Police and Crime Commissioner: Was flagship policy to reconnect public with police a £75m flop?
IT was the lowest turnout in a national election in British peacetime history – and now there will be an investigation into what went wrong.
Across the country, just one in seven headed to the polls to elect a police and crime commissioner (PCC) in November.
Notts fared slightly above the national average – at 16.7 per cent.
However only 11 per cent can name their PCC, according to a Populus poll released yesterday.
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Paddy Tipping, who was elected to serve as the Notts PCC, said he was disappointed with the way the elections were organised.
He added: "It's clear people knew little about the election process and it was not a normal time to have an election in the dark evenings in November – all these reasons and many more are why the turnout was so low.
"It could have been different had the candidates been entitled to a free mailshot to people.
"This would have cost £35 million but would have allowed people to be clear about what they were voting for.
"But since the election, I have been working hard to talk to people so they know who I am – I go to public meetings two or three times a week, I use Facebook and Twitter and put out e-mail newsletters.
"In fact, during my first week in office, I had more letters than the Police Authority had in a year – so it's clear people want to engage with the role."
The turnout in the city for the election – 16.09 per cent – was seven per cent lower than when people in Nottingham were asked if they wanted a directly-elected mayor in May.
A review into the election is being carried out by the Electoral Commission and it will talk to candidates and voters to find out what lessons can be learned.
Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: "This was a flagship policy designed to reconnect the public and the police.
"Yet after spending £75 million nearly 90 per cent of Britons have no idea who their elected police and crime commissioner even is.
"The Electoral Commission's forthcoming review must not pull its punches.
"The Government has singularly failed to accept any responsibility and would like to see nothing more than a whitewash."
To see an interactive map of what the PCC turnout was in your area, visit www.thisisnottingham.co.uk.