Crime commisioner hopefuls busy on the campaign trail

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Candidates in the police and crime commissioner elections have been on the campaign trail as the election date approaches.

Voting will take place on Thursday, November 16 for the first commissioners, who will oversee the work of our police forces and hold chief constables to account.

The Lincolnshire candidates have been touring the county.

David Bowles, who is standing in Lincolnshire under the banner Campaign to Stop Politicians Running Policing, said: “Unlike other candidates I haven’t been told what to do by political party bosses. Instead, over the past few months I’ve been listening the people of Lincolnshire to see what they want. 

“What comes through is huge frustration with low-level antisocial behaviour. Indeed Lincolnshire has some of the highest levels of criminal damage and disorderly behaviour of any shire county.

“These concerns are matched by anger that the courts seem so powerless to deal decisively with repeat offenders who are released into the community to offend again. There is a real deep undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the way that our politicians have over the last 30 years allowed our whole criminal justice system to come into disrepute where the rights of the victim seem secondary to the rights of the criminal.

“These views, matching my own, have helped me refine my manifesto which has been published on my website”

Conservative candidate Richard Davies said: “The last few weeks have been filled with opportunities for me to engage with members of the public and continue with my pledge to understand the real issues that face us in Lincolnshire.

“Visiting a number of towns and villages throughout the county, I have been met with real enthusiasm for change and a no nonsense policing system to combat anti-social behaviour, street drinking, and rural crime.

“In addition to meeting residents on the campaign trail, I have also joined our police force for regular night shifts, providing me with an invaluable insight into the real problems that our hard-working officers face.

“Vote for me on November 15 for Police and CrimeCommissioner for Lincolnshire and you will see more police on the streets, improvements in crime prevention and a policing service that offers real value for money.

Labour candidate for Lincolnshire Paul Gleeson 
said: “My campaign has started well with offers of support coming from around the county. I have attended four meetings in Grantham , three in Spalding and Lincoln as well as events in Skegness and Boston with more coming up as the election gets nearer.

“My main message, that if the new role of Police and Crime Commissioner is to be a success and be more than just a revamp of the existing system with the same establishment in control, it is essential that the PCC sets up structures that enables communities, at a local level, to be actively involved in the way the area where they live is policed is being well received.

“People realise that this has to be much more than a token listening exercise, people want more than just being listened to, they want to be heard and they recognise that Labour will give them that voice.”

In Rutland and Leicester-shire, independent candidate Suleman Nagdi said: “The campaign trial has proved so far to be very interesting and very tiring!

“Raising awareness has been an important thing as people are still unsure about what a Police and Crime Commissioner is, how they can vote and who can vote. We have had several well attended hustings so far, across the county, where all the candidate have been asked questions on a wide range of relevant policing questions. The biggest challenge for me so far has been that because I do not have a party political machinery behind me, I have had to rely on the help and support of friends and family, without whom I could not have done anything. It has brought me even closer to my already close family.

“The biggest concern raised so far has been the public’s desire to keep party politics away from policing.”

Lincolnshire’s independent candidate Alan Hardwick and Rutland and Leicestershire candidates Sir Clive Loader (Con) and Sarah Russell (Lab) had not responded to the Mercury’s request for a campaign update at the time of going to press.