On Thursday 25 November, there will be an election in North Yorkshire to vote for a new Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner following Philip Allott’s resignation last month. It is imperative that students remember to vote in this election next week as whoever is elected will have the power to institute changes on some of the most pressing issues affecting students.
Typically, the PFCC elections have minimal turnout and are rarely reported on, but this election, particularly, would benefit from a large student turnout.
There are five candidates standing from various political backgrounds, but it is important to note that whoever is elected must be politically independent. They will have the power to influence clubs in York to act on accounts of spikings and make the student experience safer for all. After the #BigNightIn last month the conversation around spiking has swelled, it is now critical that action is taken to protect students before the momentum dies down and the conversation once again disappears from the limelight.
Furthermore, they will have to repair public trust with the Police in regard to the safety of women and girls. Following the murder of Sarah Everard and the comments of Philip Allott which failed to recognise the problem, let alone propose a solution, women and girls are more hesitant to trust police officers to help in dangerous situations.
This Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will need to directly address the mistakes of their predecessor and put together a plan to prioritise the safety of women and girls in North Yorkshire.
Students must turn out to vote in this election to ensure that the issues that we care about are heard. I encourage everyone to vote on 25 November.