9TH OCTOBER 2012
The article ‘Stop and Search figures revealed’ Wednesday 3rd October revealed the considerably different approaches to the Police and Crime Commissioner role by myself and my Conservative opponent.
In saying ‘stop & searches are a matter for the police and not one the PCC would be involved with’ he shows himself to be a 'hands off’ Commissioner. I will be a 'hands on' one, because that is what people are voting Commissioners in for. We are being elected by the people to bring the voice of all the people into policing, regardless of political colours. I will provide clear political leadership whilst defending our police service for the safety of the people of Suffolk. I will defend too, those working within the service, whom I have pledged to meet on my own.
Stop and Search is not an issue of no consequence to Commissioners. Rather it is a strategic matter that goes to the heart of trust and confidence by all communities in our police service. To the heart too of the policing by consent model that places our police service as the envy of many others. It is also significant as it relates to use of resources. 9 out of 10 people who have the humiliating experience of being stopped and searched are innocent members of the public like you or I.
Commissioners are technically commissioning Chief Constables to deliver policing and community safety services to the people of Suffolk. I believe Commissioners have an important role in ensuring resources are used efficiently and I know many of you in rural and urban areas are concerned whether we have the right balance. Less time spent stopping innocent members of the public in Ipswich may mean we are able to redirect resources to tackle crime in more rural areas for example.
I differ from the Conservative candidate in two other key areas. I will be challenging this Government on the savage 20% cuts they are wielding on a small police service like Suffolk and arguing for an improved settlement next year, whereas he will simply cheerlead the cuts through. On privatisation we differ too. I think the people of Suffolk should be very concerned to hear that my Conservative opponent is not opposed to commissioning policing services from outside bodies – organisations like G4S perhaps who so botched the Olympic security arrangements?
I know people are concerned about this role bringing politics into policing but in my experience they are already there. I am not a career politician but have the skills & background to do the job, which includes unique senior management experience within Suffolk Police. I do believe though that this role can offer political support to the Chief Constable and our police service at a time when it is much needed.
Labour Party Candidate
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner