Police and Crime Commissioner
Well we now know who the Labour and Conservative Candidates for the role of Northamptonshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner are and the contest to win the trust of the electorate is well and truly on.
I should say that this in no way is disparaging towards the Liberal Democrat or the Independents, the last of who should be admired for putting themselves forward.
The reality however is that in Northamptonshire it will be a contest between Labour and Conservatives with second preference votes being of great importance so it is all of the electorate who the candidates will need to reach out too and not only those who parties expect to vote for them on political lines.
I have written before about the need for the PCC to be able to command the respect and trust of not only the local authorities and organisation’s but more importantly the trust and confidence of all of the residents of the County.
The contest will I have no doubt be fought on the past records of those in the contest and their plans to deliver public safety.
In the same way as seen nationally the Conservatives locally are no longer viewed as the natural owners of the right to say they’re the party of Law and Order having unilaterally without consultation cut police funding for PCSO’s at both the County and Northampton Borough Council’s, switched off streetlights across the whole of the County and reduced monitoring of CCTV.
It is the Conservatives supported by the Liberal Democrats who in Westminster made the decision to cut police funding by £1 in every £5, cutting front line police officers by over 14,000.
It is going to be difficult to believe that the Conservative Candidate will suddenly become a ‘born again’ police advocate having been at the heart of the Conservative administration who made the cuts, especially if as expected he promises to increase policing and oppose the cuts in national and local funding.
Labour in contrast are the party who increased police officers to record numbers, introduced and funded PCSO’s and actively supported Neighbourhood Wardens.
It is Labour who has led and continues to lead the campaign against the cuts in police funding and public safety.
Northamptonshire Labour have in Lee Barron selected a Local County man who has been involved at representing communities at grass-roots and who understands not only the problems and needs of the people but especially the nature of the County and the communities that make it up.
The role of Police and Crime Commissioner will determine the future and style of policing across the whole of the County and as such is crucial to the well-being of everyone.
It will be a challenging and demanding role and one I have publicly gone on record as saying having worked in the Criminal Justice system, certainly not one I would personally be interested in taking on.
What is important is to get the right person in the role which is why I would urge everyone to look carefully at the past records of all of the candidates and political parties when making up their minds on who to vote for in November and is why I am delighted in the choice and shall be supporting and campaigning for Lee Barron to be the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire.