Councillor Les Byrom is seeking the Labour nomination to be the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside. If you are intending to stand to be Police and Crime Commissioner where you live, you can submit your own Candidate Statement, so get in touch. Others are on the way, and we are looking for 400 words, a photo (of you!) that you have rights to, and preferably an imprint, which will be needed for the formal election period later this year.
In a perfect society, arguably, we would not need a Police force; the Police are the glue that keeps our complex and fragile society together, gives it boundaries and civilises it.
The new Police and Crime Commissioner roll brings a chance to break with the past and ask communities, businesses, victims, elected representatives and voluntary groups what they really want from the Police, to tackle crime, to find new ways to deter and detect – the two fundamental objectives of the new Commissioner.
Over my time, I have been a member of the National Metropolitan Police Committee, chaired the UK Fire service, and been a Leader and Local Council Cabinet member for crime reduction, youth offending, drugs, alcohol and anti social behaviour; I believe I would bring high level national and local experience to the roll. I have negotiated with Ministers for a better deal for Merseyside and am used to managing the budget and staffing of several major multi Million Pound local services.
The Police have a history with and are importantly rooted in Local Government, I would want to strengthen these ties and ensure that Police and Crime reduction initiatives stay local, not floating off to Whitehall, or in some limbo state between the two.
In the race to be elected as Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, I think it is important to capture the public imagination as to what extra can be done to reduce the misery of crime. Find different ways of planning out crime, free the Police from petty regulation and concentrate on the ‘front line first’. Again Deterrence and Detection are the key jobs for the Police and I want to give them the tools and resources to do this to the best of their ability.
If we do raise the imagination of the public of Merseyside, the turnout in the PCC election need not be low and we will have won community buy in to better Policing plans and community crime free initiatives.
Merseyside’s Commisioner must know the whole County well and speak for all sectors of the community, have long standing links with Councils, community groups, businesses and the voluntary sector. I have campaigned all over the county, have a unique experience of managing blue light services here on Merseyside and nationally, have run businesses in the County and am a volunteer worker in the blue light sector. I would bring actual knowledge and experience of running authorities to this role, with the aim to Make Merseyside the safest Metropolitan County in the country.
My priorities, if elected for the first year in office would be:
- Set up panels and a consultation mechanism to really understand the needs of Merseyside communities, businesses, victims and local people
- Establish a ‘take back the streets’ campaign no one should fear walking to the shops or to be shut in behind locks and bolts at home
- Lobby for a larger and stronger special constabulary, more along the lines of the TA, paid an allowance, properly trained and well motivated, partly absorbing the rolls of PCSO’s
- Build respect for the uniform – modern TV culture has diluted the authority and respect for the Police, we need to rebuild this to protect our people and improve community relations.
- Set up a support charity, Merseyside CRIMEFREE Network – Police officers do a lot of work with youth and potential offenders, but we need to free up Police time for the front line first, some of these distraction activities could be done by a parallel arm.
- Lobby hard for a better deal for Merseyside; promote the needs of the area within England to get a better slice of the funding cake.
Cllr Byrom’s website can be found here.