Warning over 'extreme' PCC candidates
Low-turnouts in the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections could open the door for "extreme" and single-issue candidates, a leading officer has warned.
Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, urged the public to "get engaged in the process" and vote in the elections, which will be held for 41 forces in England and Wales in November.
Speaking to BBC News, Mr Reed said: "We may see some, maybe, extreme candidates, some single-issue candidates, getting elected on a low turnout. We do now need the public to get engaged in the process and come out and vote in these elections."
He also expressed concerns that some PCCs, feeling under pressure due to impending elections, will seek to intervene illegally in operational issues to improve their re-election chances.
“The danger is they start to get involved in some of the operational issues," he said.
"The oath they take will make that clear they can’t do that. But I’m sure there will be some of them who will try and take advantage, perhaps of a weak chief officer, to try and have greater influence than they should do."
His comments come after an Electoral Reform Society report warned the elections could "unfairly advantage" extremist candidates, and were "primed to degenerate into a complete shambles".