The PoPo


This article is now updated with


Click on the above link to see who won

For an updated view of what the PCCs have been doing since their election

See the PoPo Gone Pear Shaped (2014)

This page was written prior to the 1st England and Wales
Police and Crime Commissioner Elections held on
the 15 November 2012 and read

Avon and Somerset Constabulary
Bedfordshire Police
Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Cheshire Constabulary
Cleveland Police
Cumbria Constabulary
Derbyshire Constabulary
Devon and Cornwall Police
Dorset Police
Durham Constabulary
Dyfed-Powys Police to Wiltshire Police

As a break from Pear Shaped's usual monotonous reanalysis of transcripts of the Iraq Inquiry I thought it would be fun to instead cogitate on something even more surreal... the upcoming elections for the newly machinated office of Directly Elected Police and Crime Commissioner. 

As no one seems to be interested in this election (least of all the people standing in it) we thought we would analyse the candidates a bit.  Unfortunately what we know about policing could fit on the back of a fag packet.  But in the absence of anywhere else sensible to start from we thought we'd try and evaluate against the 9 principles on which Sir Robert Peel

...founded the Metropolitan Police Force Scotland yard in 1829.  Ironically, of course, Peel was a Conservative so it's odd that it's his party that want to change things?  Whether they're good principles or not is another matter but I think we're still all sort of supposed to be policed according to them so here goes.  They are:

1.The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

2.The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

3.Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

4.The degree of co-operation of the
public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

5.Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

6.Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.

7.Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence

8.Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

9.The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

These principles contain a philosophical and political concept known as "policing by consent".  The traditional vociferous Labour party argument against Crime Commissioners is that by making a police role that is party political you automatically erode Sir Robert Peel's 5th principle that:

Police seek and preserve public favour
not by catering to public opinion

In other words making the role political undermines public trust.  Political parties are, at the end of the line, tribal institutions that in the case of the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives can trace their heritage right back to the Exclusion Crisis... (see here)

This is why when the Police were invented they were highly controversial and Peel had to come up with a load of principles to convince ordinary people that they were not just private security guards only interested in protecting the interests of the rich and wealthy.  Apart from the day to day law and order problems of policing ever enlarging cities in the early 1800s ...... the concetration of plebs in the inner cities machinated by the Enclosure Acts had created something of a volatile atmosphere where there was the potential for many more large scale riots...

 ...not about stealing stuff from Argos though ... more about such stuff as hardly anyone being allowed to vote and the Corn Laws. 

In these situations as there was no "Police Force" as such ... large public order or disorder problems were most usually solved if they got nasty (or indeed even if they didn't) by "sending in the army".  This resulted in interesting things like the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre when the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry killed a large number of protesters with sabres.

Because of events such as this when the Metropolitan Police were formed 10 years later in 1829 Peel went to great lengths (through his principles) to stress that the newly formed "Police Force" were actually just "the PUBLIC who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen" ... i.e. not an armed militia who were going to charge everyone with swords or put a cap in anyone's bottom.  It's interesting then that when we have a bad riot today everyoneone immediately chimes "send in the army".

Of course, as fans of the Batman franchise (which recently came to Croydon to films as there are apparently not enough riot damaged depressing buildings in New York) probably already know, in the US they do things slightly differently... their system grew up gradually out of local forces.  The result is that Americans now have more types of policing than you could poke your truncheon at ... from Federal Police (the FBI) otherwise known as "the Feds" State police ... and within that often Country Police and Sheriffs.

The old fashioned elected office of County Sheriff is the template for the new office of Police Commissioner but confusingly the Chief Constable will still be in charge and we are reliably informed that no minor potentates will be allowed to wander about town all tooled up and ready to put a cap in anyone's arse...

