Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall: Candidate profiles
Cornwall and Devon are invited to vote today to elect the first police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Police.
With ten candidates the force area has one of the highest number of candidates of any police force area in the country.
The election will take place on November 15 with the new police and crime commissioner being responsible for the running of Devon and Cornwall Police.
ON November 15, the people of Devon Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will have a real chance of having a say in the manner policing is delivered to them. The election of a Police and Crime Commissioner is just that chance.
I served for 31 years in the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in many areas before retiring as a Detective Chief Inspector. I served on CID, Special Branch and the Regional and National Crime Squads. I spent six years as a uniform patrol sergeant where as with other former colleagues I dealt with the whole spectrum of problems and crises the public turn to the police for help. My career began at Torpoint and I subsequently served in most parts of the county.
After retiring from the police I worked for 13 years with the MOD mainly in Europe in a security/terrorism role.
I have seen the misery caused by burglaries, our children exposed to drugs and the effects on antisocial behaviour on individuals and communities and dealt with those responsible.
I have actually done the job and I am well placed to articulate public concerns over policing and cast an informed and experienced eye over policing in our two counties.
Much has been said of mixing police and politics. I pledge to keep politics out of policing. There is nothing political about being a victim of crime or exposed to those who seek to make others’ lives a misery.
Should you elect me I will strive to ensure Devon and Cornwall is a very uncomfortable place to live for burglars, drug dealers and those responsible for antisocial behaviour.
The police budget like many others in public service is under pressure. I will fight the corner for a budget that meets the needs of policing for such a large and diverse area.
As Robert Peel said at the beginning of modern policing: “The police are the public and the public are the police.”
The post of Police and Crime Commissioner is more than holding the Chief Constable to account, it is also about raising awareness of the problems and solutions involved and giving a voice to the public and victims of crime. I will do just that if you elect me.
UK Independence Party
MR SMITH, who lives near Penzance, was confirmed as UKIP’s candidate for the police commissioner election earlier this month.
The psychologist, who is married with four children, has described the new post as “an exciting opportunity to develop an effective and transparent partnership between the police and the community”.
“I support a strong, visible and responsive police force,” Mr Smith said.
“The new police and crime commissioner should be a member of the community – not just a career politician.
“I will be tough on crime, including low level nuisance crime and antisocial behaviour than can blight communities.
“I am determined to reconnect the police with the people and their communities.”
MY EXPERIENCE qualifies me as commissioner. A solicitor in Cornwall for some 40 years I spent immense time in the police stations as suspects were interviewed. I saw cases progressed and dealt with them at court.
I also prosecuted cases so know the criminal process from arrest to verdict from both sides.
I can identify improvements to speed it up and save officer time.
It is worrying that crime apparently is increasing yet the police stations seem to deal with less suspects and court sittings are being cut.
Restorative justice is often ideal but can be overdone and must not simply massage statistics. We need to check we have the right balance between court proceedings and a criminal record or cautions, fixed penalties, etc.
Drug and alcohol addiction cause much crime; thefts, burglaries and violence. Addiction leaves families short of money for necessaries.
We had a scheme whereby if an offence was admitted and not too serious, a suspect was bailed and expected to attend at a drug/alcohol agency and then be cautioned rather than prosecuted and obtain a criminal record.
It was almost farcical that mere attendance once sufficed. We should make the attendance meaningful so there was some real engagement and only then administer the caution.
That would help get the suspect off the addiction and habit early and before other crimes are committed.
I am keen we keep our “bobbies” on the beat rather than tie them up for long periods in the custody centres preparing for and interviewing suspects and then waiting while more and more paperwork leads to decisions as to prosecution or not.
We used to have team of officers, retired officers and other staff who did only the interviews. Like most things in life the more anybody does something the better they become; it seemed these dedicated interviewers were often better at it than the arresting officers or their colleagues from the following shift.
Commissioners will need to regularly meet their public. I want to reflect their views in policy.
Unfortunately the election address of each candidate is not sent to each voter. As an independent I have no army of supporters to canvass, arrange meetings, etc. I rely on the internet where my site is www.grahamcalderwood.co.uk
Please look at it; keep it, print if off and circulate it to friends who can do the same and then all vote for me on November 15.
