13 August 2014
The Birmingham Green Party has criticised plans for a West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner by-election on 21 August.
In an objection to the ‘politicisation’ of policing in England, which will give one political party control over regional police services, the Greens have also decided not to stand a candidate.
Party spokesperson, Andrew Walton, said: “"The idea of an elected Police and Crime Commissioner is a big mistake.
"This blatant politicisation of the police is bad for the force, bad for the community and bad for democracy, so we believe it's wrong to ask a Green candidate or voters to take part in it."
At present, policing is not part of the British electoral system. Instead it is monitored and supervised at arm's length by a cross-party committee of elected members, meaning that no one political party controls the police.
The Greens believe that this is a far better approach than the election of a single, political commissioner, which has been introduced by the Conservative-led Coalition Government.
Andrew continued, "We believe policing should be operationally independent of politics, administered at a more local level and backed by vigorous community oversight from local elected representatives such as councillors, MPs and elected panels, representing a variety of communities and political beliefs."
The Electoral Commission said in March 2013 that 80% of voters didn't have enough information to make a choice.
Nearly half of PCC candidates found it difficult to get the 100 signatures for nomination while 39% of candidates found it difficult to raise the £5000 deposit required.
There are four candidates standing on 21 August representing Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and UKIP.