Of course the police have been increasingly politicisied for a while.  Readers of the Pear Shaped website will be aware that following the machination of the Business Improvement District (or BID) scheme local businesses can pay the local authority for extra policing.  For example the Croydon BID pays  £7.5million to fund additional street cleaning, extra police officers.  Officially that gives them no political or operational control over what these extra officers do or to where they are posted.  However, my view as a businessman is that if that is true it's either a very bad deal or slightly implausible.

But it seems now everywhere in England and Wales now needs a Police Commissioner apart from London which has...

...Boris and his minions to force the resignation of Ian Blair and replace him with someone who'll prevent London from falling into rioting and disorder ...So anyway we thought we'd look at some of the Candidates for fun. 

Of course the idea that there is no political control over the police already is a bit of a fallacy. 

At the moment each police force also has a Police Authority ... made up seventeen members:

9 elected members (who are drawn from the local authority or authorities for the force area, and should be reflective of the political makeup of those authorities)


8 remaining members are called independent members, and are appointed from the local community for fixed terms of four years by the police authority itself.

Technically this is an unpaid position but Police Authority members are allowed to claim allowences and expenses.  Combined with the allowences generated by the imposition of Cabinet Government on Local Authorities by Tony Blair in 2000 this means Councillors can stack up some impressive expenses and allowences which are little other than sallary by another name.  For example...

Hampshire County Councillors Allowances and expenses 2011-12 (top ten)
Keith House   £71,634
Sean Woodward £51,083
Mel Kendal  £49,575
Ken Thornber £47,782
Keith Chapman £47,061
Adrian Collett  £43,168
Elaine Still  £41,683
John Bryant  £38,752
Keith Evans  £37,596
Stephen Reid £37,163

Really it's a roundabout way for the state to fund political parties who's membership bases are generally in terminal decline...

Following Royal Assent of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 police authorities will be abolished and replaced with directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners and Police and a Police Crime Panel (PCP)

PCPs will comprise of one elected representative (councillors) from each local authority within the force area and two independent members or co-optees. There must be a minimum of ten elected representatives, each authority will be required to send one member with the remaining seats to be negotiated locally and filled by the member authorities.

In other words the whole exercise is really nothing more than a big pay rise for the political class?

Amusingly given how much money was spent encouraging everyone to hate AV ...

this election will be conducted using the supplementary vote (or contingent vote).   Which is very different to AV.  Here's the flowchart for AV...

To AV deal or no deal

...and here's the flowchart for the supplementary vote ...

If you understand the mathematics of this stuff just bores you
jump it usingTHIS LINK you can see the difference is that instead of eliminating each candidate with the least votes sequentially everyone but the top two candidates is eliminated. 

This is arguably more illogical than AV...

Okay here are what the "No to AV" campaign would have postulated as the two worst case scenarios for each system.  Note that both these permutations are consistent with each other.   The first round of each election is identical with one vote separating candidates A,B, C and D. 

On the left we can see the AV "stupid case" simulation.  All the candidates are a mere 1 vote apart and no one has over 50% of the vote.

As a result the person in last place in the first round gives all their votes to the person in 3rd place in the 2nd round.  This pushes them ahead of the person in 1st place in the 1st round. 

The person in 2nd place in the 2nd Round then splits their votes equally between the people in 1st and 3rd place in the 2nd Round meaning that the person who was in 3rd place in the 1st round wins the overall AV election. 

Of course in reality this would be a sever social and mathematical fluke but it is what the No to AV campaining complained about at the time of the AV referendum.

On the right we can see the Supplementary Vote "stupid case" simulation.  The AV "stupid case" simulation on the left cannot happen here because there are now only two rounds.  So candidate D cannot give ALL their votes to candidate C and candidate B then give half of their votes to candidate C to let them win. 

Instead candidates C and D are classed as "losers" straight away - even though candidate C is only one vote behind candidate B and candidate D is only one vote behind candidate C. 

This means ALL candidate C and candidate B's votes must be distributed between candidates A and B.  This does assume that voters for Candidate C dont put Candidate D as their 2nd Choice and visa versa which would be very stupid and in which case this happens.

