Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Police and Crime Commissioners Election

Police and Crime Commissioners
Election November 15th 2012

The government have decided that we should have an elected Police and Crime Commissioner. The elected Commissioner will have enormous power because he or she will control the Policing budget priorities for all of Essex. We need to ensure we get the best person who will best understand our area deliver the policing we need.

In policing terms Southend is a game of two halves. In general, Monday through Thursday Southend is a relatively normal place. But from Friday to Sunday Southend on Sea becomes London on Sea. For years I have argued that decisions made in Chelmsford do not always reflect this. This impacts on every household in the area, when Police are tied up in Southend Mrs Bloggs in Westborough will not get a timely response when somebody is attempting to burgle her shed or home.

On top of the above considerations the political parties have hijacked this election with the Tories, Labour, UKIP and others putting up party political candidates. The police covenant has always been that they should be impartial in political terms. How then can we have a party politician running the budgets? I very much fear that Essex will not get a fair hearing or what it needs if a party politician is elected as commissioner. Just imagine, if we elect the Tory he will be a yes man not wanting to rock the boat, if we get Labour the door will be slammed in his face.

I am 100% opposed to politics in policing and therefore I am strongly supporting Southend’s own Independent candidate Mick Thwaites, a former Chief Superintendent, a Gold and Silver Commander who served us for 34 years. He was project lead on issues such as the Stansted hijacking, lead Essex adviser for 2012 Olympics and was commended three times during his service. I met Mick when I first become a Councillor, he took me out on a Friday night in Southend to show me the problems. I knew straight away this was a tough, fearless no-nonsense copper who does exactly what we all want our police to do. He marched straight up to gangs of people removing their booze, I was impressed. It is also crucially worth noting that Mick Thwaites is strongly favoured amongst serving Officers. This is absolutely vital if we want the Police to work well.

Mick Thwaites has policed Southend extensively over many years, was a divisional commander in Southend and so has intimate knowledge of what we need, he and Southend Council worked together on powers to reduce the proliferation of alcohol licences, and he helped us to become the first town in the country to get these powers. Mick Thwaites resides in Southend and so we will always be on the radar. Just imagine if we get a party politician who resides in north Essex. Not only is it a long way away it is also very different in policing terms, Thaxted and Southend really are like chalk and cheese. It is crucial we get someone who understands our region, two thirds of all the crime in Essex is in the southern half of the county.

I urge you firstly to cast a vote at this very
important election for Southend

I then urge you to seriously consider if you really want party politicians running our policing service?

I urge you to consider supporting Mick Thwaites. He has made it personally clear to me that he believes in the Policing covenant on impartiality, he will serve using his massive experience without fear or favour to any politicians or political parties.

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