The Straits Times
Published on Nov 15, 2012

Britain votes for first ever police commissioners


LONDON (AFP) - British voters headed to the polls on Thursday to vote for the country's first elected police and crime commissioners, who will set budgets and priorities and have the power to sack their chief constables.

The changes represent the biggest shake-up in British policing for 50 years, but turnout is set to be poor. The Electoral Reform Society predicting just 18.5 per cent of voters will cast their ballots, the lowest level in British history.

Polls are taking place to elect commissioners for all 41 police forces across England and Wales except in London.

The commissioners, who will be elected for four years, will be expected to hold the force to account and act as a public face for crime-fighting in each area.