POLICE COMMISSIONER ROLE TOO IMPORTANT TO BE ‘JOBS FOR THE BOYS’
David Bowles, former Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council and widely credited with ensuring that corrupt County Council Leader Jim Speechley was convicted and jailed for misconduct in public office, has announced his intention to stand as a candidate for Lincolnshire’s Police Commissioner. He slammed the main political parties saying that ‘the Commissioner role should be independent of politics but by putting forward their own party political candidates they are treating it as just more ‘jobs for the boys’.
David Bowles continued ‘The Conservative Home Secretary originally wanted to encourage independent candidates to stand. Yet as we get closer to the elections her own party is selecting party political candidates up and down the country. The Labour Party were vehemently opposed to the creation of Police Commissioners rightly warning it would politicise the police. Nevertheless they are also putting forward party political candidates, some of whom are former MPs and Ministers implicated up in the MP’s expenses scandal.’
Speaking about the little known fact that Police Commissioners can appoint Political Advisers as Deputy Commissioners he said ‘I find that absolutely shocking. This proves it is nothing more than jobs for the boys. You only have to look at London where Mayor Boris Johnson is already the Police Commissioner. One of his first acts was to appoint a Deputy Commissioner and surprise surprise that Deputy Commissioner is a fellow conservative politician, appointed on a staggering £128,000 p.a. paid for by council tax payers. How can this inspire confidence in independent policing? These Deputy Commissioner posts are important and should not be political appointments either.
Rural areas are neglected by London. Neil Rhodes our Chief Constable has made it clear he thinks the cuts imposed by the Home Secretary are unfair. I agree with him and I know from my own experience, not just through living in Lincolnshire, but from actually running much of Lincolnshire’s local government and NHS, that the county’s public services including the police are grossly underfunded. We face further massive cuts. Will a Conservative Commissioner stand up to the Home Secretary?
In recent years elected politicians have demonstrated that they consider themselves above the law. No wonder there is such low public support for politicians to run the police. That is why I intend to stand to be an Independent Police Commissioner. This role is too important to be tainted by political allegiances. I have never belonged to any political party and as an Independent Police Commissioner would be able to work across the political divide with all civic, political and community leaders.
It is vital that we elect a Police Commissioner who knows the County and will put the interests of the people of Lincolnshire first, not their party or their own political career. Over recent years I have amply demonstrated my independence even at personal cost to myself. I stood up to a corrupt council Leader seeking to enrich himself through his public office. I also stood up for our superb staff in our underfunded local NHS hospitals. They were under pressure to meet Labour’s waiting time target for non urgent patients, risking care to emergency patients in hospitals that were already dangerously overfull.’
What happened to the Labour party political rhetoric about being hard on crime and hard on the causes of crime? Both the Conservatives and Labour over the past 30 years have created a criminal justice system which most people think is soft on crime and soft on the causes of crime. All too often there are no real consequences for those caught and convicted with real concerns about visible policing and anti-social behaviour. Even worse there are strong public feelings that the system favours the criminal not the victim. We need to reverse that.
This campaign is being launched today. I do not have to follow a party line from London, instead I want to listen to what people in Lincolnshire think. I want them to get in touch and let me know what their concerns are about crime and policing in their areas and on their streets. If we are to win I need your help and support to keep politics out of policing. I urge people to get in touch via to www.independentcommissioner.org.uk ‘.
David Bowles is available for interview from today Monday 9th July on 07774-224-246 or 01522-753996
Notes to Editors
For many years Lincolnshire’s police have been overseen by an independent police authority which consists of councillors from all political parties as well as 8 independent members appointed from the local community. The government are changing this arrangement and replacing it with a Police and Crime Commissioner. The Police Commissioner will be able the hire and fire the Chief Constable.
Theresa May stated that she hoped that more independent candidates would come forward http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9332042/Look-at-Boris-Johnson-to-see-the-benefits-of-local-police-commissioners.html
Labours opposition to police commissioners can be found at http://www.labour.org.uk/police-reform-bill-goes-against-keeping-politics-out-of-policing
The pay of Boris Johnsons political appointment, a former Council Leader can be found at http://www.london.gov.uk/moderngov/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=10138