In a nation-wide shake up to policing the 17 person strong Nottingham Police Authority will soon be replaced by a single Police and Crime Commissioner. They will be elected on the 15th of November.
The SU Executive have been running a voter registration campaign to encourage students to get more involved in the politics of the local community. It has been led by President Amos Teshuva and Accommodation and Community Officer Sian Green.
On Wednesday the 24th of October Green and Teshuva, as part of their campaign, went across campus in order to gather signatures. Over the course of the whole campaign they aimed to reach 500 signatures. By Wednesday they had reached 423.Green said that she was “very pleased with the figure… I think it’s remarkable to have had so many people register!” She also said that there had been lots of students who had already registered themselves. She went on to comment that was was “really excited that we, as residents, are getting involved in the elections – hopefully this will be a new dawn for students in the city.”
One of the main reasons the SU are attempting to get students mobilised is to ensure that they are properly represented in Nottingham. The SU say that this would have a direct affect on how students are treated by the police force and by the council.“It’s really important that students use their voice in the city,” said Green, “a lot of the problems we’ve faced in the past have been because students haven’t actively helped shape policy. The most recent example of this would probably be with the parking permit charges, which were clearly discriminatory against students- this is a problem.”
The elections have been controversial because two of the candidates are affiliated to political parties. Green explained, “Although as an SU we’re not backing a particular candidate, we strongly urge students to read the candidates’ manifestos and make up their own minds.”
Although the SU Exec have been campaigning around campus making lecture shout outs and trying to get students to sign up, a final push to get students to vote will be on 12th November at 5.30pm at the Trent Vineyard Church in Lenton. “The Exec is going to be there along with representatives from lots of societies. We really want as many students as possible to come along and make their voices heard,” said Green.
One of the most important reasons Green hopes students will be encouraged to vote is because “these elections will affect where police patrols are. A student from Nottingham Trent was raped in the forest recreational ground a few months ago. We need to ensure that students are safe by promoting a police presence. We also want to get CCTV cameras installed in all taxis.”
Green also expressed concern at alleged racial profiling. “We want to push for police to have to issue stop and search receipts.”
Voter registration closes on 31st October. There will be polling stations in the atrium of the Portland building on the 15th of November.