Critics of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCCs) elections have made much of the low turnout of voters, pushing the line that this shows the exercise was largely redundant.
Countering this argument is the very real media interest in the story – and our CEO Mark Darby has just taken part in an online debate on Guardian.co.uk, which may have helped to allay people’s fears about the relevance of the new office.
Participants in the debate included many with an obvious interest: from Dan Steadman (@SteadmanDan) the Chief Executive (defacto) at Sussex Police Authority, to Steven West, who stood to be Hampshire’s PCC. And there were academics, such as Claudia Megele (@ClaudiaMegele) as well as interest from the private sector, including our CEO (@pam_achievemore).
The interesting statistic is that at the height of the debate, the moderator Kathryn Dobinson revealed that is was being followed by around 1,000 people – a higher number of people for such a debate than many would have anticipated.
Obviously many of these people would have a professional interest, but I’m sure there were interested members of the public monitoring the debate, too.
As it turned out, I’m sure that most of those watching will have found much to pique their interest, and perhaps inform them of the new political landscape the PCC heralds.
From very specific questions about council tax precepts (the proportion of council tax which pays for the police force) and possible caps imposed by central government, to the importance of the involvement of the charity and voluntary sectors, the debate was very interesting.
What was most striking however, was a consensus that the new PCC is an opportunity to explore new ways of working, and thinking about work – and Alliantist certainly has an opinion about that!
You can read the debate here. Check it out, as it raises many interesting questions about the role of the new PCC.