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Poll: Will you vote in the Norfolk and Suffolk police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections?

17:19 23 October 2012

EDP pics © 2003

Fears are continuing to grow that the turnout for next month’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections could be the lowest ever for a British election.

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But are you planning to vote next month? Norfolk has five candidates for the role, while Suffolk has four.

The position involves setting the force’s budget, council tax precept and a police and crime plan. They will also have the power to hire and fire the chief constable.

Voting takes place on Thursday, November 15.

But a lack of interest or awareness in the position, combined with the election taking place in autumn instead of spring, initially led to turnout predictions of between 18pc to 20pc.

And former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Blair has also called for voters to boycott the elections, although this message was branded “deeply irresponsible” by the policing minister Damian Green today.

Norfolk’s candidates are: Jamie Athill (Conservative), Stephen Bett (Independent), James Joyce (Liberal Democrat), Steve Morphew (Labour), and Matthew Smith (Ukip).

Suffolk’s candidates are: Jane Patricia Basham (Labour), David Cocks (Independent), Bill Mountford (Ukip), and Tim Passmore (Conservative).

Our reporters have been out on the streets of Norfolk and Suffolk today conducting a survey about PCCs. To find out the results, see tomorrow’s papers.

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43 comments

  • This election throws a light on something which is missing in every election , from MP to parish council and that is a full and frank cv for every candidate. Unless voters take the time to rummage or use FOI it is almost impossible to find out any real detail about candidates, their academic and employment history for instance, to determine whether we think they are fit to do the job they are standing for, let alone worthy of our vote.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Of course the police were controlled by politicians in the past.The law is there to stop the excesses of politicians and the police but how the police work should be led by politicians, our elected democratic representatives and it is they who should make policy not senior police officers spending our money just as the feel fit. The UKIP candidate came out against plastic policemen PCSOs in the national press-one thing I will agree about.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • @popeye. The EDP really should declare a vested interest. A high proportion of their newspaper content originates from the police and it is in their interest to support them at every opportunity. That is why there has been such favourable coverage in their direction and why Mr Betts picture, comments and letters appear so often.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • The Masons candidate will win.

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • I would vote but im not actually sure how, or where to get the information on the PCCs. Might be handy if there was a website address?

    Report this comment

    bubbly_mik

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • Should you vote? In EDP Letters September 18, one of the candidates (the former Police Authority chairman) called for "honesty ... in any dialogue with the electorate about policing" and perhaps inspired by this he had an epiphany. He realised that he didn't want to be the Conservative candidate after all, having lost out in the race to a relative unknown, and, 3 days after his letter was published, declared himself as an Independent candidate, proclaiming that local policing should not be entangled with party politics. What would he have done if selected as the Tory candidate in that case? The composition of Norfolk Police Authority (NPA) membership has always been linked to the political map of Norfolk, and had the former chairman not been a Tory county councillor as well doubtless he would never have got to be NPA chairman. He talked about relatively modest increases in NPA council tax in the last 17 years, but the £45.27 band D charge for policing in 1995, when the NPA came into existence, ballooning to £196.92 17 years on is a 350% increase. Incredible when you think the cumulative rise in inflation over the same period is circa 60%, and that the Government contribution to Norfolk's police was in line with the growth in inflation up until the 2010 general election. Keeping Government funding for policing in step with inflation was hardly the scandalous profligacy he tries to suggest, although in the last 2 years the current Government has slashed £11 million from it's contribution. If you also consider the growth in population (houses) over this 17 year period, the increase levied by NPA is even greater at 425% in terms of the total budget generated by the council tax. Of course part of the explanation is the same issue we see with runaway allowances paid to councillors in Norfolk. The cumulative cost of NPA members' allowances since it came into being? At least £3 million. Why is the current Government cutting it's grant to the NPA? Presumably because we're all in it (meeting the cost of cutting the top rate of tax for rich bankers, hedge fund managers, and the like) together, and that's why Government borrowing has increased by 25% since 2010 unabated by the so-called austerity programme, more correctly the 'attack the poordisabledstudentspublic sector' programme. With so many spending cuts abounding, it begs the question who is benefiting from all the extra borrowing when even poor George Osbourne can't afford a 1st class train fare?

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • I will be more than happy to vote at the PCC elections IF the powers that be send me some information about the candidates and on how we do actually vote - still in the dark at the moment!

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    Mrs Meldrew

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • The photograph at the beginning of this report unfortunately sums up the image of the police that most people have, a quasi military force remote from the public,invisible on the streets,but miraculously appearing when a motoring offence is comitted! Sadly this nonsense of creating yet another highly paid government non job will solve nothing! but it will cost taxpayers money,at a time of austerity this is a criminal waste of public money.

