92% of people vote for extra cops (and our poll didn't cost £1m either)
THE majority of people would rather see the £1 million cost of electing a crime commissioner for Derbyshire spent on employing extra police officers instead.
Fifty additional beat officers could be hired for the amount it will cost to conduct the election for the new post in November.
And 92% of those who responded to our online poll at thisisderbyshire.co.uk said they would prefer the cash to be spent on police rather than the elected commissioner. They were in agreement with outspoken city Conservative Councillor Philip Hickson, who criticised the cost of the elections last week.
The results of the poll, completed by more than 2,900 people, came as the Tories launched their national campaign for their police crime commissioner candidates.
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On Saturday, the candidate for Derbyshire, Simon Spencer, was supported by Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as he set out his stall in Derby's Market Place.
Defending the cost of the election, Mr Pickles said: "Obviously it would be enormously cheaper if they just made you or I some dictator, but democracy costs.
"Hopefully, it will ensure more frontline officers are in place and a reduction in bureaucracy. It is a hard sell, most people are blissfully unaware of how the police are run – there is a system of police authority and what we want to do is to get the police democratically accountable."
Mr Spencer said he wanted to get the message out about how the system will work.
"I will be out here, there and everywhere talking through the role and listening to concerns and views," he said. "This is about shaping policing around those concerns and views."
Mr Spencer admitted one concern from the public had been that the structure would lead to the politicisation of the police. He said: "This isn't about politicising the police.
"It is about encouraging a better department shaped around public need. It is talking about how the police commissioner will speak on behalf of Derbyshire."
Alan Charles, the Labour Party candidate, is currently the only other person standing for election to the new role.
POLL: Have your say on our poll, above right.