NOTE: This content is old - Published: Sunday, May 8th, 2016.
North Wales will get a new Police and Crime Commissioner today following a count of votes which were cast by members of the public on Thursday.
Coleg Cambria sports hall will be the centre of attention when counting gets underway this morning, a result is expected at around 3pm.
The first PCC election in 2012 drew only 14.8% of the north Wales electorate, lower than the 15% national average across the 41 English and Welsh police areas, turnout was a peacetime low for a national election.
Figures from England, where results have already declared, appear to show an improvement in voter interest, largely down to the fact in many areas people were out voting in council elections at the same time.
In Cheshire, 24% of the electorate voted in the PCC election on Thursday up from 14% in 2012, and in a ‘shock’ result Labour’s David Keane narrowly beat Conservative incumbent John Dwyer by 2949 votes.
Turnout for North Wales is expected to be higher than 2012 as it was conducted at the same time as the National Assembly election where 1,019,382 votes were cast– a turnout of 45.4%.
UPDATE: North Wales PCC voter turnout 2016 confirmed at 43.8%
How the votes are counted.
The first preferences are counted, and if a candidate has received more than 50% of the votes cast they are elected.
If no candidate has more than 50% of the votes, all candidates apart from those in first and second place are eliminated.
The ballot papers showing a first preference for the eliminated candidates are checked for their second preference. Any second preference votes for the two remaining candidates are then added to the candidates’ first preference votes and the candidate with the most votes wins.
So, what do Police and Crime Commissioners do?
The Police and Crime Commissioner replaced local police authorities in 2012.
The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for holding the Chief Constable and police force to account on the public’s behalf.
The Police and Crime Commissioner oversees how crime is tackled in their area and aims to make sure the police are providing a good service.
The Police and Crime Commissioner role includes:
- meeting the public regularly to listen to their views on policing
- producing a police and crime plan setting out local policing priorities
- deciding how the budget will be spent
- appointing Chief Constables and dismissing them if needed
Lack of public awareness
One of the first tasks on the ‘to-do-list’ for north Wales’ new crime ‘Tsar’ is to address the lack of public awareness around PCC’s, who they are, and what they do.
Only one out of ten members of the public say they can name their local Police and Crime Commissioner.
And out of those who can, 10% get it wrong! That’s according to a BMG Research poll for the Electoral Reform Society.
It gets worse, a ridiculously low figure of just 1% of 18-24-year-olds and only 5% of 25-34-year-olds can name their PCC, a role which commands a salary somewhere between £70,000 and £85,000 a year.
The poor showing in terms of awareness comes despite many PCC’s, including north Wales previous commissioner, Winston Roddick employing PR agencies to boost their public profiles.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:
“It would seem that four years after police commissioners were introduced, the public are none the wiser about what they actually do. The fact that just one in ten can name their local PCC is an indictment of the whole approach to these roles and the election.
“There’s clearly a real lack of public engagement in this election and the last – something exacerbated by a total lack of information about the roles and often the candidates, too. In our survey of PCC candidates in 2012 we found that 88% thought public awareness of the election was low, and of these, 62% thought it was very low.
“In some cases the PCC areas cover millions of people – illustrating the problems many candidates have in reaching voters. The West Midlands area covers over two million voters, for example.
“There’s been very little coverage of the election this time, much as last time, and there will be big differences in turnout depending on where there are local elections. The fact that, unlike the November 2012 election, this vote coincides with (Assembly elections in Wales) council elections, will raise turnout – but much more needs to be done to learn the lessons from previous votes. There are just a few days to get the information out and encourage people to vote – so we hope everyone concerned pulls out all the stops to get the public involved in this important vote.
North Wales Candidates 2016.
Owain Arfon Jones
Arfon is a former North Wales Inspector from Harlech originally, who retired in 2008 after 30 years’ as both a uniformed and plain clothes officer. This included time in Regional Crime Intelligence in Manchester and as Head of Child Protection for North Wales Police.
Arfon is a Wrexham Councillor and currently chairs the Community Health Council in Wrexham.
“As Police Commissioner my first job would be to carry out a review of core policing in North Wales. There are indications that over 60% of Police work is work that other agencies should be doing.
“Savings could be made by targeting resources more effectively, i.e. Youth Justice does excellent work but better resourcing could see them intervening earlier and diverting young people away from crime.
“A lot of money is wasted by arresting the most vulnerable in society. Jailing homeless veterans isself defeating. We need better partnership working to support the vulnerable.
“I will also campaign for better policing of protests and sporting events. Policing of such events does not always seem to be as impartial or proportionate as it should be.
“There should be more emphasis on roads policing to reduce those killed or seriously injured, particularly amongst young people.
“I would provide all frontline officers with ‘Body Worn Videos’ which would improve evidence gathering and secure more convictions, especially in ‘domestic violence’ cases. It would help resolve complaints against police.
“I would also pledge not to outsource police services and ensure that tendering for services benefits the economy of North Wales as far as is practicable.
