Monday, 22 October 2012


My overarching vision as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk is one of a safer county and a police service that is open, accountable and outward looking. This is based on decades of living in Suffolk, many years working within the criminal justice services in Suffolk and several months talking with local people.
Whilst I am the Labour party candidate I am not a career politician and think independently. I see the arrival of Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales as an opportunity to influence and to improve the safety of our communities. Commissioners represent a new dawn of accountability and transparency of policing activity to local people. They are the voice of the people in Suffolk and will represent all of the people. If elected I promise to ensure all voices are heard.
I will defend visible local policing models in rural and urban areas. I will also defend less visible policing activity, such as those units that work to protect our children and young people from internet crime and sexual abuse. We need a police service that has access to the most up to date resources to allow it to use smart & intelligence led models of policing. We need a service that represents the people it serves and polices all communities fairly. We also need to see agencies working with the police to ensure that victims are placed at the centre of criminal justice services. Victims want to see justice done, but they also want to see rehabilitation work.
People tell me they want a service that is open and transparent and that continues to work with local people and agencies to drive down crime, including anti-social behaviour and positively impact on reoffending. I fully support collaborative working with a range of organisations, but I will ensure the independence of Suffolk Police is maintained and that decisions that are taken have the bests interests of the people of Suffolk as paramount.
The people who work and volunteer for the police service need a Commissioner that listens to them. They need a Commissioner that understands the impact of the cuts, reform and criticism on their morale. They have unique insights into the realities and possibilities and must be listened to. The savage cuts thrust upon Suffolk Police have meant significant numbers of supervisors and managers have been lost. A long serving Constable said “we are replacing leadership with procedure”. Procedure does not solve crime, nor does it make victims feel better and nor does it rehabilitate criminals. I also know from my professional background and time spent within the service that leadership and support to police personnel is vital in times of change.
I will not appoint a Deputy as I think that is an unnecessary cost and will use the resources available to me to reach out across Suffolk. I will not only be based at Police Headquarters but will have several permanent bases across Suffolk, providing regular outreach and accessible surgeries to all Suffolk’s citizens. I will donate £5,000 of my salary to a local charity connected to supporting victims of crime.
I stand against the 20% cuts and will campaign for a better settlement for Suffolk when it is announced later this year
It is not yet possible for me to comment on the level of precept, as the Government has not made an announcement on any constraints on this. I will seek to ensure that any increase is fully debated and is only a matter of pence not pounds
I support different ways of generating income such as increasing the income received from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act
I will work with, and encourage, Suffolk Police to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and improve systems and procedures wherever possible to provide the people of Suffolk with the best possible value for money
I am opposed to the idea of private firms like G4S running policing or victims & witnesses services
I will examine closely existing private/public partnerships to ensure they deliver value for money for the people of Suffolk
I will ensure that those private firms with whom Suffolk Police currently partner are Equal Opportunity and Living Wage employers
I will
·         not interfere with the Chief Constable’s direct operational responsibility and will build a relationship that offers opportunities for mutual challenge and support
·         meet with staff, officers and volunteers and representatives on my own.
·         regularly visit departments/areas unannounced to show support and to make sure I am in touch
I will put victims first, ensuring the following are set out in the policing plan:
·         5 Victim Support pledges and ring fenced funds for independent victims and witnesses services
·         5 point action plan on Violence Against Women & Girls which will include maintaining specialist domestic violence and public protection units
·         Explicit actions in respect of vulnerable victims of crime to include victims of Hate Crime, older people, children and young people, those with disabilities
·         Victim led preventative measures such as Community Resolution and Restorative Justice delivered as appropriate by independent and qualified people
Neighbourhood & Community policing
Communities in remote rural areas and in towns have concerns about anti social behaviour, visible policing presence and feeling unsafe. To address this I will:
·        Investigate existing use of police resources & response times and agree with communities a minimum police response time
·         Monitor the allocation of resources to ensure they are deployed in areas of greatest need
·         Protect the number of Police Community Support Officers by reviewing the proposed losses
·         Prioritise the recruitment & training of an increase of at least 10% additional Special Constables
·         Build on existing and develop new partnerships that work to include the voluntary and community sector like Farm & Neighbourhood Watches, Countryside Alliance and others  
·         Review new volunteer led partnership pilot schemes such as the Rural Policing Unit and roll out across rural areas
I will provide funding to allow communities to influence and deliver change and as a result provide more  efficient and responsive policing services across Suffolk to include:
·         Victim led scrutiny forums (specialist and general)
·         Youth led advisory panels
·         Independent 3rd Party reporting centres for complaints against the police
·         Community consultation forums/panels ( to include a focus on a) Business Community b) Stop and Search)
·         New ways of providing accessible information to the public to include social media and regular open forums with local media
Working with others
Many other agencies have responsibility for crime reduction, disorder, community safety and rehabilitation such as Courts, Probation, Prisons, Health, Housing, Local Authorities etc. I will create new and challenging partnerships to make Suffolk safer to include a more equal relationship with grass roots voluntary and community sector groups. Priorities will include working with others on:
·         Identification of the level and numbers of people with mental ill health coming into contact with the police and provide solutions
·         Partnering experts and being open to evidence of new strategies that work locally, nationally and internationally
·         Strategic and independent analysis of the implications of and opportunities presented through the current collaboration with Norfolk

Jane Basham
Labour Candidate
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner
October 22nd 2012
(Promoted by John Cook on behalf of Jane Basham both at 33 Silent Street IP1 1TE)


  1. Hi

    I am just getting to grips with this election, and have found it rather difficult to find out about the candidates.
    I sense a growing anxiety about house break-ins at the moment, but also recognise that the money will not be there to deal with this solely through the police force.
    Why isn't neighbourhood watch promoted more? My area has the schemes in some places but not others. I believe the time is right for a re-vamp/re-launch/review to kick start local populations into taking more communal responsibility. What's your take on this?


    Terry Smyth

  2. Hi there Terry - I agree that Neighbourhood Watch is important and I refer to it often in debate.I have heard how people have found it difficult to get a scheme off the ground and so if elected I will try and understand why and look to develop many more schemes across Suffolk

    Thanks for taking the time to review my blog!

  3. The Tories are using the cover of reducing the deficit, to remove the welfare State, and the role of the State and everything to do with it.

    We have been losing the vital role of what the State should provide via tax payers money since the Thatcher era, and now David Cameron is finished what Margaret Thatcher started, over 30 years ago.

    These cuts from the top down, are ideologically driven, they are nothing to do with a saving, or of cutting the deficit.

    Ive been on the side of British pensioners and the hardship they have faced since the 80's when Margaret Thatcher broke the State pensions link with male average earnings.

    For people truly concerned about the elderly, please go to my website which is dedicated to how badly Britain's pensioners have been treated since Thatcher in the 80's, and Governments since, my site is free to join, and free to comment on all postings
    and I would welcome comments about my site. Thank you.