IT’S clear from the opinion polls that the majority do not want party politics brought into policing. Neither do I. That’s why I’m standing as an Independent. Because of my experience I have a proven track record to do this job and if elected I will hit the ground running. People tell me I am a “safe pair of hands”.
My experience comes from membership of the Police Authority and the national board of the Association of Police Authorities. For three years I was the PA chairman and led the work to increase police officer numbers from 2,800 to 3,500 and to introduce Police Community Support Officers. Latterly I led the resources committee overseeing the £294 million police budgets.
I have represented police authorities on the boards of CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection), National Police Air Support and the Home Office group for Police Finance & Efficiency. My experience as a councillor will help me to engage with the many different communities of the area.
I am concerned that the Commissioner is the sole decision maker. I intend to make sure the voices of all parts of our area are heard. Therefore I will appoint two part-time deputy PCCs to ensure Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly has a voice through Thelma Sorensen, a well-known figure in business circles in Cornwall and through Mike Bull who will provide the equivalent role for Devon. Mike is a solicitor and current chairman of the Police Authority. They will help challenge me in taking key decisions and ensure the views of our large diverse area are considered. I will also be out and about the area meeting and talking with residents, groups and police personnel as often as possible.
To me it is obscene for the Government to be spending £80 million on this election while at the same time forcing us to cut 700 police officers locally. Therefore I commit to trying to stem the loss of police officers starting with the budget for 2013-14. I also commit to providing the funding needed to keep our excellent Police Community Support Officers serving the community.
Please read my full manifesto at www.briangreensladepcc.co.uk
I BELIEVE I have an ideal background for the role of PCC. As an ex-serviceman I am ready to fight crime with the police while at the same time bringing a fresh, energetic, practical and personable style to a team that listens to and represents the public in deciding policing priorities.
I have led organisations of all sizes and my services’ background is both reassuring to voters and to the police force. I have traditionally voted Conservative, as the party most closely representing my views and I believe that candidates should be honest with voters about their politics: but my working life has been non-political. I am very much my own man and I will naturally serve the public impartially as PCC.
I thrive on challenges and have proven ability in public, private and charity sectors: after 33 years as a Royal Naval officer I have extensive command experience in peace and war, have managed multimillion pounds budgets and a work force of 3,000. I believe this experience of high-end leadership is absolutely essential in order to create the right relationship with the Chief Constable and to hold the police to account on the public’s behalf.
In contrast I greatly enjoyed directly supporting and listening to the “hardest-to-reach” as CEO of a specialist young person’s charity. I believe passionately in freedom, fairness and equality and I have partnered with and look forward to championing a range of minority groups. I also worked for seven years in manufacturing industry so understand the priorities of successful private sector businesses. I have spent several years arguing for project funding in London’s political circles and I believe my approach to securing the best funding and finding the best solutions for Devon and Cornwall will yield better results than others.
I will put the public in the driving seat of local policing priorities, supported by community safety and criminal justice partnerships. I will work with partners to improve the efficiency of the justice system and commissioning. I will put victims first. My interests are very wide but centre on my family, the outdoors, music and photography.
My priorities if elected will be:
Clear leadership to lift police morale
Tackling serious crime by having a police force, not a police service
Visible policing with the public playing their part too
Early intervention to turn around the lives of young people
I LIVE and farm in Devon, and spend time in Cornwall with family and friends, as well as professionally, as an architect.
I visited Heartlands in Camborne recently, meeting with Cornish colleagues, and I was very impressed by the way the project had retained the identity and character of Cornwall. Long may it thrive.
The election of a Police and Crime Commissioner is a chance for the people of Devon and Cornwall to take charge of their own police.
The role has no power over day to day policing, and it is important that the Commissioner is truly a lay person, with no preconceptions from a policing or legal background. The Commissioner will have to work with the Chief Constable, as well as other statutory and judicial bodies, to represent the People.
I want to be your independent Police Commissioner because I have my feet firmly on the ground, and I see a safer future for our communities.
We have forgotten that every crime changes the victim’s life, and no amount of punishment or rehabilitation can restore what was before. Every crime prevented is one less victim, and can represent huge financial savings, because imprisonment can cost up to £48k per year.
