A third of people are still not certain whether they have a directly-elected police commissioner

 

More than one third of people are still not certain whether they have a directly-elected police commissioner in their area, a poll has discovered.

The survey, conducted to mark the first anniversary of the first elections for police chiefs, found only seven per cent of the people could name their commissioner.

Last year's elections for 41 police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales were greeted with widespread apathy, resulting in a turnout of just 15 per cent.

The Government insists the idea is here to stay and Labour is expected to drop its opposition to the policy.

But the ComRes survey for the BBC discovered the arrival of commissioners had barely registered with the public in their first 12 months of existence.

Thirty-eight per cent of people living in areas with PCCs either thought they did not have one or did not know and 62 per cent were aware they existed.

Jack Dromey MP, the shadow Policing Minister, accused ministers of mishandling the policy from the start.

He said: “Last year they spent £100m on chaotic November elections where only 15 per cent of people voted, even though that could have paid for thousands of police officers.”

But the policing minister, Damian Green, said: “The democratic system we have installed is infinitely better than that which preceded it.”

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