I HAVE always said that the money being spent on Police Commissioner elections could be better spent on frontline policing. But now that these elections are going ahead in November, we must debate what kind of policing we have. I believe that Cambridgeshire residents deserve policing that reflects their values.
I will be campaigning on:
• Keeping police on the streets
• Police preventing crime, not just responding to it
• And the core job of policing done not by private companies but by the police.
The Government has been warned about the dangers of its cuts to frontline policing. Already 5,000 frontline officers are being lost across the country, from neighbourhood policing and from 999 response.
Police officers and staff are facing pay cuts while they step in to cover for the mess G4S has made of security at the Olympics. These elections must be a referendum on the wisdom of decisions which will see at least 150 officers lost in Cambridgeshire by 2015 if the Conservative cheerleader for cuts and privatisation wins the election on November 15.
I will fight police privatisation and to keep frontline police on the streets. These elections are not just about the number of police we have: it is also about the type of policing we want to see.
When I set up and chaired the joint county and district crime reduction panel and led the Cambridgeshire police service executive group, we pioneered neighbourhood policing. I would like to extend this approach further, empowering the police to resolve people’s problems by seeing offenders make good on the damage caused.
There is also a crucial issue in these elections about the role of the private sector in policing. The scandal we have seen with G4S beggars belief.
The cuts to policing are resulting in forces coming under pressure to outsource on a scale and at a speed, and into areas, not before seen. In Cambridgeshire in haste Conservatives urged that the police should rush through a deal with G4S. As I pointed out, this was a risky hasty move and they were in danger of rushing of the edge of a cliff. I shall not support such a hasty privatisation or sign such a contract with G4S and I except the plan to be dumped.
(Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner)