Website to raise awareness of police election candidates

Ann Barnes and commissioner candidates outside No 10 Independent hopefuls outside No 10. Do you know who your candidate is?

A think tank has launched a website to boost the profile of forthcoming elections for police and crime commissioners in England and Wales.

The right-of-centre Policy Exchange is inviting all candidates to contribute to policeleections.com.

The move follows complaints that the polls will be unfairly weighted against independents and in favour of party-backed candidates.

A group of independent hopefuls has handed in a protest letter to No 10.

The letter pointed out that leaflets about commissioners are not going to every household - which is required during parliamentary, mayoral and European elections.

The Home Office said details about candidates would go online and be delivered to those who wanted them, but Policy Exchange has claimed it could do more.

"There is information out there but we felt there is no central informed place where you can go and easily find out who is standing in your area and what their pledges are," said Policy Exchange's Nick Faith.

He added: "The prime minister is behind this policy and if you're behind it, you should be making as much noise as possible about it."

The first elections for the posts will take place in 41 regions across England and Wales on 15 November.

The commissioners will replace police authorities, with the power to determine budgets and hire and fire chief constables.

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