Police Commissioner elections - candidate statements

Tomorrow (Thursday) local residents will go to the polls to choose the first ever elected Police Commissioner for Lincolnshire.

Four candidates have thrown their names into the ring and will be battling it out to win your vote.

Below are short manifesto statements from each of the four candidates. Who will you vote for?

David Bowles

I will put the public’s interest first and not those of a political party. I am not a politician and have not accepted donations for my campaign.

Having been Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council I am the only candidate with experience of leading complex organisations and a proven track record of challenging corruption. I am ‘tough on crime’ because there has been a three-fold increase in people with 15 or more convictions appearing in court in the last 10 years.

Our politicians have allowed - 25% of community service orders to be breached; £60m of fines to be written-off; 55% of those tagged to defy the terms; prison sentencing to be determined by the number of places, rather than keeping us safe; and our borders to be unprotected.

I will work to reverse the trends of the past 30 years and strengthen successful programmes to prevent crime in the first place.

I will seek tougher sanctions for repeat offenders; tackle concerns about visible policing introducing community based special constables with the power of arrest; strengthen support for Neighbourhood Watch; campaign to give powers to councils to actually ban street drinking; seek tough minimum sentences for drug dealing and possession of weapons; campaign for tougher border controls; rebalance the justice system to favour victims; make the police, and their contractor, G4S more efficient and accountable to you.

Lincolnshire’s police are appallingly funded – the worst in the country. Our politicians have done little to redress this.

I have delivered a protest to No. 10 and started a campaign for fair funding with other rural forces. This is an example of the strong leadership I will bring.

www.davidbowles.org.uk.

Richard Davies

For the first time since the modern police force was formed the people of Lincolnshire will have the opportunity to decide how they are policed.

Having been born and raised in Lincolnshire I have a deep affinity and connection to public concerns in relation to crime. Running a small business in the county and raising a family here means I am acutely aware of the issues that have been ignored for too long by our London-centric policing system.

The three years I spent working at the heart of Lincolnshire Policing has shown me how the systems work and also where they fall down.

The role of Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner brings with it key powers but also huge responsibility and the opportunity to make a really significant difference to the lives of Lincolnshire residents. The priorities I would set match the needs, hopes and fears of the people who actually live here, not distant experts and bureaucrats. My no-nonsense approach will cut through the excuses and indifference that has left many people disillusioned with the police.

My priorities are visible policing - get the police out of the stations into our communities; crime prevention - to reduce the number of victims of crime we need more crime prevention.

Police Visibility is at the very heart of my vision for policing here in Lincolnshire and I am determined the eastern side of Lincolnshire will see its fair sharing of policing if successful.

If elected I will restore the traditional link between the public and police, making sure policing by consent remains the cornerstone of British Policing for all of Lincolnshire.

On November 15th we can make the choice to improve our community, make people feel safer and cut the number who become victims of crime. I firmly believe we can improve both how Lincolnshire police perform and how the people of Lincolnshire view our police.

Paul Gleeson

I am Paul Gleeson and I’m a councillor in Boston where I have lived for ten years.

A common theme of the concerns raised as I campaign, is how policing no longer meets or listens to local needs.

Nobody talks to me about murder, fraud or robbery, they’re concerned about the issues that affect them every day, anti-social behaviour, drunks keeping them awake, vandalism, people urinating in the streets.

Whilst the police rightly have to deal with serious crime, it is this steady stream of anti-social behaviour that makes their lives a misery. The great opportunity open to an elected PCC is to enable true community involvement in the way policing is delivered in their area.

I am standing for PCC as I am convinced that by applying Labour values of strong community and decency to the development of Lincolnshire’s policing plan, we can have a plan that is truly inclusive of all communities, that recognises the rights and as importantly the responsibilities of all of us to ensure our communities’ safety. If elected I promise to not only listen but to hear what is being said. I will deliver a policing plan that protects children and the most vulnerable; protects victims and witnesses; enables local people to work actively with the police to ensure that their communities are safe and secure; recognises the differing needs of urban and rural areas; protects frontline services; maintains a fully functional police station with custody suite in central Lincoln; scrutinises thoroughly G4S’s involvement in the policing of the county.

The needs and opinions of young people are often overlooked; I will seek to create the role of a Young Police and Crime Commissioner to assist in engaging with young people.

Alan Hardwick

For the first time, you can decide how our county is policed.

Yours is the most important voice, and with me as your Police and Crime Commissioner, your voice will be heard.

Together we will replace outdated bureaucracy with a new and dynamic democratic accountability. In other words, you will take control.

Your experiences and concerns will influence policing priorities, to help decide where money and manpower can do most good. No-one knows Lincolnshire better than you. Taxpayers’ money – your money – spent on anything that does not benefit the public is wasted.

There will be no decisions behind closed doors and – in my case at least – absolutely no political agendas. Politics and policing don’t mix. Your force will not be run like a local authority department.

I am financing my own campaign, so there are no outside influences. My loyalty is to the people of Lincolnshire. I make no unrealistic, undeliverable promises. My priorities are to protect and strengthen neighbourhood policing; increase officer numbers; continue challenging Government cuts that unfairly penalise Lincolnshire; keep police stations open; enhance support for victims of crime and witnesses, and encourage more active and visible support from communities and volunteers. As a television journalist for many years, I have first-hand experience of policing in many parts of the UK. Working for the Police Authority for the past four years has given me a privileged insight into Lincolnshire policing.

Before you can start to improve something, you need a thorough knowledge of how it works. Elect me as your Police and Crime Commissioner and we can start to deliver those improvements from day one.