Commissioner comments on Electoral Commission Report on the PCC elections
"When the Home Office first floated the idea of elected Police and Crime Commissioners in 2010 the Home Secretary stated that the new system would shake up policing and empower the public - increasing local accountability and give the public a direct say on how their streets are policed". "
Such a radical reform of policing met with much scepticism, and major concerns were raised about the tight timetable for the introduction of the new structure and how members of the public would be informed about the changes. "However, the government pressed ahead with their plans, and on 15 November 2012, the electorate was given the opportunity to vote for the first Police and Crime Commissioners.
As had been widely predicted the turnout in England and Wales was the lowest turnout in peacetime history with only 15.1% of eligible voters turning out.the fact remains I had the honour of being elected to serve the public of Gwent. Whether people voted for me, didn't vote for me or didn't vote at all I made a commitment to work hard on behalf of all residents and I've been doing just that since the election.
"The Electoral Commission's document is a damning report, with nearly every aspect of how the elections were organised being criticised. Issues such as the timing of the election, potential candidates being discouraged because of the need for large cash deposits, unclear eligibility rules, lack of clarity and poor communications are just a few of the problems which have been identified.
"The report reads like an exercise in how not to run an election and it's clear that The Police and Crime Commissioner process failed both potential candidates and voters alike.
"However I would like to make it clear that whilst the elections themselves were not well organised
"Looking ahead the recommendations outlined in the report should be taken on board by the Government to ensure that future elections aren't plagued by similar problems."
To view the electoral Commission report in full visit: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/