A criminal waste

First published in Letters

I believe it is important to attend a polling station whenever there is an election. This time however, I intend to spoil my ballot paper as I believe the election for police and crime commissioners is wrong, for several reasons.

Not one of the police authorities wants their panel to be replaced by local figureheads. Following severe cuts of 20 per cent in police budgets, it will be very difficult for any police authority to deliver what is necessary to provide a comprehensive service.

Instead of the Government taking the rap for this, the blame will in future be shouldered by the elected representative.

Although many candidates are standing as independents, there is very little chance of any of them winning because the weight of the campaigning is driven by the various party machines, hence it will be an appointment that brings party politics into the police force – a great danger.

I could vote for one of the non-party candidates but as they are unlikely to win, the party representatives will use a healthy turnout to justify their authority to serve.

I would rather not vote – or spoil my vote – to keep the turnout low, thus making the outcomes ineffective. I plan to write on my ballot paper “This is a criminal waste of money”.

Michael Langtree, Barley Close, Malmesbury.

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