Former police chief calls for election boycott

By Dan Santy Tuesday 13 November 2012 Updated: 14/11 09:09

A FORMER Warwickshire Chief Constable has called for people to boycott Police and Crime Commissioner elections on Thursday (November 15).

Peter Joslin said he feared changes to the system would leave people with 'little experience' in charge of policing.

And he said people who disagreed with the changes, which will see the commissioners replacing police authorities, should withold their vote to make their feelings known to the Government.

He added: "Here we are changing it so people with little experience and few qualifications, and certainly little knowledge of the police, could be put in a position where they can go as far as sacking the chief constable."

The Government responded by calling Mr Joslin's message 'deeply irresponsible'.

Policing and criminal justice minister, Damian Green, said: "Parliament decided to establish Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) and allow the public to have their say through the election of their PCC.

"For the first time the public will finally have a say on key decisions about crime and policing in their area.

"It is wrong and deeply irresponsible to say the public should not take part in a democratic election."

The new commissioners will take charge after Thursday's election. Three candidates are standing in Warwickshire - the Conservatives' Fraser Pithie, Labour's James Plaskitt, and independent Ron Ball.

The commissioner will be responsible for the force's budget and the hiring and firing of chief constables, replacing the role of current police authorities.

Mr Joslin retired from the police in 1998 having served for 44 years, making him one of the country's longest serving officers. He was chief constable for 15 years - a British record.

Fraser Pithie said it was 'regrettable Mr Joslin had come out with such comments'.

Ron Ball said he was 'disappointed' by what he called "irresponsible" comments.

And former MP James Plaskitt, said Mr Joslin was 'wrong', adding the role of the commissioner was to help 'build up the resources of the force' and not to look after the day-to-day running of it.

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