“Finally, I would liaise closely and seek to negotiate with the National Offender Management Service regarding policing issues around the new prison in Wrexham.
This Candidate address has been completed by
Website – http://arfonjones.cymru
David James Taylor
I’m putting myself forward because North Wales needs a new crime plan and a Commissioner who supports officers on the frontline but is not part of the establishment.
I am honest about my politics and honest about the direction I will bring to the role:
CRACK DOWN ON ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
I’ll do everything I can to keep policing visible and bring back the local bobby. More police and PCSOs on the streets make people feel safe and deter crime.
WAR ON DRUGS AND TRAFFICKING BY MANCHESTER AND MERSEYSIDE GANGS
Drugs are a huge problem in many of our towns and the A55 is being used for trafficking. I want the police to get tough on dealers who are blighting communities.
ZERO TOLERANCE ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE
Failures of different agencies to share information has meant missed opportunities to protect vulnerable people in North Wales. I’ll introduce better training and work more closely with others to identify victims earlier.
PROTECTING PEOPLE FROM SCAMS, FRAUDSTERS AND CYBERCRIME
I’ll crack down on criminals who prey on older people – whether door-to-door, on the phone or online – and I’ll create a North Wales Cyber School to help younger people guard against being exploited online.
SMARTER ROAD SAFETY
I’ll work with Community Speed Watch groups to improve road safety and I’ll review how cameras are used to best effect – I want to end the perception of unfairness in how speed controls are enforced.
A COMMISSIONER FOR EVERYONE
I’ll make services more accessible. If a distressed person wants to report a crime in Welsh then they should get access to a fellow Welsh speaker immediately. I’ll establish a new Countryside Crime Taskforce to improve rural policing.
This statement has been prepared by Michelle Perfect of 25 Kinmel Street, Rhyl LL18 1AH
I am Simon Wall, I was born in Bangor and raised on Anglesey. I feel privileged to live and work in North Wales.
I attended Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln and trained as a teacher and received my postgraduate qualification (PGCE) through Nottingham Trent University. I taught in a residential unit before switching careers to become a police officer.
I returned to education and training, setting up my own training consultancy and worked in colleges, business training departments, the corporate sector as well as welfare to work and a range of other sectors.
Having seen the very best and the very worse of police culture I realise that if policing by consent is to be preserved here in the UK, things must radically change. Public image and public trust in our police are paramount and, therefore, I believe in a zero tolerance approach to dishonesty and corruption which seriously undermine the image and status of honest, professional and hardworking police officers and the police service.
I would pledge to ensure that people of North Wales have a police force that acts as public servants but command respect through professionalism, respect, integrity and honesty through all ranks. I would:-
- Give a 100% commitment to the role, not holding any other professional appointments/paid positions.
- Be accessible to the public to listen to your views on policing. To be visible, approachable and alert to the community.
- Develop a police and crime plan which addresses your community needs and priorities.
- Ensure community representation on key issues and communication between public and police.
- Address key public frustrations of reporting and recording all crimes.
- Seek ways to be cost effective, innovative and efficient.
I am not a member of a political party. If elected, I will represent you independent of party politics. I have no other allegiances – I will put the people of North Wales first every time.
My manifesto commitment is to work to ensure that people are secure in their homes and safe in public places. I want us to work together to have the safest communities it is possible to have.
If elected, I will: maintain a modern policing service, protect and help vulnerable people, prioritise neighbourhood policing, encourage effective partnerships and listen to what people tell me and act upon their concerns.
I understand policing. I want to maintain a visible police presence and the police stations we have across North Wales. I intend to campaign against the risk of further cuts.
The Police and Crime Commissioner role is not about appointing another policeman to oversee the police. We already have a Chief Constable and excellent senior police officers. This role is about electing a public representative to champion public priorities for policing within tight budgets.
I live at Nannerch in Flintshire and have 28 years business and management experience to director level including as a senior consultant in the defence sector. I have been a county councillor in Flintshire for 12 years where I was a cabinet member for Economic Development and led on regeneration initiatives. I have worked closely with community organisations, including areas of deprivation, such as West Rhyl, as well as supporting neighbourhood watch schemes.
I have chaired and been on the board of directors of a number of public and private organisations in North Wales and have excellent contacts in the UK Government and Welsh Assembly.
I will ensure there is an effective, experienced team working with MPs, AMs and councillors, delivering:
Safer communities – more visible frontline officers on the beat with less bureaucracy and special constables for every town and village that wants one.
Safety partnerships – prioritise agencies working together effectively and making wise use of joint resources.
Safer homes and businesses – invest in technology and education to reduce danger online and improve measures against fraud and business crime.
Support for victims – increased support for victims to help them rebuild their lives and ensure offenders right their wrongs with a particular emphasis on drug rehabilitation and mental health issues.
National Security – with Holyhead port and major transport links I will ensure robust security and joint working on terrorism and international crime.