Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

First U.K. police vote garners little interest

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LONDON -- Britain named its first elected police and crime commissioners Friday, but voter turnout was the lowest in recent history.

The commissioners will be responsible across most of England and Wales for appointing chief constables and setting budgets for police departments, but Thursday's vote failed to stir interest.

Authorities said in the southwestern England county of Wiltshire -- the first area to announce its results -- just 15.8 per cent of those eligible had voted. Britain's 2010 national election had a turnout of 65 per cent of eligible voters.

Prime Minister David Cameron's government had hailed elected police commissioners, along with directly elected city mayors, as shifting power into the hands of communities.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 A26

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