Congratulations to Cllr Richard Davies who has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire. He seems to be an excellent candidate with a strong message on the need for robust policing and value for money and lots of practical ideas. A "cop shop", a contact point, in every town where the public can meet a police officer. Encouraging employers to give time off to their staff to reward Special Constables. Better use of technology to reduce paperwork. Using the role of commissioner to champion police concerns in the wider criminal justice system.
Cllr Davies highlights this interesting report on the poor results of increased police spending by the last Labour Government.
In 2006 the then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s own Strategy Unit concluded that the increases in spending on the police "appear unrelated to changes in productivity." It noted that "there is still little chance that a crime will be detected and result in a caution or conviction." Crime might have fallen but this could have been due to other factors – improved security for homes and cars, longer prison sentences and so on.
The implication is that if more money doesn't necessarily mean better policing then less money doesn't necessarily mean that policing needs to be less effective. It is a matter of the right priorities and greater efficiency.
Cllr Davies is a true believer in the new system. "The election of Police and Crime Commissioners is at the heart of the Government’s plan to cut crime," he says. "They will reconnect the public and the police, and allow us to replace bureaucratic accountability to Whitehall with democratic accountability to local communities." But he adds that the police will also have "greater freedom and discretion to fight crime as they see fit" than with the current Whitehall restrictions.
Conservative MP Nick Boles says:
In London, the Mayor tells the Metropolitan Police what Londoners want them to focus on – and, if necessary, can fire a chief constable who fails to deliver the people’s priorities. In November the people of Lincolnshire will be given the chance to vote for someone with the power to do the same.
Electing a police commissioner may seem a rather roundabout way of dealing with louts in Grantham. But in Grantham businessman and county councillor, Richard Davies, we have an energetic candidate, born and raised in the town, who knows what local people want and will work with the police to help them make the most of their limited resources.