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • It would be good to have a proper selection of candidates - I don't want to vote for any of them! I normally vote in elections but it will be difficult this time.

    Report this comment

    Lynda Edwards

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Voting card went straight into the shredder. It's a waste of money, a waste of time & at the end of the day it won't make any difference.

    Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • pop-up LISA SHARP....Would rather watch paint dry! .....Is that what you do in the police station when you are not being a pop-up poster or would that be two separate departments we are talking about? Yes BG the EDP is clearly trying to encourage people not to vote. I hope the people don't fall for it and get out there and vote for the candidate best able to hold the police to account, and as a result get the best police force in the country.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • There a lot of myths perpetuated about how costly the PCC is going to be. To try and set the record straight the expenses bill for the current 17 NPA committee members is two hundred and twenty two thousand pounds a year. The NPA currently has the following positions: CEO. Deputy CEO. Executive Assistant. Treasurer. Community Engagement officer. Policy and Performance officer. Planning Performance and Partnership Officer. Policy and Community Officer. Office Manager. Committee Administrator and Support Services Assistant. The CEO alone has an annual numeration package of somewhere in the region of £140K. Many people are saying if it`s not broke, don`t try to mend it. Well just look back at some of the decisions made by the NPA. Building a cell block for Norwich at Wymondham. Spending a shed full of money on police stations to make them response centres. A decision that was quickly reversed and officers retuned to local stations. Dressing police officers in a para military black uniform that has little in common with a rural county like Norfolk. Bringing in a succession of Chief Constables, including Andy Hayman, who was allowed to continue living on the Essex Suffolk border and basically do what he liked. Not taking the opportunity to build a wing on the new cell facilities at Gt Yarmouth to replace Gt Yarmouth and Gorleston police stations which are well past their best and in the case of Gt Yarmouth is largely empty. You can go on and on with how ineffective the NPA has been. At least with a PCC there will be real accountability. Not the cosy relationship that has existed between Mr Betts and successive Chief Constables.

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    BG

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Will I be voting? NO! If voting worked we wouldn't have got David Cameron, would we?

    Report this comment

    Caister Waster

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Seems you only need £5000 and the vote of the inmates of HMP Norwich and you will be home and dry Entire thing is a farce and at what further cost to the public

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    Claire Voyant

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • popeye how right you are. The EDP is running one big negative campaign against PCCS. Just look at their story on the the "apathy" of voters to PCCS. I would suggest if they did the same exercise asking members of the public to identify our national political figures and what they stood for most people wouldn`t have a clue. I cast my eyes over Mr Bett`s manifesto this morning and it is hardly inspirational. Dull in fact. Under him we would have more years of the same. We need a dynamic individual like Boris to make real changes to policing in Norfolk. At the moment the station cat goes out more than the police officers do.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Pro police privatisation lobbyists are suggesting there is a chosen "G4S" candidate across the country.Who are these shadowy secret organisations backing in Norfolk?Haven't we learnt from the G4S Olympic fiasco?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Seems you only need £5000 and the vote of the inmates of HMP Norwich and you will be home and dry Entire thing is a farce and at what further cost to the public

    Report this comment

    Claire Voyant

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Just a waste of TAX Payers money which could be spent some where else

    Report this comment

    Dave

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • It's time the Lib Dems pulled out of this part of the 2010 coalition agreement. So many candidates of different persuasions are saying they don't believe in the legislation, but are standing!!! How can they stand if this is what they believe?

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    bedoomed

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Why are we not being told the full story? We currently have a Police Authority - who can hire fire, set budgets and force strategies. Under the 'new system' we will have a PCC with a salary of up to £100,000, plus a deputy no doubt who salary is not publicised, plus no doubt expenses for secretarial work, BUT above the PCC is another level called the Police Crime Panel (PCP) this is a panel made up of two councillors and two lay persons, more salaries expenses etc PLUS they can veto ANY decision made by the PCC, surely a police authority in another name? Look it up you'll be amazed - yet another level, but they are keeping this level quiet! I will not vote out of protest - should not be happening!

    Report this comment

    outspoken

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Still waiting for a card to say where to vote! Someone mentioned the masons' candidate- would that be all of them?

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • I think that this post should be non political and will vote accordingly .

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    leslie cater

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • If it ain't broke-why fix it? Why is this change being foisted on us? Where is the public demand for this? I don't know who these people are or what views & positions they hold, so how can I vote for people I know nothing about- IF I thought it was a worthwhile change in the 1st place. With all the cuts we've had inflicted on the general public, this is like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. I wonder what the police think of it.

