One of my favourite comics is a series of sketches called ‘The British Character’, produced in the satirical magazine Punch during the 1930s. As the name suggests, it’s a brilliant send-up of the oddities of “British” personalities. In one particular sketch, captioned “Political Apathy”, a scruffy political enthusiast tries in vain to provoke some passion in a reserved, disinterested gent in a tweed jacket. Needless to say, we all know which one is the true Brit!
Seventy years on, the stereotype is still going strong. In November, the UK’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections registered a record low in voting . In one Welsh polling station, no votes were cast at all, while all over the country, several voters turned up only to spoil their ballot papers in protest at the elections’ apparent pointlessness or the “politicising of policing”.
Whether you voted or not, the aftermath of the elections presents a real opportunity for the activists among us. For the first time in many years, much of the UK can now put a face to policing strategy in their region. After all, PCCs hardly reflect the shadowy, remote enforcement of Big Brother in 1984. They can usually be reached by a direct phone or email address, and can often be found in the tech-savvy world of Twitter!
If ever you bemoaned the bureaucracy of policing in the past, this news should arrive as a breath of fresh air. Here at STOP THE TRAFFIK, we’re certainly encouraged by it. In the fight against human trafficking in our communities, PCCs offer a great new avenue for Joe Public to challenge, berate or congratulate key decision-makers with as little as a few clicks of a button.
So go on, Let’s break the old stereotypes and put the pressure on! Let’s make sure our PCCs – and our communities – are awake and active in the fight against human trafficking on our doorsteps. Why not take a moment to contact your PCC today ?