About

You heard it here first.

Where do Police and Crime Commissioners and the mainstream media go for PCC news and commentary? – Right here to TopOfTheCops.

On PCC Election Day 2012, the Times and the Guardian were agreed:-

“The leading blog on the PCC Campaign, Top of the Cops…” – The Times 

“The leading blogger on the PCC elections has been Sam Chapman of TopOfTheCops.com.” – The Guardian

TopOfTheCops has been described by the Economist as “lively“, and by Hugh Muir in the Guardian as admirable and as “the indefatigable website Top of the Cops, oracle on all matters pertaining to police commissioners“.

Michael Crick, of Channel Four News, has TopOfTheCops Editor Sam Chapman as the first person to raise the whole issue of PCC candidates being disqualified by previous convictions.

The Guardian’s Alan Travis and the Telegraph Home Affairs Editor Martin Beckford acknowledged TopOfTheCops for revealing senior judicial guidance banning magistrates from running as Police and Crime Commissioners, leading to a swift climbdown by the judiciary.

The Telegraph have also consulted TopOfTheCops on PCC campaign finance, and if you ever want to know what our editor actually sounds like, you can check out these links:-

The Guardian Politics Weekly Podcast – Thursday 23 August with Tim Montgomerie, Alan Travis and Hugh Muir – produced by Phil Maynard. Listen to the end to hear the Lancashire Hotpots!

The BBC’s Chris Mason on Radio 4’s The World at One:-

Part 1 – 21st August 2012

Part 2 – 22nd August 2012

LBC 97.3 – London’s Biggest Conversation – 8.15 pm -8.30 pm Friday 24 August 2012 (no listen again link yet available)

Police and Crime Commissioners

15 November 2012 brought a new creature to local policing in England and Wales, the elected Police and Crime Commissioner. Introduced to replace ‘invisible Police Authorities’, the successful candidates are each responsible for holding their local Chief Constable to account, deciding their budget and strategic priorities, and a whole bunch of other functions that promise to shake-up the local landscape in criminal justice.

TopOfTheCops.com aims to provide news and insightful commentary on Police and Crime Commissioners. This is a space for debate and accept guest posts from PCCs, professionals with an interest in policing and crime, and from the general public. We do not try to index every newspaper article or every tweet by every candidate – but you can supplement your time here with that sort of information at policeelections.com or get yourself structured and comprehensive coverage via a subscription at CoPaCC.

Are you a PCC or a future candidate? Drop us a line to Editor@TopOfTheCops.com and let the world know what you are about. Do you have information on what needs to change in your area? Mention it here, and it will give local candidates something to think about.

 

Our Readers

Those listed above are not the only journalists interested in the news and views on the site, which is also being followed by BBC North-West’s Arif Ansari, BBC London’s Katherine Carpenter, the Daily Mail’s Chris Greenwood and Rob Preece, the Independent’s Paul Peachey and Jerome Taylor, the Huffington Post’s Chris Wimpress, Police Professional’s Marcus Chippendale, Al Jazeera’s Brian Ging and the Belfast Telegraph’s Deborah McAleese (despite there being no Police and Crime Commissioner election in Northern Ireland, or the Middle East for that matter).

Prospective Candidates, and folk like Crest Advisory who seek to advise them, police authority members and staff, think-tankers and politicians such as Douglas Carswell MP, Daniel Hannan MEP, Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, Ann Coffey MP and Shadow Justice Minister David Hanson MP all link to here, tell their followers about us, or drop by for a look occasionally. Among the readership there are plenty of cops, there may be robbers for all we know and ordinary members of the public – all very welcome.

So if you want your voice to be heard, comment on our articles or drop a line to the editor – lots of good people are listening.

Editor’s Biography

Background

My crimefighting career spans 20 years, starting as a Lancashire police officer at the sharp end on the beat in Chorley, Skelmersdale and Accrington. Most recently with 12 years leading crime reduction partnerships in Warrington, Preston and Blackburn – tackling drugs, anti-social behaviour and violent extremism.

Areas of expertise

Crime Reduction – As a Community Safety Partnership Manager, working together with partners to cut crime again and again in one town after another, including halving burglary in Preston, and then doing the same in Blackburn, with significant cuts in violent and vehicle crime too.

Justice – One of the first Case Review Managers at the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body that decides which cases go back to the appeal courts. He investigated alleged miscarriages of justice and helped to establish a vital part of the criminal justice system.

Law – Having studied law and PPE at Oxford University, he then completed a Master of Laws in Human Rights and Criminal Justice at Coventry University. The research developed into a book on how Human Rights Law impacts on bigamy and polygamy. This has been cited internationally, and entered in evidence before a recent Constitutional case in the British Columbia Supreme Court.

PCCs – Sam created TopOfTheCops.com 9 months before the first PCC election and has been running it ever since. He is regularly approached by the national media for views on PCC developments, appearances on broadcast media, and to write articles. In 2012 he was runner-up for the Conservative nomination for Lancashire PCC.

 

Community Work

  • Formerly County Councillor for Chorley South on Lancashire County Council, where he chaired the Audit and Governance Committee of one of the country’s largest local authorities, responsible for signing-off nearly £2 Billion of public spending every year.
  • Formerly a school Governor for 8 years, a member of Lancashire’s Probation Board for 3 years, and a Director of Lancashire Partnership Against Crime for 4 years.

Favourite Quote – Milton Friedman “Thank God we don’t get all the government we pay for.”

Favourite Cop TV SeriesDexter

Favourite Cop FilmThe Other Guys, with Hot Fuzz a close second.

8 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: Update – Monday 5th March 2012 | TopOfTheCops.com

  2. Anke says:

    Would you know where we could get information about PCC husting events in Sussex from? Are you receiving information about events? Thank you so much!

    • samchapman says:

      I don’t have any such information at the moment, but neither of the main parties has selected a candidate yet. Perhaps when they do, other readers could post details of any hustings they hear about.

      • Jo Ivens says:

        I received this from Brighton & Hove CVSF today:
        There is a ‘Meet the voluntary sector’ event for candidates followed by
        a big debate where you can quiz the candidates on the 21st September
        2012 from 2pm. The debate will be at 6pm. This is being hosted by the
        Sussex Police Authority based in Lewes and to book your place on either
        or both sessions that day please email Katie Coakes
        Katie.coakes@sussexpa.gov.uk .

        You will be able to claim back travel expenses from the Safer Sussex
        Communities network on the day and refreshments will be provided. The
        venue is accessible for wheelchair users. The venue is accessible via
        the bus (no 28) and trains. Please try to come! It would be good to get
        a strong Brighton and Hove sector presence at this event.

  3. Nick says:

    I think if I lived in your neck of the woods you would get my vote. I hope you are nominated and the people of Lancashire agree with my opinion of you. I doubt you are the hand em and flog type of commissioner that I wouid like ideally but you seem very qualified for the job.

  4. Malcolm Brice says:

    Hi, You say you do not yet have informatuion for Sussex. What is the closing date for apllications and where does one find the conditions etc?

    • samchapman says:

      I think the closing date is noon on 19 October, and according to this the approach should be made to the returning officer, who is the Chief Executive of Crawley Borough Council.

    • Malcolm, I can confirm that the deadline for nominations and making the £5000 deposit is 12 noon on 19th October at Brighton Town Hall. (Brighton staff are running the election returns but their Ch Exec dropped out and has been replaced by Crawley Ch Exec.)
      Tony Armstrong, prospective UKIP candidate, Sussex.

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