Police commissioners could lead to ‘postcode lottery’ for policing
THE leader of the Welsh Greens says the police and crime commissioner elections could result in a postcode lottery for policing.
Pippa Bartolotti, who is based in Newport, said while one commissioner may be in favour in restorative justice, another next door could be in favour of lengthy prison sentences.
She says she is yet to see a meaningful manifesto from any of the candidates - her party has decided not to field one.
Ms Bartolotti said with the election date looming she didn't see how people will have the time to make a serious choice.
"This is a poor use of democracy. Policing and crime is likely to be a justice lottery," she said.
"One police commissioner near you may favour restorative justice, but in the region next door they may be more in favour of lengthy prison sentences."
Commissioners will have to produce crime plans, and Ms Bartolotti said they will have to rank the importance of domestic violence against, for example, rural crime.
"We urgently need to see what these candidates stand for, and how they would work with other agencies to prevent crime and promote the rehabilitation of offenders," she added.
A Home Office spokesman however said commissioners will be the most significant democratic reform of policing "in our lifetime."
"PCCs will give the public a real say in how their communities are policed and will use their mandate to cut crime," he said.
He added that any percentage of the public vote will give commissioners more democratic legitimacy then the current police authorities which watch over police budgets.
Two independents and former policemen - Chris Wright and Ian Johnston - are both planning to run in the November election against Hamish Sandison of Labour and Nick Webb of the Tories.