In just over 63 days you will be asked to vote (assuming you are registered!) for a Police and Crime Commissioner. Only a handful of people we have spoken to, and we speak with quite a few people, were aware of the vote taking place let alone the elected position being up for grabs. Due to this Wrexham.com has put together this guide to kick off our coverage of the elections – you might remember our uniquely indepth local council election coverage (view it all here).
So what is an elected Police and Crime Commissioner?
This is the first time this role exists and it replaces the local police authority. The aim is that they dont run the police rather represent you in holding the police to account for the public. The practical examples given are:
- Produce a police and crime plan setting out local policing priorities.
- Set the local policing budget and decide how money will be spent.
- Appoint chief constables and remove them where needed.
When is the vote taking place?
Thursday 15 November 2012 a nationwide (except London) vote will take place. You need to be registered to vote by the 31st of October though or you cant vote.
How does the vote take place?
It is preference based ‘supplementary vote system’ so you will put a X in the first choice column, and a X in your second choice column.
Who is standing?
Nominations will open 8 October 2012 and close 19 October 2012, currently three people have declared their interest in running. We will publish the list of candidates as soon as they are finalised. Its worth noting that to stand a person needs to have a 100 signatures of people registered to vote in the area they are standing, plus a £5000 deposit.
When someone is elected when do they take over?
The vote is on 15th November and they take office on the 22nd of November!
How much do they get paid?
They are elected for four years, getting £70,000 a year so a total of £280,000 is up for grabs. The £70k figure is one of the lowest in the country, as its dependant on force size and other factors. The winner of the West Yorkshire election will get £100,000 a year for example. The lowest is £65,000 a year for the likes of Cumbria.
The newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner will have to swear an oath of impartiality before taking office. The final version isnt full sorted yet however this draft has been issued. Its wording and tone gives an indication of the position – that they work for the people:
“XXXXXXX of XXXXXXX do solemnly and sincerely promise that I will serve all the people of Police Force Area in the office of police and crime commissioner without fear or favour.
I will act with integrity and diligence in my role and, to the best of my ability, will execute the duties of my office to ensure that the police are able to cut crime and protect the public.
I will give a voice to the public, especially victims of crime and work with other services to ensure the safety of the community and effective criminal justice.
I will take all steps within my power to ensure transparency of my decisions, so that I may be properly held to account by the public.
I will not seek to influence or prevent any lawful and reasonable investigation or arrest, nor encourage any police action save that which is lawful and justified within the bounds of this office.”
Wrexham.com will continue its unique coverage of democratic issues, and would encourage you to read as much as you can and engage! We have started this thread on our forums to discuss and follow the progress of the elections and invite you to join in!