A rum lot, the new police and crime commissioners elected on record low turnouts last week. In terms of diversity of race and gender they make the senior judiciary look positively heterogeneous; but at least there is some variety in professional qualifications for the new post.
Predictably, there are several former police officers. There are also a surprising number of ex-military types. When it comes to legal qualifications, however, the field is smaller. Obiter counted six former lay magistrates. We also had a former minister with responsibility for magistrates, Jane Kennedy (Merseyside).
However, Obiter could identify only two qualified legal professionals – Vera Baird (Northumbria) a barrister and former solicitor general, and Winston Roddick (north Wales). Roddick, who stood as an independent, is a former counsel general to the Welsh Assembly. He is also unusual, if not unique, at the bar as having begun his career as a police constable in Liverpool.
Have you spotted what’s missing, yet? Yes, of the 41 new commissioners, not one appears to be on the roll of solicitors.