We should look to schemes such as Newquay Safe for lessons. It makes savings of approximately £258k every year in cost of crime, through prevention.
We must have more community resources like the Liskerrett Centre, in Liskeard, engaging people in projects and activities, not crime. We must address addiction and mental health problems, the root cause of most low-level crime.
This is already happening in three custody centres in Cornwall, who have resident mental health workers. Savings we make by tackling repeat offending must be re-invested in community policing, to keep the virtuous circle turning and protect the police from further cuts.
The job will be complex and demanding. It is not appropriate for a former politician or retired police officer or lawyer.
This needs someone dynamic, innovative, and ready to strain every sinew to make it work, for everyone.
So I ask for your vote on November 15.
If I am elected, my phone will be left on and my door will be open, to listen to your opinions about policing, not a party in Westminster.
Please tell you friends there is a chance for real change here, if they vote for Ivan Jordan.
I AM John Smith, a true independent candidate for this post. I have lived in the West Country for most of my life – I love and treasure the area we live in.
My experience as a member and recent chair of the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority, my conviction that the Commissioner should not be a member of any political party and the support I am finding for that view have convinced me to stand for this important office.
Many more details about me are contained on my website:
I invite you to look at it, look at my CV and come back to me with questions and comments.
In the meantime, I promise that if elected:
I will maintain an effective community-based police service to clamp down on antisocial behaviour – neighbourhood policing teams, Police Community Support Officers, Neighbourhood Watch – the eyes, intelligence sources and the ‘first responders’ of the police service.
I will maintain those teams that work at protecting the vulnerable – adults, children and the handicapped, detecting offenders (violent and non-violent) and drawing up the evidence to bring them to justice.
I will ensure that victims are properly supported.
I will support systems, such as restorative justice, to reduce offending and re-offending.
I will press Government for a greater share of police funding but with decreasing budgets I will use my local government experience and record of service and project delivery to create partnerships with other forces, local councils and other key services, to get best value.
I will maintain our area as a civilised, low-crime place to live and I would use more volunteers to support our police officers. Police serve their communities first – they are our service.
I will keep politics out of policing – I stand for this office as an ‘anti-politics’ independent candidate. I would create and maintain a commissioner’s office that is free of all political influence.
I know and understand the issues facing the West Country and have lived here for most of my life.
I pledge that I will always seek out your opinion before making key decisions – I intend to provide:
Highly visible policing
Measures to deflect people from offending
The means to resolve serious crime
Support to our police officers.
THE relationship between the Police, Criminal Justice System (CJS) and politics is close, complex and highly controversial. We must ensure that party politics are not the dominant part of the equation.
The principal aim should be to bring the voice of the people into policing and the justice system. As Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) I will bring together and lead concerned community groups to identify the causes and effects of crime in our community and work towards more effective preventative measures.
Here in the West Country we are all feeling the pinch of job losses and price increases. Similarly, effective policing is constrained by the realities of officer reductions and fixed budgets imposed by central Government and national policies. It would be foolhardy not to recognise this and work within these restrictions yet it is essential to work together to formulate a well-resourced realistic strategy for the future.
I recognise the unique culture, social and geographical identity and self-determination of Cornwall, the Isle of Scilly and to a lesser degree Devon. I see no negative aspects in establishing two separate operationally independent county police services. Through the re-establishment of a duchy police service the officers should identify and reconnect with their respective communities. It is unrealistic to expect a police HQ in Exeter to have local knowledge of Truro.
I support, in principle, the proposed government reforms to the CJS. Changes, at a local level, should build on
focusing legal aid where most needed,
toughening up community sentences with more onerous curfews
using offenders’ fines to support victims and witnesses.
I strongly believe that there is a need for a greater community voice in the management of the police service. It is essential this should be divorced from party politics and not have an impact on the operational independence of the Chief Constable, the police service and CJS.
Through a balance of transparency and scrutiny I will achieve an improved police service and an effective justice system for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and also, importantly, visitors to our area. For more detail see my social media sites.
The future of our police service and justice system should not be decided on the crack of a partisan whip or the colour of a party rosette.
AS A Cornishman from Penzance, formerly a sheep farmer, and someone whose children went to Mounts Bay School and knows and loves West Cornwall, I always have the interests of our area at heart.
