Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner Elections - Ready to Vote?
By NewsPipe | Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 12:31
Tomorrow Dorset gets to vote for the first time on a new position within the police force - the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the county will be chosen by secret ballot.
From top left, clockwise: Nick King, Andy Canning, Martyn Underhill, Rachel Rogers
Polling Stations across the county will open at 7am and every registered voter has a chance to choose their prefered candidate before they close again at 10pm.
The voting paper will be a little different from the ones we're used to seeing for political elections. Voters will use the Supplementary Vote system by which they'll be required to identify their first and second choices.
What will the Police and Crime Commissioner actually do?
The PCC will not effectively 'run' the police force, so what will they be doing? The official answer is that they will "...hold your police force to account for delivering the kind of policing you want to see."
Communications is an important part of the position. The PCC will be a public face for the local police force. They will interact with communities, organisations and local business to find out what issues people would like addressing.
This information will have important ramifications when it comes to budget distribution, which the PCC also has some contol. The PCC will need to be seen to be spending money on areas where the public perceives it is needed.
In addition to this the PCC has hiring and firing power over the Chief Constable position.
Ultimately, it's a 'buck stops here' position that gives people a point of contact for their local Police Force - the role aims to help the public communicate its concerns and wishes and hold someone accountable for the implementation of their wishes.
Who is running?
There are four candidates in Dorset, one with affiliation to each of the main political parties and and independent.
Andy Canning is the Liberal Democrat candidate. Dorchester and West Dorset residents will recognise him from his role as a councillor at West Dorset District Council and Dorchester Town Council.
You can read his full election statement here, but he lists his top priorities as:
- Stopping young people getting into crime
- Preventing first-time offenders from becoming life-long criminals
- Listening to the needs of local communities
- Introducing 20mph speed zones in areas where residents want them
Read Nick King's full election statement here, his priorities are:
- Creating closer links between the Police and community
- Supporting Safer Neighbourhood Policing
- Supporting Special Constables
- Creating village policemen
Rachel Rogers is the Labour Party Candidate, she has 10 year experience working for the prison service and has held the role of deputy governor. She also serves on Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
Her full election statement is here, where she lists the following as her priorities:
- Consult with public and community leaders before establishing local crime and policing priorties
- Develop strategies for reducing crime and supporting victims
- Ensuring policing remains a public service
- Improve communications within service, with press and with local people.
Finally Martyn Underhill is an independent candidate. A former Police Chief, Martyn moved to Dorset in 2009. His campaign seeks to keep politics out of policing.
His statement is here, and although he doesn't list his priorities as as such, he will use his experience to:
- Find "Dorset Solutions for Dorset People"
- Tackle the problems of domestic violence, Anti Social Behaviour, Binge drinking and Identity Theft
- Create a more approachable and accountable Police Force.
- Creat PCC Forums so communities can communicate their concerns