Surrey police commissioner candidates set out their policies
VOTERS will go to the polls in November to select Surrey’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, a role that will replace the Police Authority in setting policing budgets and holding the Chief Constable to account. Four candidates have so far emerged, and today the Advertiser hears from each of them about their policies.
Independent - Kevin Hurley, soldier and former police officer: "With 30 years policing from writing National Plans, locking up burglars to walking the beat in Surrey, I know policing and crime inside out. I can scan a million pound crime reduction plan, assess tactics and tell you if it will work or waste your money. I have listened to thousands of residents. I can’t please everyone but have a good idea of what people want. I know how to deal with antisocial yobs , violent bullies, burglars, drug dealers and how to maximise officers on the beat and how to inspire them to serve you. I know what crime prevention schemes work and how to build teams to work together. I know how to make our police feel valued to deliver a quality service to victims, witnesses and those who call them. I will have done my job when people stop complaining about the service they get."
Independent – Peter Williams, current chairman of Surrey Police Authority
"With extensive business experience and 20 years working in the criminal justice system, plus an MA in criminal justice, I am uniquely qualified to be the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Surrey. I bring to the role my experience of 17 years as a magistrate and nine as a member of the police authority, including four as its chairman. I know about policing and I know what is important to the residents of Surrey. I have a proven track record in policing and criminal justice and have the necessary skills, experience and commitment to deal with the wider remit of the PCC and the new governance structure. It is essential that decisions are made at local level for the benefit of Surrey and not by national party politics. I am an independent candidate and will answer only to the residents of Surrey and not to any political master."
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UKIP - Robert Shatwell, former police officer: "I feel very strongly that the police should not be politicised and that the Chief Constable should be allowed to run the force.
"I hope to have a very amicable relationship with the Chief Constable and also the Police Federation in Surrey.
"It is only by working together that I believe we can look after the interests of the citizens."
Mr Shatwell said he is keen for police officers to be 'on the beat'.
"This is a most important element in policing; it is where I got most of my information from regarding problems within the community," he said.
"Everyone I talk to asks why they never see a police officer and can we get back to policing as I did."
He added: "UKIP stands for zero tolerance of criminal behaviour. At present there is no deterrent being used to reduce the number and severity of the crimes being committed.
"I believe, as does my party, that prison sentences should be used as a deterrent and should mean what they say. At present, sentences are far too lenient and if a custodial sentence is given the criminal knows they will only serve half of it before being released on licence.
"I believe that life should mean life."
Conservative – Julie Iles, magistrate
"I will bring a fresh approach as a commissioner who is available so that people in Surrey really can have their say in local policing priorities. My business experience from a career outside of politics means I know how to ensure delivery of an efficient, effective police force, making best use of our resources and funding. As a magistrate and because of my work with Crimestoppers, I know we have a good police force in Surrey. I will support them in improving the fight against crime so that we catch more criminals here. Our police must be visible to the public, be available when they are needed and provide an excellent service for the victims of crime. I will also support community-safety programmes and measures that tackle things such as drug and alcohol misuse to treat the causes of crime, help prevent crime and make Surrey even safer."
Liberal Democrat – Nick O'Shea, businessman and former Mole Valley District Council member
"I grew up and have lived in the county all my life. Members of my family who have been Surrey Police officers here include both my father and grandfather. This election is all about electing the best person to do this important job. I aim to deliver the best possible police and justice service for Surrey. With both public- and private-sector management and service-delivery experience, I have the background, skills and ability to work with the police and other agencies to keep Surrey's residents safe from crime. I have sound and proven policies that will deliver good local policing, reduce crime and support victims and witnesses of crime, providing what people expect and ensuring I deliver our goal of a safe Surrey. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with issues or questions on policing, crime reduction and victim support or see my website, nickoshea.focusteam.org.uk"
Labour – Robert Evans, former Member of the European Parliament
"As PCC, I'll be a strong, independent voice for the people of Surrey, opposing these savage coalition cuts and privatisation plans, which even the police say will irreparably damage the service.
"Keeping Surrey safe and secure will be my top priority, not ideologically driven political experiments – "outsourcing" or repeating the G4S Olympics fiasco – as this government proposes. My history as an MEP and before as a head teacher, both show I can handle this responsibility and represent a huge area effectively. I'll prioritise local people's views, giving short shrift to criminals. I'll take no risks with public safety, reverse the cuts in domestic-abuse support, cease police station closures and ensure victims, rich and poor, get the support they deserve.
"There'll be no soft-touch policing on my watch, just a safe, experienced pair of hands, with a fair, independent-minded approach to the real needs of Surrey."
Two members of the public are being urged to serve on the Surrey Police and Crime Panel.
The panel will provide checks and balances on the performance of the elected Police and Crime Commissioner, and on his or her priorities.
Surrey County Council is looking for two independent members to work alongside the 12 appointed members, each representing one of the 12 local authorities in the county.
The closing date for applications is August 27 and interviews are due to be held during the week beginning September 10.
Contact Rachel Crossley or Simon Griffin on 020 8541 9122 for information.