PRESS RELEASE – 28th August 2012 – Nettleham Custody

Calls for Police to withdraw controversial plans
David Bowles, the only truly independent Lincolnshire Police Commissioner candidate, today called upon the conservative led Lincolnshire Police Authority to make a public announcement that it would formally abandon its current plans for a custody suite in Nettleham and the closure of West Parade Police Station.

He said: “Quite frankly I’m appalled at the way the police authority have handled this. I understand this whole debacle, exposed by SOLVE, the Nettleham pressure group, has been largely driven by a proposal from G4S in their recent contract discussions with the Police Authority.”

“Of course those in charge should come up with thoughts and ideas about how policing in Lincolnshire might be improved; but the way this has been handled has created unnecessary anxieties, not just in Nettleham, but also in Lincoln. I find it unacceptable that there was no effective dialogue and consultation with the City Council or the residents whatsoever. Even worse the City Council itself had to summons the Police Authority to the City Councils Scrutiny Committee to account for its actions”.

The current position has put the plans on hold for a decision by the elected Police Commissioner after the election 15th November 2012. Mr Bowles continued: “To put the plans on hold or say that they many not proceed for some time is not good enough To truly restore public confidence these plans should be formally withdrawn. I have seen nothing that would suggest to me at this time that there is a proper business case for this or that all options have been fully worked up. If they are not withdrawn there will be lingering resentment and suspicion amongst the people of Lincolnshire. This is not acceptable in a society where Policing is by consent”

The current Police Authority has, in its capital programme, over £7 million for re-provision of a police station in Lincoln. David Bowles confirmed that he believes it is important that Lincolnshire’s police force has modern facilities that are fit for purpose. ” I can absolutely assure the Lincolnshire public that as an independent elected Police Commissioner any future plans to do with such changes whether in Lincoln or elsewhere in the county will be subject to full and proper consultation. I would insist that option appraisals are made public where possible and that there is effective public and key stakeholder engagement in the development of proposals before they are launched.”

Mr Bowles is quite clear that the existing Police Authority has done significant damage to community relations with its public and with the partner organisations on which it depends for support. He is convinced that: “It is only by withdrawing the current proposals and making it clear that the police authority will go back to the starting blocks that I believe those relationships with the public and local councils can be restored.”

“We face challenging times, the police need public support. And you don’t get that when the people in charge of Policing are alienating those it is supposed to serve.”

“As commissioner I would want maximum transparency no matter which part of the County is affected. It was sheer arrogance not to have engaged with the local communities and Councils right from the outset.”

ENDS

Notes to editors
To arrange an interview please contact David Bowles in person

T: 01522-753996 M:07774-224246 E: [email protected]

Background:

Lincolnshire resident David Bowles is an experienced Chief Executive and Chairman of complex public sector organisations with a sound background in finance. He believes that the Police Force should remain independent from party politics and is concerned that we are sleepwalking towards an American system of ‘buying’ public office.
David is never afraid to stand up for what is right; he is independent in every way:
· He is not, nor has ever been, a member of a political party
· He is not touting for financial support for his campaign
David was Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council and in this post he showed great integrity. As Chairman of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust David’s compassion came to the fore as he fought for patients to be put before targets under the then Labour Government.

Find out more about David Bowles and what he stands for at www.davidbowles.org.uk .

Nobody else standing is better qualified.

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