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Friday, 01 August 2014

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A sound, democratic idea meets apathy

THE turnout at the polls to elect Cumbria’s first ever police and crime commissioner appears to have been predictably low.

Barring a late surge at the polling booths last night, it seems that this creditable bid to extend local democracy will have been undermined by public apathy.

There is clearly merit in the idea to reform the way police policy is organised at county level.

It is a sound idea to try to extend local accountability and bring the police closer to communities.

However, it seems that the election has failed to ignite the interest of many people.

That may be because there hasn’t been enough information about the process or the candidates.

The Government could have done more to promote these elections to highlight the importance of local democracy.

Perhaps people simply feel there’s no problem with the way things are done at present.

Or maybe they feel it’s another example of jobs for the boys; large salaries for candidates with largely public sector interests.

When ballot papers arrive with most candidates declaring a political party affiliation, it can be a turn-off.

It means that whoever is elected as Cumbria’s first PCC will have a real job to earn public trust.

But we certainly hope they can make a difference by raising important issues about law and order on our community’s behalf.

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