Andrew Smith is seeking the Liberal Democrat 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 atEditor@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.
Sussex Police are half way through an ambitious programme, Serving Sussex 2015, to achieve the savings required by the cuts in Government grants without impacting upon the service to the public. Currently neighbourhood police teams are trialling the use of hand-held devices; if, as hoped, the trial is successful it will enable a dramatic shift from time spent at the police station to remaining on the beat for officers.
This just the kind of project the police have been undertaking – subjecting each area of work to a thorough re-examination, not just salami slicing existing budgets to offset the cuts in Government grant.
The Police and Crime Commissioner must uphold the British tradition of policing by consent, without fear or favour but always acting within the law. It is important the PCC does not try to emulate the Chief Constable and try running the police. The role is act as a critical friend, challenging the Chief Constable in their efforts to reduce crime and the fear of crime. Success can be measured by the public’s level of satisfaction. A prerequisite will be to consult the public on their aspirations in a structured way.
The PCC’s task in the short term will be to see through the Serving Sussex 2015 programme. For the police, like all large organisations, the challenge is to identify best practice and ensure it is applied consistently and quickly across the Force.
The PCC’s role is not just about overseeing the Police Force. It covers community safety and the youth offending teams. It’s possible in future the probation service will come under the PCC too. Successful policies will require partnership working with local authorities, housing associations, the voluntary sector, as well as others.
I have been a member of Sussex Police Authority since July 2009. I am Vice-Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee, with Lead Member responsibilities for Community Engagement, Risk Management and Health & Safety.
In 2005/6 I was Leader of Chichester District when it first achieved a top score from the Audit Commission for its Use of Resources.
I worked as a computer programmer/analyst in the private sector for twenty years.
I am a member of Sussex County Cricket Club and a season ticket holder at Fratton Park