Final word from Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner candidates as race to replace Dame Vera Baird enters final week
North East voters will head to the polls this to elect a new Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.
Ahead of the vote on July 18, we asked all four candidates bidding to replace Dame Vera Baird to set out their key promises to the people of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.
This is what they had to say…
Jonathan Wallace – Liberal Democrat
Under the last PCC, police numbers have fallen, crime has risen, and the precept on council taxpayers has increased by the maximum – 21% last year – without improved outcomes or police cover.
I aim to abolish the PCC role and office by returning oversight to local police boards, and directing savings to frontline policing, whilst continuing work to tackle extremism and hate crime, and to reduce violence against and exploitation of women and children.
My priority is common sense local policing.
I’ll work to ensure visible neighbourhood policing and reducing anti social behaviour through closer working with local authority community safety partnerships. I support targeting police resources at dealers not users. I’ll support victims and restorative justice, and prioritise reducing reoffending rates. I’ll review the Late Night Levy and ensure transparency on how it is spent. I support reopening police cells in Northumberland: police cover is being depleted by officers taking detainees to Tyneside. I support the European Arrest Warrant and involvement in EU-wide co-operation on crime, terrorism, and extremism.
Kim McGuinness – Labour
Reconnecting police with our communities: Communities will be at the heart of policing. Using this approach and during my first 100 days I will oversee the creation of a new police plan. This will focus on everything from response times, to attending emergencies and neighbourhood policing and anti-social behaviour as well as the bigger issues causing crime and affecting victims.
Victims at the heart: I will review the experiences of victims in the first 24 hours after a crime to make sure victims get the support they deserve.
Tackling online crime: We need a tough approach to dealers exploiting social media to peddle drugs. This isn’t the only issue – fraud, harassment, bullying and hate crime are all a problem. I’ll fight nationally for regulation to support this.
Cut crime, not police: We’ve lost over 1,000 police thanks to cruel Tory cuts. These cuts have also made people poorer and crime is rising. I’ll fight for our force and tell the Government enough is enough but I’ll also lead the charge in bringing together public health, housing, NHS, local authorities and charities to create a crime reduction unit.
Zero tolerance on hate crime: I’ll take a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime making sure the perpetrators on our streets and online feel the full force of the law. I will tirelessly support equality in our communities.
Robbie Moore – Conservative
I am passionate about our region and revitalising community spirit. This starts with keeping people safe and protected from harm.
As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I will focus on what really matters and that is restoring public confidence in our police force. This means getting more police back on our streets, increasing the opening hours at our police stations and being a strong advocate for victims of crime and violence.
Crime in our area has gone up 8% in a year, with reported crime up 87% in four years. That is simply not acceptable. I am determined to see crime rates significantly reduced and I will take a tough stance on stamping out anti-social behaviour, domestic violence and drug related crime.
Rural areas and our urban communities need to be reassured that their police force is delivering for them and I will be a strong voice for all residents. Having lived and worked across our region, I know we need a real change of focus to more community policing, getting more police back on our streets.
As the only candidate with a plan for restoring public confidence in Northumbria Police force, I look forward to being a community ambassador and developing a police strategy which is tough on crime and works for all.
Georgina Hill – Independent
To ensure that Northumberland Police is run under the principles ‘No fear, No favour, No politics’. There is no place for party politics in policing and the Northumbria area desperately needs to have an independent Police and Crime Commissioner. To deliver transformational change to Northumbria Police. Reform is required across a number areas including around governance and efficiency. There needs to be significant cultural change and an environment created which will allow whistle-blowers to feel able to come forward without fear. To ensure the delivery, which will include a major public consultation, of the necessary audit and inquiry to get to the bottom of why there is a crisis in public confidence. To not allow any more party politics over the police budget with the parties blaming each other for apparent cuts and problems with the service. There needs to be open and honest dialogue about police funding and Central Government funding, including the current funding formula and the precept. To prioritise front line policing and put crime reduction and justice for all at the heart of everything we do and not allow public sector cronyism or political correctness to obstruct the process of justice and the pursuit of criminals.