Friday, November 9, 2012
A CANDIDATE vying for your vote in next week’s police and crime commissioner elections has announced that, if elected, he will give up his salary for the first two years to fund free breakfast clubs at schools in deprived areas of Cambridgeshire.
Voting takes place on November 15, and independent Farooq Mohammed has announced his intention to forgo the £70,000-a-year commissioner salary.
The money will be put towards breakfast clubs with the aim of preventing anti-social behaviour among children – and, in the long-term, potential criminal behaviour, Mr Mohammed said.
“Providing hungry children with a nourishing start to the day will improve attendance, attentiveness and attainment, helping to set them on the right path from an early age,” he said. “We know that low-level anti-social behaviour by very young children can lead to more serious criminal activity later.
“Anti-social behaviour is one of the key concerns raised by people during my campaign and I believe that offering practical support and encouragement in this way will pay dividends in terms of crime prevention.”
The clubs would be based on those operating in other parts of he country, which aim to “reduce truancy, improve behaviour and create a better learning environment in the classroom”.
Mr Mohammed, a father of four, said he would live off income generated by his business interests.
Meanwhile, four of the other six PCC candidates have been spending time with the St Ives and Ramsey Speedwatch group.
The group said it invited all candidates to join volunteers on the streets of Huntingdonshire to see for themselves the problem of speeding motorists.
Paul Bullen (UKIP), Sir Graham Bright (Conservative), Stephen Goldspink (English Democrats) and Ansar Ali have all pledged support to allow Speedwatch to continue following their visits, the Speedwatch group said.
INFORMATION: Cambridgeshire’s PCC will replace the police authority in the county, setting priorities and holding the chief constable to account. The winning candidate will take up the role on November 22.
PCC REMINDER: Who’s standing:
ANSAR ALI – INDEPENDENT
“WE need to keep party politics out of policing. Policing is for the public and I want to put that at the forefront of everything I do.”
Mr Ali’s CV includes serving as an independent member of the Cambridgeshire Police Authority since 2008.
If elected, Mr Ali, of Peterborough, will create a Commissioner’s Community Network and lobby hard for more police funding.
SIR GRAHAM BRIGHT – CONSERVATIVE
FIGHTING anti-social behaviour will be one of Sir Graham’s top priorities.
The rise in burglaries is also something which worries him. To tackle these issues, he advocates a zero-tolerance approach and providing funding to improve Neighbourhood Watch groups. Sir Graham, of Fordham, says he would also consider more shared services – not just with neighbouring forces but constabularies across the Eastern region.
PAUL BULLEN – UKIP
“MY personal view is that we’ve gone soft on crime,” said UKIP’s Paul Bullen. “I would advocate a zero tolerance police force where all crime should be investigated. Every single crime is a failure of policing.”
Mr Bullen, of St Ives, says his main priority is getting more bobbies on the beat.
“I want Cambridgeshire to be a no-go area for criminals,” he said.
STEPHEN GOLDSPINK – ENGLISH DEMOCRAT
THE English Democrat candidate believes more must be done to restore public confidence in the police.
His 13-point manifesto includes a “return to the original principles of policing as set out by Robert Peel” with a transfer of many officers to foot patrols and a cut of back office staff.
Mr Goldspink, of Turves, said: “I don’t want officers driving around in cars, I want officers to be seen and known in their communities.”
FAROOQ MOHAMMED – INDEPENDENT
MR Mohammed, of Peterborough, says he would pursue four priorities if elected - transparency, independence, public engagement and social cohesion.
He wants to keep the public informed and hold the police to account for its overall performance while building two-way communication to build trust with the wider community.
He sees the election as a “first step towards strengthening the relationship between police and public”.
RUPERT MOSS-ECCARDT – LIBERAL DEMOCRAT
THE Liberal Democrats remain unconvinced that American-style Police and Crime Commissioners are right for Britain but says it was important his party put forward a candidate
Mr Moss-Eccardt, who lives near Ely, says his responsibility, if elected, would be reducing crime, but there would be “no sudden changes” in the police budget if he wins.
“It would be stupid for me in the extreme to promise to make changes now before having the full picture,” he said.
ED MURPHY – LABOUR
LABOUR’S Ed Murphy is determined to put victims at the heart of his campaign to become the Cambridgeshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.
If elected, more crime prevention work would be his priority.
Although Mr Murphy, of Peterborough, believes savings must be made in the police budget, he thinks cuts and plans to outsource services go “too far, too fast.
“With growing populations we need fair funding to protect our local policing teams.”