What we all want and need is what we have had – a police force that delivers freedom from fear. We must ensure that the cuts being imposed by the Government do not jeopardise that freedom.
Given increasing levels of alcohol-related violence, we need to introduce local police targets; and, in those areas of Cornwall where these new targets are not met, I will introduce zero tolerance policing.
As a general rule that means arrest for street crime issues like vandalism.
Child safety is another issue in the forefront of our minds at the moment. If elected I will introduce a “Child Safe” initiative in consultation with parents and teachers and local authorities.
This will include walk-to-school pedestrian routes and play areas monitored by clearly identifiable civilian street wardens.
Furthermore, young adults are placed under peer group pressure to accept a drugs culture. We must step in to help our young people in trouble.
I am committed to establishing this country’s only detox facility for young people under 21 addicted to drugs and alcohol right here in the South West.
The rape issue must also be prioritised. One third of the women raped in Cornwall are under 16. This crime is horrendous. We must ensure that rape victims are properly supported by the criminal justice system.
Social conditions remain a key crime catalyst. If elected Police and Crime Commissioner I will speak out about the causes of crime. It is essential to draw attention to the pressures on the people of the South West caused by social deprivation and unemployment.
I will not forget rural crime – we must protect our farmers from the organised crime that leads to the theft of herds of animals, and the loss of our farmers’ livelihoods.
We cannot achieve any of the above without ensuring that our extraordinary police force is retained. I will maintain current levels of local policing if I take office. This will mean taking major steps, including adopting more flexible policing and a less centralised approach. But if I am elected it can be done and it will be done. Indeed it must be done for the sake of the people of Cornwall.
HISTORICALLY Cornwall has been a low-crime area, but there is a recent worrying trend upwards, mainly as a result of pressure on communities caused by the recession. In particular, I know that the blight of antisocial behaviour is a real concern to people across the county.
I am standing as Labour’s candidate for Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner on a platform of five clear pledges:
1. Opposing the Tory police cuts: Labour opposed the new Police Commissioners because we think in hard times money must be spent on frontline services. Devon and Cornwall Police has cut nearly 350 officers in the last two years. By 2015 a fifth of our frontline officers will have been cut. This puts immense pressure on such a large police area, particularly when our population swells with 13 million visits in the summer. I will be your voice in opposing the Government’s cuts.
2. Keeping police on the beat: Meeting people on the doorstep, I hear how worried they are about creeping privatisation of our police – and I hear the same from serving officers. Companies like G4S are more interested in profit than public service; I am interested in having a visible police presence on the streets of our towns and city to prevent crime and provide a fast response. In more remote, rural areas people want to know that they can call on a police officer, not a security guard.
3. Focusing on antisocial behaviour: Antisocial behaviour blights lives, and noone should feel their concerns are being ignored. In non-emergency cases, I will ensure that all victims get a response inside 24 hours, whether they call from Truro or Zennor. Tackling antisocial behaviour early and working with Victim Support and PCSOs reduces more serious crime and the fear of crime.
4. Working in partnership: Policing is not just about the police, it is about all of us working together to prevent crime in our own communities. I will support local councils, community groups and voluntary organisations as they are often the people best placed to provide solutions for their own areas. I will ensure Devon and Cornwall Police is a listening organisation.
5. Protecting the police from political interference: I will guarantee the independence of the Chief Constable in all operational decisions. My role is to make Devon and Cornwall Police an efficient and effective organisation, to be your voice in setting priorities for policing and to hold the Chief Constable to account.
Put to the test: The ten candidates were asked ten questions.
1. Should Cornwall have its own police force?
Tony Hogg, Conservative: Not at this time when there are so many challenges for the police to face. Perhaps in the years ahead.
Brian Blake, Lib Dem: No; it would be a huge expense to create and that would be borne by Cornish taxpayers.
Nicky Williams, Labour: No. It is not financially viable and we need local solutions for local communities, not a divided police force.
Brian Greenslade, independent: I think, in these times of austerity, no.
Bob Smith, UKIP: This matter will need to be the subject of discussion and not a matter for a quick decision.
Ivan Jordan, independent: No – we need to share knowledge and resources. Newquay has more in common with Torquay than with Truro. Splitting the forces will result in forced redundancy.
