The Big Eye - Commissioning apathy
On Thursday you will have your chance to stake a claim in the way our local police is managed and directed.
The purpose is to elect a commissioner who will monitor, on the public’s behalf, the way the police force conduct themselves, how they spend their budget and how they tackle crime on their patch.
Now, The Big Eye has been showing some interest in these apparently vital proceedings and has tried hard to get a feel of what’s going on and who you’ve got standing as candidates.
It isn’t easy to find out much unless you trawl the internet because the candidates themselves, in general, appear to be relatively shy retiring types who wish to hide their light under bushels and keep themselves to themselves.
There has been the odd letter in the local press, full of bluster and overblown promises from some candidates but apart from that, my doorstep hasn’t been sullied by so much as a sticker begging me to vote for either Huey, Dewey or Louie on Thursday.
This plum position, with a very respectable salary, a smart office, secretaries and expenses, will drop into the lap of someone whether you vote or not so why aren’t these hot-shot, go-getting, chief constable-bashing individuals fighting tooth-and-nail to land a job they’re guaranteed to hold for the next three-and-a-half years? It’s a mystery!
They all give me the impression of being totally half-hearted about the whole event and although I only saw some street interviews with candidates in another part of East Anglia, it was plain to see that very few of them had the tiniest clue concerning the most basic information about their local force.
It was shameful and obvious that whoever got the job in that area, he or she wouldn’t be having a lot of influence over the chief of that particular police authority.
This is my fear. If these mysterious, invisible people, who Cameron says will be our “go to” person, haven’t got the nerve or the spirit or the desire to fight for this post I wonder how they’ll suddenly find the grit and determination to change attitudes in a police force controlled by a grizzled and hard-bitten chief constable and his subordinates.
Thursday will come and go with barely anyone even realising anything’s happened. I predict that we will reach a new low in terms of the candidates’ and electorate’s apathy and everything will return to normal on Friday except that a chunk of money that could have been spent on ‘front line’ policemen will be wasted on another layer of bureaucratic twaddle as this commissioner disappears under a pile of paperwork and drafts for new ‘initiatives’.
I just wish I understood why they’re needed in the first place. Don’t the police already do as we wish and catch burglars, keep the streets safe and simply make sure we obey the law? What is this ‘commissioner’ going to make them do differently?
If we do need them it would have been nice if we’d seen a bit more initiative from these dreary candidates, who should have been trying a damned sight harder to prove to us they really are the ‘go to’ person that the PM was waffling on about.
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Weather for King's Lynn
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west