I feel bad about that. However I would also feel bad about voting for someone I had no belief or confidence in and none of the candidates have given that. If there was a "none of the above" I'm sure more people would turn out and vote... All it seems to be if you ask me is an excuse to add a layer of obfuscation in a non-job and remove a level of responsibility from the chief constable. This way, no-one is truly accountable and no-one can be fired for doing a poor job. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Thu 15 Nov 12

I 2 Could B says...

@The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man: the idea is that the commissioners ARE accountable, because when the vote occurs next time around, if they've not done what they've said they'll do, we can vote them out and instal a new commissioner.

The problem with the old system is that a police chief could police how he/she saw fit and there wasn't much anyone could do about it. So, for example, if the police chief concerned had a thing about hammering drivers (as was the case in North Wales), they could direct their force to devote time and resources towards hitting motorists going slightly over the speed limit and not towards burglars and violent criminals.

In theory, the new commissioners will have to reflect what the public views as the most important crimes, and the most dangerous criminals, or they'll quickly lose their well paid jobs.

Of course, the next - and most critical - change is to introduce elected local judges. Then we will really see improvements in sentencing and crime rates decrease significantly.
@The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man: the idea is that the commissioners ARE accountable, because when the vote occurs next time around, if they've not done what they've said they'll do, we can vote them out and instal a new commissioner. [p] The problem with the old system is that a police chief could police how he/she saw fit and there wasn't much anyone could do about it. So, for example, if the police chief concerned had a thing about hammering drivers (as was the case in North Wales), they could direct their force to devote time and resources towards hitting motorists going slightly over the speed limit and not towards burglars and violent criminals. [p] In theory, the new commissioners will have to reflect what the public views as the most important crimes, and the most dangerous criminals, or they'll quickly lose their well paid jobs. [p] Of course, the next - and most critical - change is to introduce elected local judges. Then we will really see improvements in sentencing and crime rates decrease significantly. I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Thu 15 Nov 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Surely the answer then is to make the chief constable publicly accountable, rather than just adding an additional layer of 'management'...?

Just seems like a complete non-job to me and if the chief constable is incapable of doing what we as tax payers want them to do without someone else telling them, they know where the door is!
Surely the answer then is to make the chief constable publicly accountable, rather than just adding an additional layer of 'management'...? Just seems like a complete non-job to me and if the chief constable is incapable of doing what we as tax payers want them to do without someone else telling them, they know where the door is! The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

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