I’m a Conservative and I work to get Conservative candidates elected wherever and whenever I can. If it were possible I’d have liked to have seen us win every Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) contest and all three of last week’s by-elections, but I also live in the real world and understand that Conservative won’t win everywhere. In light of that we need to ask ourselves “if not a Conservative, then who?”.
When we first proposed the idea of directly elected and directly accountable police and crime chiefs it was envisaged that they would be driven by the needs of the communities they serve and would be powerful independently minded advocates for change. The elections were meant to be about crime and policing rather than a mid-term, party political, popularity contest. The fact that so many independent candidates stood, and were elected, vindicates rather than undermines the policy.
There will be good PCCs and poor ones just like there were good police authorities and poor ones, the big difference now is that unlike the old police authorities local people can get rid of the poor performing ones at the next elections.