John Smith, independent: No; this would not help policing and would anyway be far too expensive at this time.
Graham Calderwood, independent: I do not hear any clamour to split the force into two counties.
Tam Macpherson, independent: Having identified the appetite for an independent Duchy and Isles police service at an early stage in researching a future strategy for the Devon and Cornwall Police area, I could see no adverse effects in Cornwall having an independent operational and tactical police service.
William Morris, independent: Small is beautiful. Yes, in an ideal world Cornwall should have its own police force. Having said that, now is not the right time when budgets are being savaged by the Conservative Government.
2. Do Asbos work?
TH: Yes, when properly applied and supervised.
BB: No. Half of all Asbos are breached at least four times. The victims should be at the centre of the process to deal with antisocial behaviour.
NW: Sometimes they do – it depends on the individual and the way they are implemented.
BG:Yes, in many cases they usually do.
BS: Like a lot of things in social psychology, they were effective at the beginning but less so now.
IJ: Not at present, and the history is patchy; they need to be reviewed and made fit for purpose.
JS: This really does depend on the individual involved. I have known some people have their behaviour changed by having an Asbo and I have known others who have regarded an Asbo as totally irrelevant.
GC: I believe they do, and the figures after the involvement of the teams is impressive. Effectively people are put on trial or probation, and the results are impressive.
TM: Figures show criminals given community payback orders, Asbos or jail sentences of less than 12 months have a 59 per cent chance of being “caught” re-offending within one year.
WM: No. Asbos are often worn as a badge of pride by youngsters who get into trouble.
3. Should the death penalty be reintroduced?
TH: This is a matter for
NW: That is a matter for
JS: Tempting at times but, on balance, no.
GC: We need to consider victims more, and if one criminal is deterred from going equipped to kill by the prospect of a death penalty and one life saved I thought we should consider it, but I fear that nothing is foolproof enough and mistakes can be made. The risk of judicially killing an innocent person is too great.
TM: A recent survey found 78 per cent of adults want Parliament to debate the return of the death penalty. Capital punishment is presently, under EU law, illegal in member states. To debate the death penalty while the United Kingdom is still in the EU and tied to the European Court of Human Rights treaty is a waste of taxpayers’ time and money.
WM: No, absolutely not. There is no place for the death penalty in my view, though I understand the anger at some outrageous crimes that make people wish that they could exercise that option.
4. Should paedophiles be castrated?
TH: This is a matter for health and the Government.
NW: That is a matter for the Government.
IJ: Physical castration would be barbaric; voluntary temporary chemical intervention I could conceive of – but is paedophilia always a sexual crime?
JS: Again, tempting, but what is the evidence – would incarceration not be better than revenge?
GC: I’m not sure that the expert evidence supports that they then pose a minimal risk, but it ought to be something which they could voluntarily agree to in return for a lesser length sentence or earlier release. It should not be imposed, however, against their will.
TM: Through the criminal justice system (CJS), the sentencing period of incarceration must meet a truer reflection to that of the crime committed. Realistic sentencing should be set to public perception.
WM: No; our society does not use enforced castration and I think that to do so would be to go down a very sinister and dangerous road.
5. Is prison a suitable punishment?
TH: For certain serious crimes, yes, but we should try and keep people out of prison in favour of community sentences if the case allows.
BB: Yes, for those who represent a danger to the public. More rehabilitation needs to be tried to prevent reoffending. It’s cheaper in the long run.
NW: It depends on the crime. Certain people need to be in prison.
BG: It is adequate in some cases; in other cases there are other ways that are more successful.
BS: Prison is suitable for some crime; indeed, some people should never be let out of prison as they are a danger to society.
IJ: Sometimes it is essential, but there must be a rehabilitative aspect to try to stop reoffending.
JS: For serious offences yes. For short-term, minor offences, no.
GC: Yes. It always seems to me that unless you do something very serious when surely you must go to prison, you need to try quite hard to end up there.
TM: Minus the Sky TV, mealtime menu cards, smuggled mobile phones, right to vote etc. There must be a rebalance to what is meant by incarceration; a more spartan experience.
WM: Prison is an appropriate punishment for crime but, as with any punishment, it must be carefully considered to achieve the required results.
