By Tim Montgomerie
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David Cameron has done a round of regional media today in order to promote the idea of directly-elected police commissioners for the 41 constabularies of England and Wales. This message to the Derby Telegraph is typical:
"We're scrapping unelected and invisible police authorities, whose duties hardly anyone understands, and for the first time ever people will be able to vote directly for a powerful new local champion instead. This is a big job for a big local figure. It's a voice for the people of Derbyshire, someone to lead the fight against crime and someone the people will be able to hold to account if they don't deliver Elected commissioners will work alongside chief constables, with a shared aim of making their local communities safer."
In the Liverpool Echo he added: "“This is not about interfering with day-to-day action by police experts. It is about supporting them and making sure local opinions and knowledge come first."
Over the next few days local Tories in Warwickshire, West Mercia, Leicestershire and Essex will choose their candidates for elections that will take place on 15th November. The process suffered something of a blow earlier this week when Colonel Tim Collins decided against running to be Kent's Police Chief. He had been one of the more high profile Tory recruits to the opportunity. Labour has arguably been more successful in attracting big names to be its candidates. They certainly don't come much bigger than Baron Prescott who is running to oversee the police in his backyard of Humberside.
Channel 4's Michael Crick has been keeping a running record of likely candidates from across the country.