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ROUND-UP: Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner candidates' debate

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

Hustings

Appealing for your vote: The four candidates are pictured left. They are, from left, independent David Bowles, Conservative Richard Davies, labour candidate Paul Gleeson and independent Alan Hardwick

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The four candidates vying to become Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner faced the public at a hustings organised by the Lincolnshire Echo.

They were grilled before an audience of 60, on issues they will face if elected to office for the £65,000-a-year post.

Reporter Sam Morris looks at their views ahead of elections on November 15...


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ON A NETTLEHAM CUSTODY SUITE

Richard Davies: "The only justification I can see for building the custody suite in Nettleham is that the police authority already owns the land. The idea causes more problems than it solves. The force already spends huge amounts of time moving detainees around the county."

David Bowles: "I have not seen anything that convinces me this is warranted or necessary."

Alan Hardwick: "It is not a good location for a building of that nature. I don't think that, operationally, it makes any sense to have it in Nettleham."

Paul Gleeson: "You must have a proper station and custody suite in Lincoln."

ON SAVINGS

Richard Davies: "The force currently has over 400 vehicles and are very good at keeping car parks full. There are many ways in which savings can be made but there shouldn't be a scattergun approach."

David Bowles: "It is important to work closely with other forces to ensure money is spent wisely. We should not give up on trying to secure additional funding because I believe we have a powerful case."

Alan Hardwick: "There is not a single area of expenditure that I wouldn't examine carefully because there is a lot of money to be saved."

Paul Gleeson: "It is difficult to identify exact savings without having access to the full budget. I would go through every piece of expenditure."

OFFICER NUMBERS

Richard Davies: "I want to concentrate on the number of police officers actually on the street. If I have to drag officers out there kicking and screaming I will do. Why can't there be an admin assistant in each station to type up notes so that officers can be out on the streets?"

David Bowles: "The reality is that maintaining officer numbers is nigh on impossible without a greater share of funding. I will be fighting hard maintain our officer numbers."

Alan Hardwick: "I would like to maintain the number of officers and begin to rebuild morale. I would then like to work on increasing officers. Having a presence on the streets is vital."

Paul Gleeson: "I will try as hard as I can to maintain the number of officers, bearing in mind the tough Government budget cuts. There is no way I can commit to increasing officers without looking at all facts and figures but we have got to maintain the officers we have now."

G4S CONTRACT TO BE MADE PUBLIC

Richard Davies: "In principal, any public expenditure should be in the public domain. If there was no legal reason to prevent doing so, then I would be happy to."

David Bowles: "It should be a public document minus commercial details."

Alan Hardwick: "I would go further than making it available to the public with commercial details taken out, I would make a version of the document available online."

Paul Gleeson: "I would have no problem with making the contract available to the public."


THE CANDIDATES

DAVID BOWLES, independent, is the former chief executive of Lincolnshire County Council as well as being chairman of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and has a tough stance on crime. He said: "I believe that as a country we have become soft on crime and soft on the causes of crime; that all too often victims come last."

RICHARD DAVIES, Conservative, was elected as a Lincolnshire county councillor in 2009 before joining Lincolnshire Police Authority. He said: "I believe my no-nonsense approach will help prevent crime, reduce people’s fear of lawlessness and offer the public genuine reassurance about the way their communities are policed.

PAUL GLEESON, Labour, was elected to Boston Borough Council in 2011. He said: "As the campaign gets more heated there is a danger we forget the dedication and commitment of police and support staff, challenge system not attack staff."

ALAN HARDWICK, independent, used to present the local news programme Calendar for Yorkshire Television and has worked for the Police Authority over the past four years. He said: "Openness and transparency are two of the qualities that I would bring to the job of police and crime commissioner, I don't believe in deals done in committee rooms or behind closed doors, I do believe in fairness."

MERVYN BARRETT, independent, announced he was pulling out of the race shortly before the event.

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  • peterke  |  October 29 2012, 2:53PM

    All four of them dont seem to be very happy considering one of them is going to get a job with a 65 thousand a year ,plush office, with i asssume ample staff and a job just sitting back in their leather chair and telling others what to do.

    |   3
  • Pete67  |  October 29 2012, 12:03PM

    TB78WHlNE - My complaint would be that's it's just going to be another snout in the trough. Like with the NHS another layer of management when the actual workers get less and less. If they're cutting down on the officers who do the job why add another boss?

    |   6
  • TB78WHlNE  |  October 29 2012, 9:28AM

    Whiley45, would you please post yet another comment stating you think this election is a waste of money? It's been over half an hour since you made the last one and I'm worried you might have changed your mind. As for the rest of you, I'm looking forward to you all keeping shtum when the winner is announced. After all, if you don't take part, you can't complain about the results...

    |   1
  • Saxilby_Mick  |  October 29 2012, 9:20AM

    if this is the pick of the crop - then god help us

    |   8
  • Whiley45  |  October 29 2012, 8:47AM

    Forget all the silly arguments you lot. Not long to go now before the biggest waste of taxpayers money is upon us. Election..what election. It will really become silly when the votes cast are in single figures!

    |   11
  • Pete67  |  October 29 2012, 6:25AM

    nigelsparky - I think either way we are going to end up disagreeing on the this actual subject. I myself am going by personal experience from the differences before and after the sell offs. I do though prefer to look at what people are rating them. Still I think we can agree 100% on some of the comments people sometimes put in a personal attack on others. Stilll I suppose after all my years, and some of the things I've been called (mostly by my bosses), I've become pretty thick skinned.

    |   3
  • nigelsparky  |  October 28 2012, 7:26PM

    pete67 I never take any notice of the silly rating thing. I like to debate such issues as this with people like yourself. If I agree or disagree with someone's viewpoint, doesn't mean I think anything less of that individual. The only time I think like that is when people descend into posting derogatory comments towards me, because I happen to have a different opinion to them.

    |   3
  • Pete67  |  October 28 2012, 11:27AM

    nigelsparky - It would seem people agree with me considering someone has gone to the trouble of 'doctoring' the arrows. That's the reason I never rate as I've seen it happen before to various people (including myself).

    |   -3
  • nigelsparky  |  October 27 2012, 9:46PM

    wow pete67 so according to you then everything that has ever been privatised, safety etc has been compromised. bit of a sweeping statement isn't it , based on what? your perception?

    |   2
  • Pete67  |  October 27 2012, 10:52AM

    nigelsparky - You ask "On what basis do you form this opinion?" I think you will find that most people base it on what's happened with all the privatisations that have already happened. Also have a look at the way the amount paid continues to go up while we always get less. Then again maybe you are an exception to all this, and are always given preferential treatment?

    |   -4

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