Worries only 10% will vote in election for police supremo
AN ACADEMIC today warned Notts voters need to get more involved in the Police and Crime Commissioner debate.
Dr Jason Pandya-Wood, head of sociology in the school of social sciences at Nottingham Trent University, said he was worried only one in ten people would vote in the election.
He is planning a hustings at the university on Monday to try to stir more interest in the November 15 vote.
Whoever wins will replace Notts Police Authority and hold considerable power over how Notts Police are run.
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Dr Pandya-Wood said: "The role is a major change in terms of the potential relationship between the police and the public. I've seen estimates of what the turnout of the election will be, and they are very low. I've heard figures as low as a 10 per cent national turnout."
Monday's event at the Newton Building from 5.30pm to 7.30pm is open to anyone and candidates will take questions from the floor. Four candidates – one for Labour, a Conservative and two independents – are in the running to the become the commissioner, who will oversee Notts Police and set budgets. They can hire and fire chief constables and say how crime should be fought.
Dr Pandya-Wood said Monday was an opportunity for the public to test the four candidates before they decide who to vote for. Conservative candidate Tony Roberts said at best he hoped for a turnout above 20 per cent.
Dr Raj Chandran, standing as an independent, said people seemed to have a tendency to be "negative" about the election.
Malcolm Spencer, standing as an independent, said: "There's a lot of people who know about it but not a lot of people know enough to come out and vote." Paddy Tipping, standing for Labour, said he thought more people were becoming aware but added: "People know something about it even if some are not clear what it's about."
Monday's event, chaired by the Nottingham Post, is open to anyone but places must be booked at www.ntu.ac.uk, by calling 0115 848 8732, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.