Paul Richards is on the shortlist for the Labour nomination to be the Police and Crime Commissioner in Sussex. 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 at Editor@TopOfTheCops.com – 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.
Labour’s candidate for police commissioner in Sussex has a simple job: to make the election a referendum on Theresa May’s 20% cuts to our police.
I marched with the police through London last month. Of course police officers are concerned about their pensions and job security. But they’re also deeply worried about the price communities will pay for the Coalition government’s cuts to front-line policing.
I’ve been travelling around Sussex listening to people’s concerns. My campaign reflects those conversations. These are my pledges:
- Keep the police public: opposition to 20% cuts to policing in Sussex; no privatisation of core services.
- Ring-fencing of the Victim Support budget for four years.
- A continued focus on domestic violence and Hate Crime. I will protect the most vulnerable from the cuts.
I am proud of what Labour did in office: the shift to neighbourhood policing, the Respect Agenda to tackle anti-social behaviour, the introduction of police community support officers (PCSOs). Crime fell under Labour. As an adviser to the last government, I helped to develop these policies.
But as a community activist, I know that many people still live in fear of crime and disorder. ‘Neighbours from hell’ are not a figment of journalists’ imaginations. Anti-social behaviour genuinely blights the lives of thousands of people, especially on the forgotten estates. In this campaign I will speak up for the decent people who want stable, safe communities, and I will crack down hard on the people who refuse to play by the rules.
In Sussex, Conservative candidates are lining up for the job. Yet they represent ‘business as usual’. Ex-councillors. Ex-members of the old police authority. More politicians. Ministers said there’d be new and different candidates for commissioners. In Sussex, it’s just more of the same.
I have said that I would donate one third of the £80,000 commissioner salary to police and victims’ charities. I urge my opponents to make the same pledge. The commissioner should not be feather-bedded when police constables are risking their necks.
If the BNP stand a candidate in Sussex, they must be resisted. I will mobilise the trade unions, anti-racist campaigners, and all decent people who value our diverse communities, to fight the fascists.
My aim is to say to anyone who values their police, from Hove to Hastings, from Chichester to Crawley, in every Sussex town, city, suburb and village: vote Labour.