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Policing politics

Elected commissioners are here to stay. What now?

By Ian Blair   January 2013

“Farce,” declared the Telegraph, “flop,” said The Times—and those were newspapers that had supported the introduction of directly elected police and crime commissioners. With average voter turnout at a record low of 15 per cent, the Guardian came closest to the truth, describing November’s police commissioner elections as a half-baked solution to an ill-defined problem.

Nonetheless, 41 police commissioners are en poste across England and Wales, and it is worth considering what the political parties now do about them. The system is here. It needs to work. I suggest five basic tests by which the new…

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