Theresa May: commissioners will be the voice of the people
Police and crime commissioners will take the “voice of the people” to forces across the country, Home Secretary Theresa May said yesterday as she attempted to drum up turnout ahead of the first elections for the positions on Thursday.
The vote in England and Wales has faced heavy criticism for its timing in mid-November and a failure to excite public interest. Turnout is projected to be less than 15 per cent, leading to fears that those elected will have little authority. There have also been claims that the commissioners will clash with chief constables and undermine the independence of the police. Mrs May, pictured, insisted the commissioners would have "more of a democratic mandate than police authorities they are replacing".
Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr, she insisted: "The chief constables will retain their independence. They decide who they are going to arrest, who they are going to investigate.
"The police and crime commissioners set the strategic direction for the police. I don't think there will be a conflict. We have a police and crime commissioner in London. It is effectively the Mayor of London and his deputy who have been the police and crime commissioner," she added.
Woolwich terror attack: Suspect Michael Adebowale saw friend 'literally sliced to pieces' in 2008
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Unrest may spread across Europe, warns Red Cross chief
EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
You want to get an Eton scholarship? All you need to do is answer four (not so simple) questions
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 EDL marches on Newcastle as attacks on Muslims increase tenfold in the wake of Woolwich machete attack which killed Drummer Lee Rigby
- 5 Farewell, Shameless. Your heirs have work to do
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.