PCC Elections

With the PCC elections today we here at Consett Magazine thought it would be a great idea to contact our local candidates for the job to help give you a better idea who toPCC Elections vote for on Election Day. With very little being said about this ballot in the media over the past weeks, the candidates to some are completely anonymous with very little campaigning being done in the Consett area with a large amount of people wondering what this is all about.

 Nick Varley – Conservative PCC Candidate

Conservative candidate Nick Varley responded to our email with these answers;

Consett Magazine: How do you plan to improve the methods of crime prevention in the Consett area if you are elected as PCC?

Nick Varley: That’s a really broad question that’s a little difficult to answer in a couple of sentences. In Consett, and across Co Durham I will see that resources are focused on the right thing and in the right area. Crime hotspots will be swamped by Police Officers and police resources, and known yobs will get a lot more unsolicited attention from officers.

CM: What is your unique selling point as a candidate for the local PCC position?

NV: I’m a local. I don’t think like a Police Officer, I think like a resident. These elections aren’t about electing a new Chief Constable; they’re about getting local people’s voice heard at the top table in Durham Constabulary.

CM: What will be the most difficult job for the PCC once elected?

NV: Getting your priorities right – this job is so huge, and covers so many areas that managing the competing demands for the PCC’s attention will be tough.

CM: Do you believe an elected PCC will be the best way for the public to get the results they demand from our local police force?

NV: Yes. A million times yes. Having a Police Authority with 15 unknown politicians and appointees on it means residents have no idea who to contact. After the election, everyone in Consett will know exactly who to contact when they think the police aren’t up to scratch.

CM: With somebody having overall control of the police budget, will policing be changed to the way which the public want or to a method which uses research and statistics to tackle crime in the most effective manner?

NV: The answer to that isn’t “one or the other”, because it’s quite likely what the public want will be backed up by statistical evidence. My priority is cutting crime, so if I’m certain an unusual method will work then I’m prepared to say to residents: “Look, this might seem an unusual technique, and you might not agree it will work, but I’m sure it will so judge me on the results.”

CM: What is your message you would like to share with the community of Consett?

NV: I’m not part of the policing establishment, I don’t think like a copper, so I’m genuinely independent of influence. I’m coming to this election with a view that my only real task is to listen to residents and communicate their thoughts to the Police. That will always be my absolute focus.

 

 

Ronald Hogg – Labour PCC Candidate

Labour candidate Ronald Hogg called our office today whilst on the campaign trail for a quick chat about what he wants to do if elected as a Durham’s PCC. On his way to Newton Aycliffe, Ron gave us a summary of what issues he wishes to tackle as the PCC.

CM: How do you plan to improve the methods of crime prevention in the Consett area if you are elected as PCC?

A good analysis of main problems in the area will allow the local police to tackle crimes that matter in the area. Being a big fan of CCTV, Ron expressed a desire to upgrade the local systems as he believes CCTV is a great tool for preventing crime.  Identifying problems targets is another important piece of Ron’s agenda with giving advice on how to avoid crime being a big part of his project.

CM: What is your unique selling point as a candidate for the local PCC position?

As an ex police officer, Ron has a good insight to what goes on in the police with the public being informed of all issues consulted to see their view.

CM: What will be the most difficult job for the PCC once elected?

The budget biggest challenge as the 20% budget cuts make it difficult. Maintaining levels of service with budget cuts is a priority for keeping Durham safe.

CM: Do you believe an elected PCC will be the best way for the public to get the results they demand from our local police force?

This type of election has never happened before and will sharpen the focus on local policing. With a strong self interest and direct accountability this gives a different balance to the way the police will run local operations.

CM: With somebody having overall control of the police budget, will policing be changed to the way which the public want or to a method which uses research and statistics to tackle crime in the most effective manner?

The public want more police on the beat. Ron aims to maintain the current level of policing with the cuts in funding. There will be a strong emphasis on what work using local university research to support policing methods.

CM: What is your message you would like to share with the community of Consett?

Ron is from Corby, another steel town, he can relate with the good people of Consett and the steelwork closure of 1981. If elected, he is here to work with the community for the community.

PCC Ballot paper

Kingsley Smith – Independent PCC Candidate

Independent candidate Kingsley Smith sent us a quick summary of his manifesto whilst on the move today. Contacting us via his Blackberry, Kingsley had this to say in response to our questions.

CM: How do you plan to improve the methods of crime prevention in the Consett area if you are elected as PCC?

Kingsley Smith: To maximise the benefits of neighbourhood policing

CM: What is your unique selling point as a candidate for the local PCC position?

KS: Independent and will keep politics out of local policing with a zero tolerance approach to criminals. A leader who can deliver and relate to communities having lived and worked in the area for over 40 years.

CM: What will be the most difficult job for the PCC once elected?

KS: Ensuring that the PCC continually engages with communities including Consett and delivers their priorities whatever the challenges.

CM: Do you believe an elected PCC will be the best way for the public to get the results they demand from our local police force?

KS: Yes because the PCC will be accountable to the electorate.

CM: With somebody having overall control of the police budget, will policing be changed to the way which the public want or to a method which uses research and statistics to tackle crime in the most effective manner?

KS: Priorities of Consett first and then find the best way to deliver them.

PCC Ballot box

CM: What is your message you would like to share with the community of Consett?

KS: We will drive crime down with a zero tolerance agenda

 Mike Costello – UKIP PCC Candidate

The final candidate, UKIP’s Mike Costello, did not respond to any of our attempts to contact him and therefore we could not include a response. As a well known figure in Durham who is head of the Rotary Club, Mike spent 18 years with Durham Constabulary implementing IT systems and was a member of the senior officers’ policy group and heavily involved in several inter agency and police force initiatives.

Today is an important day for the police service across the country along with the public. For the first time, we can vote for a representative in the police service who can listen to our concerns and hopefully create a better community for us all. We are privileged to be able to live in a country where democracy is a given right and we should use that power to decide how our region is policed. Use your vote and make a difference.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. I was confused by all this malarky, and honestly did not know who was up for the vote.

    Thanks Consett Magazine, this information should have been provided weeks ago by the police people themselves!!!!

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