KIRKLEES Greens have called for a boycott of the police elections this week.

Across the country voters are being asked to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for their region.

The new high profile role is directly replacing West Yorkshire Police Authority, a group of 17 councillors and independent members of the public that currently oversee West Yorkshire Police.

But Newsome councillor, Andrew Cooper, who leads the Greens on Kirklees Council, said voters should shun this Thursday’s polls.

He said: “The election will appoint a £100k a year Police Commissioner with no more powers or authority than the existing Police Authority.

“On top of that the Commissioner will be overseen by a Police and Crime Panel of 12 councillors each on £11,000 a year for attending six meetings.

“The cost of running the elections will be a total of £75m nationally.

“The politicisation of the governance of the police force is a retrograde step and I really don’t believe that in the UK we should be seeking to impose an American model of policing.

“Holding these elections in November when fewer people will be willing to turn out on a dark evening shows what a low priority it is for the Government, so why should people really take them seriously?

“Whether it is by spoiling your ballot paper or simply not turning up at the Polling Station it is important that these elections are a failure.

“The election deposit is £5,000 which is designed to ensure only large political parties are able to put candidates forward to ensure that these supposedly ‘non political’ Police Commissioner posts go to politicians from the old establishment political parties.

“I have a postal ballot paper and rather than sending it to the election office I will send it to the Prime Minister David Cameron with some suggestions as to better use of the money such as properly funding front line policing.”

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