I have been receiving questions and comments on my Facebook Page about the PCC’s role and so I thought it useful to share this one with my response.
From Catherine Pawsey:
“If the role of the PCC is to be the public’s representative, then I’m afraid it’s been a miserable failure. The public want a properly resourced Police Service; they aren’t getting this. Reading your past comments you appear to agree with every cut the government are making so I look forward to seeing you (assuming you are successful) lobbying your party. If it’s your job to hold the chief to account and get rid of him/her should they be unable to manage their service despite the disgraceful cuts to Police budgets, why can’t the public get rid of incompetent PCCs? Do you think this is fair and equitable?
I agree with your comment that the police and people of Kent have not been served well by the present post holder, I don’t think this is because she isn’t affiliated to a particular party though. I don’t think simply by belonging to a particular party will enable a PCC to serve the public/police any better, indeed it is probably fraught with danger. Perhaps you can also explain why radical reform is essential and why this translates to savage cuts?
Finally, would you be prepared to spend a week on patrol with officers? Including early turns and nights?”
I appreciate the cuts are very tough, and present challenges which can only be tackled by doing things differently – that is the starting point for PCCs.
To answer your questions – incompetent PCCs can be removed at the ballot box. That’s our democracy – not perfect but better than the alternative!
Why is radical reform necessary? Well, I have listened to senior police representatives including the Police Federation, and there is widespread agreement that the nature of policing has changed and the service needs to embrace radical reform in order to response to those changes.
The cuts to public sector spending make us look more closely at how we can do things better for less and this may mean putting pressure on other services to take the responsibility for areas of e.g. safeguarding which the police find themselves having to take on where others are not available.
I would like to help free up our police to spend more time on front line core duties and support them to focus on what the public want them to do. If elected, I will most certainly spend time with patrol officers, including early turns and nights, and look forward to hearing the views of many officers.
I will also be highly engaged with communities across Kent & Medway seeing how expectations match the current reality. I will not be focussed on the negatives because we have a job to do and the best way to do it is to promote the good work being carried out in the county, improve public awareness and confidence in the service and to use the PCC’s role as a positive one both for the public and the police.