6. Who is the best fictional detective/police officer?
BG: Lockhart of the Yard.
IJ: Inspector Rebus.
JS: Morse – because of the ordinary simple humanity he brings to the very inhumane job of some parts of policing.
GC: Sherlock Holmes.
TM: Midsomer Murders. Every week DCI Barnaby tucks into a Sunday roast and a pint down the local, followed by a murder before dessert. I wouldn’t live within 100 miles of the place.
WM: At the risk of being elitist, I quite like Lord Peter Wimsey.
7. Which one law would you change in the UK if you could?
TH: Some European laws on health and safety.
BB: A clearer definition needed for Section 8 of the Criminal Law Act to afford protection to those who use force to protect their homes and families.
NW: I think a lot of our existing laws need to be looked at and rewritten as we have a whole load of legislation in the statute book that is outdated.
BG: It is very simplistic, but safeguarding needs to be updated.
BS: The 1972 Treaty of Accession.
IJ: The one that allows extremely sexualised images on newsagents’ stands, so when I buy a paper with my nine-year-old daughter she is exposed to women as objects. I believe in free speech and no censorship, but that is a disgrace.
JS: Perhaps a change in driving speed limits – how about 20mph around schools and in really dangerous village centres, with flashing light warnings, but with a motorists’ trade-off of 75mph limits on motorways?
GC: Anonymity in sex cases for people charged with rape until conviction. So many have their lives or careers ruined even if the case is dropped or there is an acquittal. So many of the general public equate mere arrest or charging meaning guilt or think there is “no smoke without fire”.
TM: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has no specific democratic mandate, yet has authority to overturn the decisions of our national government and courts.
WM: I would rescind the new licensing laws that give us 24-hour access to alcohol and have so damaged our town centres. These are quite unnecessary in my view.
8. Do you consider Cornwall to be safer today than it was ten years ago?
NW: If you look at crime statistics, yes, it is. The question is whether people feel safer.
BG: I believe so, yes; as a place to live and visit it is just as safe now.
IJ: I did, but evidence just in that 50 per cent of antisocial crimes are not being reported because of police cuts makes me doubt that.
JS: Yes, but the future depends upon protecting budgets and officer numbers.
GC: About the same.
TM: Recently we have seen an increase in rural crime, and significantly the value, which in part has been attributed to this period of economic downturn.
WM: Yes and no. Many crimes are at reasonable decreasing levels in Cornwall but the real problem is that violent and alcohol-related crime is on the increase.
9. Are PCSOs a useful addition to the police service?
TH: Yes, they have their place in layered defence of safety on our streets but need community support.
BB: The public see them as the visible face of policing who are actually on the streets.
NW: Yes, they have a part to play.
BG: They are fantastic. They are in the community and can be seen by people. They are very, very useful.
BS: Any adults are a useful addition as long as they are sensible and effective and are not seen to replace the police.
IJ: PCSOs are an excellent addition – approachable, professional, community policing at its best.
JS: Without doubt – they are seen in the community and provide reassurance.
GC: Absolutely yes. They add “presence” which is reassuring to the public.
TM: By definition PSCOs play a frontline role. I believe this was not properly evaluated in assessment to what is expected and should be achieved within a future police strategy.
WM: Most definitely PCSOs are excellent. I intend to draw a line under cuts to police staffing and PCSO numbers will be maintained or increased.
10. What do you believe is the number one priority for policing in Cornwall?
TH: Alcohol abuse.
BB: Antisocial behaviour. This frequently leads to more serious crime being committed.
NW: A fairer deal as far as the government financial settlement goes, as at the moment we get a raw deal.
BG: More visible policing.
BS: To help restore the morale of the police.
IJ: A tie between tackling rural theft and drug- and addiction-related crime in towns.
JS: To maintain the number of officers and PCSOs at the highest level possible, in order to continue highly visible policing and thus to reduce both serious crime and antisocial offending.
GC: With falling numbers we must add to the numbers of Special Constables and Neighbourhood Watches. The more presence we have, the less crime there will be.
TM: Chief officers should be held to account for the actions and, just as importantly, the inactions of the police service within their locality.
WM: The obvious answer is dealing with antisocial behaviour but what I want to target is violent street crime. Violent crime must be reduced in Cornwall.