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Ex-mayor predicts 18 per cent turnout for tomorrow's police chief elections
A FORMER High Wycombe Mayor who worked closely with the police during his political career is predicting turnouts of as low as 18 per cent in tomorrow's crime commissioner elections.
Jim Tanner, who served on the Thames Valley Police Authority for five years in the 1980s, has dismissed the new role, saying most people do not care.
The police authorities have been scrapped to make way for the new chiefs, who will earn up to £100k per year. The Government believes it will make the police more accountable to the public.
But Mr Tanner said: “I don't like the idea at all I think it's too much responsibility to put on one person and I can't see why the Government didn't just leave it alone and keep the police authorities.
“Most of the public couldn't care less, they're not interested and I visualise a low turnout I'd say 18 per cent.”
A previous web poll by the BFP suggested just 22 per cent of readers intend to vote.
Mr Tanner, a former Labour councillor, was also Chairman of The High Wycombe Police Consultative Committee and served on the Crime Prevention Panel.
Steve Colgan, 51, from Hazlemere, used to work for a special crime solving unit at the Metropolitan Police.
He said: “I don't see how someone assigned to the whole Thames Valley area can possibly understand the issues that matter in Hazlemere or Cressex, for example.
“My second issue is that you're bringing politics into police, which is a horrible thing."
Lord Blair, former chief of the Metropolitan Police and ex-Assistant Chief Constable for Thames Valley, has been among the fiercest critics of the role.
The role of the commissioners will be to set priorities for policing in their areas.
Voting takes place tomorrow at polling stations around the county.
For a last minute check on the candidates, read written statements from the contenders here.
And watch the videos below to see each contender's five minute pitch to voters on why they should become the new police chief.
In order of appearance:
Patience Tayo Awe - Independent
Barry Cooper - UKIP
Geoff Howard - Independent
John Orrell Howson - Liberal Democrat
Anthony Stansfeld - The Conservative Party
Tim Starkey - Labour Party
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