What's the test of success of the Police & Crime Commissioners policy? It is, surely, whether the 41 individuals who will be elected tomorrow succeed in cutting crime and antisocial behaviour, and rebuilding public confidence in policing. This is not, however, the test which the BBC - and others - intend to apply. Their correspondent Danny Shaw told the Today Programme this morning that ‘the initial verdict on the success of the PCC experiment will hinge to a large degree on the turnout ....’
Setting aside the throwaway line that giving people a vote is an ‘experiment’, this is surely a deeply contentious comment. Who, you might say, are the poll-tax raising and entirely unaccountable BBC to deliver a ‘verdict’ about legitimacy? Their reporters never stop asking ministers to declare what the threshold for a successful election is, on the assumption that there must be one.