Vote for police chief 'is flawed'
A senior Westcountry politician has warned the election turnout for the first wave of US-style police commissioners could be so low that it makes the Guinness Book of Records.
Brian Greenslade, who is standing as an independent candidate in Devon and Cornwall, and is a former Devon County Council leader, is among a raft of would-be police chiefs to raise concerns over the lack of public awareness of the 41 ballots. They are just 50 days away.
Independents, Labour figures and one-time Liberal Democrat London mayor hopeful Brian Paddick have signed a letter of warning to Home Secretary Theresa May.
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Lib Dem North Devon Council leader Mr Greenslade, who opted not to stand for his party as he claimed policing should not be politicised, said: "The upcoming elections are heading for the Guinness Book of Records for the lowest turnout for a national election.
"If the flawed system introduced by the Government is as important as it claims then they should accord them the same support as for a parliamentary elections."
Police and crime commissioners, including one for Devon and Cornwall and another in Avon and Somerset, will replace local police authorities in a bid to provide an accountable figurehead.
At the Lib Dem conference in Brighton this week, Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne was asked whether 20% would be a good turnout.
Mr Browne, MP for Taunton Deane, said: "I think that is a question to which the answer is no. I want the turnout to be as high as possible."