Campaign to be police commissioner hots up
STREET lighting, livestock rustling and the relationship with the chief constable have been debated this week by the three men campaigning to lead Warwickshire Police.
Independent Ron Ball, Conservative Fraser Pithie and Labour’s James Plaskitt are hoping to become the county’s first elected Police and Crime Commissioner after polling on November 15.
Hustings have been taking place around the county, with the recent decision to bring forward the date when some street lighting was turned out sparking debate.
Warwick district will be first to turn its lights out, and Mr Plaskitt, a former Warwick and Leamington MP said the move contradicted Warwickshire Police crime prevention advice to avoid parking in areas with little or no lighting, and cited a Home Office study that said good street lighting was a “cost-effective” crime reduction measure.
Conservative Fraser Pithie meanwhile joined the ranks of politicians to offer a contract to his electorate, saying that if he hadn’t cut crime in Warwickshire by the end of his term he wouldn’t ask people to vote for him again.
He also pledged to “close the gate” on rural crime, citing figures that showed livestock rustling increased in 2011 by 170 per cent as the price of meat rose, and promising action againts theft of diesel, heating oil, machinery and gates
Mr Pithie said he would bring in email alerts for farmers, keep safer neighbourhood teams as a link with communities and recruit special constables from villages , with a scheme in which farmers would join police in ‘ride along’ patrols to show them back lanes and potential targets.
With James Plaskitt saying he would ask the Chief Constable to give Pcsos powers of detention and Mr Pithie pledging to put senior officers on the streets, Independent Ron Ball favoured a more softly softly approach.
He said: “The chief constable will get clear direction on priorities from me. There will be no ambiguity. How those priorities are addressed is then down to him or her. Ignoring that direction would constitute gross negligence, but that is a strategic and not an operational judgement. I’m not going to manufacture artificial disputes to appear tough, particularly in areas that will not be under my jurisdiction. Nor will I pretend to have power over the courts, which are quite properly independent in this country.”
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Weather for Kenilworth
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 18 C
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