    Report this comment

    Frank

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • i do not know anyone who has any idea whats going on here so im guessing they will not be voting neither will I.

    Report this comment

    Alan Jessop

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • If the candidates cannot even be bothered to spend 5 minutes providing their information to the official website, then why should I bother spending an hour of my time voting. At least the Independent candidate has taken 5 minutes to fill in some information: http:www.policeelections.comcandidatesnorfolk

    Report this comment

    Mayo

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • So 36%, allegedly, are going to vote, but what for?

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • I will not be voting in this political farce. Politicians have destroyed all faith in them. All the candidates are politicians with no true Independent Candidates. i never believe a word a politician says - so what hope do we have for a Politics and Crime Commissioner ?

    Report this comment

    Farquarson-Smythe

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • HMMMM, COULD ALL POLICE FORCES BE AS SQUEAKY CLEAN AS SOUTH YORKSHIRE .IF YOU ASK ME THERE ALL BENT BEHIND CLOSE DOORS !

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Of course everyone should vote. I'm not sure like a lot of people who we should vote for or how we should distinguish between them all, however, a no show is a vote by default for whoever wins so just remember that!

    Report this comment

    John57

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • What would I be voting for? Politicisation of the police?The cost of a commissioner and his retinue will be many millions. But there is not enough money,seemingly to increase the police budget and do what I and many others want. More and more frontline officers. The very fact that political parties are putting up candidates proves the sinister motive behind the whole scheme. I wonder how long before the elected commissioner has the power to employ private security companies to replace our impoverished police force.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • My original comment seems to have got lost but there are a lot of myths being perpetuated here. The police service has always been controlled by politicians since the days of Robert Peel. The cost of the current Norfolk Police Authority is £222K in expenses each year for its committee members. It has a CEO and 12 permanent members of staff the highest of which the CEO has an annual remuneration packageof over £140K. The PCC set up will cost far less. There is plenty of info as to why etc in the public domain. As for the, “if it ain`t broke, why bother fixing brigade.” How long have you got. Police numbers and support staff are still at historic highs, even after cuts and are only are noticeable by their absence.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • There is no one worth voting for and the whole exercise will politicise something that shouldn't be controlled by politicians. I will probably spoil my ballot paper.

    Report this comment

    DrJB

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • UKIP, boot out the plastic coppers and get to grips with the masonic-common purpose top plodders...simples!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • In addition - if they cannot be bothered to supply proper information about the candidates (as in other elections) how do they expect people to bother to vote?

    Report this comment

    Lynda Edwards

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Would rather watch paint dry!

    Report this comment

    lisa sharp

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • @ Daisy Roots - The UKIP candidate came out against plastic policemen PCSOs in the national press-one thing I will agree about. I think the whole country is in agreement with you on that one. It was a con job right from the start. I never saw the need or the point of them right from the start. A total waste of money. They too seemed to have disappeared from our streets.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Totally agree with the comments that nobody knows anything about the candidates! Why should we vote for someone that we know nothing at all about or indeed what their actual job will entail! Just as with most things concerning government these days in this country, it's a complete and utter farce.

    Report this comment

    Sid

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • I see the pop-up posters (hello police) have arrived again with the advice that voting is a waste of time. They are doing this because apathy will leave the door wide open for 'their' man to walk straight back into office. If people don't vote then Stephen Bett will win. Why?....because he will have a the guaranteed vote of 3100 police staff votes, and they will 'encourage' friends and family to vote, leaving a block vote of over 20,000 in my opinion. I feel sorry that the other candidates have to compete against this block vote, but there is one candidate who stands out above the rest and would do well as a police commissioner, just look at the information available. Come on Norfolk, don't let the police pick the man who will least hold them to account, vote for one who will.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Anyone having the £5,000 deposit( possibly lost) paid for by a Party cannot be independent. This goes for their leaflets and other expenditure. More costs of the whole staffing structure must be divulged. seemingly a Deputy P&CC might also be charged to us as well as a Chief Executive.

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Met Jamie Athill in Sheringham on Monday, and I will be voting for him.

    Report this comment

    Hugh

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Who is the mason's candidate?

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    Mr Bobby

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • I bet each party has organised votes in the poll Never mind Keep Dancing -Keep polling Write in a candidate on your paper or -----------

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    No to tory boy

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Why bother? I don't know who or where or what for. To me this is just another job creation scheme and a chance for politicians to gain more influence being presented as a placebo for the public. I have had enough of this country and I am emigrating next July, so I won't waste my time for no purpose.

    Report this comment

    micklynn

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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