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Why I will spoil my ballot

I will be expressing my feeling in next week’s election of Police and Crime Commissioner by spoiling my ballot paper.

It’s the only way I can think of to protest –  albeit in a pretty futile way – against this ridiculous election. I’ve never spoilt a ballot paper before, and have always voted as I believe in democracy, so this is a big step for me.

And here’s the reason why: have you had or have you heard anyone else having a conversation which has included something along the lines of: “what we need is a new way of managing the police, something more parochial and linked to political parties”?Of course you haven’t. Nobody I know rates the way we manage our police as the biggest issue facing our country, in fact it probably doesn’t even get into the top 100 things that need fixing. And even if we did have an interest would we want it to be politicised? I certainly don’t.

What I really want is a police force. One, a national one, managed and led well, resourced correctly and able to respond consistently and effectively to incidents of any sort in the most expeditious way anywhere in the country. And I don’t mean just in Wales.

I don’t want, and nor can I see how it is effective or efficient, to have 43 different police forces, each with the ability to make decisions on so many costly issues in an independent way and able to operate in different ways, so much so that some areas are more and some less, responsive to crime.

It’s strange that Scotland is now planning the unification of its forces in order to create a stronger and more capable force. Good luck to them for such right-sizing thinking.

For the rest of us we will have to live with parochial politicians, some well passed their best before date, trying to do something that most will be ill prepared for. We definitely don’t need our police to be politicised and this unnecessary and unwanted election will do just that.

So to protest this situation I will spoil my vote, it’s my democratic right to do so and the only option as there is no box to vote for “Let’s not Bother”.


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