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Low turnout in 'shambolic' British police polls

Published on Nov 16, 2012 8:07 PM

LONDON (AFP) - England and Wales were waiting on Friday for 40 results from the first ever vote to elect police commissioners but the government was under fire after turnout was as low as 10 per cent in some areas.

Charged with setting out a vision and budget for police forces across England and Wales and with the power to sack the most senior officers, Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the commissioners as the new public face of crime-fighting.

The message apparently failed to get through to voters in Thursday's vote.

Turnout in Wiltshire in southwest England - where a magistrate, Angus Macpherson, became the first commissioner elected in the country - was slightly higher than the national picture although it still failed to reach 16 per cent.

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