There are elections going on all over the country tomorrow. In some areas there are local elections. In mine there is just one - the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner. You may be tempted not to vote in this, but you should, and here’s why.
Police and Crime Commissioners can’t make laws and can’t tell the police to ignore them. However, they can set police priorities. What does this mean? Well, a PCC could suggest that spending huge sums on policing badger culls or harassing peaceful protest is not a priority when police budgets are constantly being cut. Similarly, it’s possible to stop spending manpower on minor drugs offenses such as possession while there are not enough resources to investigate violent assault.
The position of the Green Party is that this position of PCCs should not exist because it is a politicisation of the police, and I agree with this. However, just as with the Lords, there is nothing to be gained by refusing to engage with positions you don’t think should exist as it allows those with regressive policies to run unopposed. It is also vital that we provide Green voters with someone to vote for in every election. As such, as have stood PCC candidates. In Avon and Somerset it is Chris Briton.
Chris has a long career in the Probation Service and has is a great believer in restorative justice. Greens believe in using evidence as a basis for policy, and Chris will use best practice from both his own experience and policing systems around the world and set police priorities that have been actually shown to work.
We all have a choice tomorrow. We can choose a Green PCC who has worked in the system and will use his position to actually help victims and prevent crime, or other candidates who are simply taking a step along their career path from being councillors, or promising failed populist authoritarian ‘string ‘em up’ policies.
Find out more about Chris on his Facebook page.
Let’s change things for the better.