In the worst case scenario for the Supplementary vote there is only one vote between Candidates A and B and Candidates C and D give ALL their votes to candidate B meaning candidate B wins despite coming 2nd in the 1st round.  

The Supplementary Vote is neither an AV election nor a FPTP election but a fudge between the two designed to avoid the No to AV's classic objection to AV and STV that...

...mathematically however it is clearly nonsense?  Or is it?  I'll leave it up to you to decide which is the biggest pile of poo.

To see the problem with the Supplementary Vote more clearly we need to also look at the ballot papers.  On an AV ballot paper if there are 4 or more candidates there are as many permutations through which a vote can pass as there are candidates. 

So if a voters votes for candidate D as 1st choice,
candidate C as 2nd choice,
candidate B as third choice
and candidate A as  last choice
then when candidate D is eliminated their vote will transfer to candidate C
and when candidate C is eliminated to candidate B in the final round...
 ... meaning every meaningful choice is utilised.

In the Supplementary Vote system however, the voter only gets two choices - 1st and and 2nd place ... so if they put their 1st choice as the candidate who comes last and their second choice as the candidate who comes 2nd to last and there are more than 3 candidates their vote is completely wasted - just as it would be in a FPTP election.  Like this... the above case

voters who have put candidate D as their 1st choice have put candidate C as their 2nd choice
voters who have put candidate C as their 1st choice have put candidate D as their 2nd choice. 

As votes can only be transferred once ....ALL these votes for C (1st) and D (2nd) or D (1st) and C (2nd) are eliminated.  

The end result is consistent with a FPTP election ... those voting for the bottom two candidates have "wasted" their votes.  You must pick one of the top two candidates as your 2nd choice or your vote is "wasted".

You can see why politicians in the Westminster system love the supplementary vote for elected Mayors.  It has all the advantages of AV while still favouring the two largest parties by eliminating the bottom candidates fast.  An AV style election would also give the bottom candidates more chance of not losing their deposit.  The Supplementary Vote allows the leading candidates to pick up the votes of the 3rd party without allowing the 3rd party to pick up the votes of the 4th, 5th, 6th nth parties.

Under the supplementary vote you can have huge constituencies justifying huge £5000 deposits like in the Police Commissioner elections which excludes the Monster Raving Loony party from standing unless they concentrate all their resources in one place.  In general elections with their £500 per candidate deposits they can stand 10 candidates for the price of one Police Commissioner or elected Mayor. 

Elected Mayor positions as a result can only be created if the are wanted and voted for by local referendums.  Police Commissioners however, no one's got a choice in.  Your guess is as good as mine as to why... erm

Avon and Somerset Constabulary


Things did not start well.  Leaving aside the issues of whether or not having a Police Commissioner undermines the political principle of policing by consent and whether or not it's anything less than completely farcical that the Labour Party is fielding candidates in an election that it has for decades insisted simply should never exist as it is immoral and anti-democratic... one problem all parties are suffering with in this ...erm ... nearly invisible campaign that it is actually quite difficult to find candidates who have never been in trouble with the Po Po ...

Original Labour candidate for Avon and Somerset Constabulary Bob Ashford looked to say the least a bit of a twit when it turned out that he had a previous conviction for quite a serious firearms offence.  When forced to stand down he explained further...

"These are the details of the offence. At the time I was 13 years of age in 1966 and living on a council estate in Bristol. I had no previous involvement with the police and came from a good and caring family. I remember very well the knock on the door from a group of lads I knew from school. They persuaded me to go out with them and I felt I had little choice. I also knew from what they said that if I refused they could make my life difficult at school.

We went to the railway embankment and I felt very uncomfortable about this. One of the lads pulled out an air gun and started shooting at cans. I never touched the air gun and felt unable to leave, as I was frightened at what might happen at school. A goods train passed and presumably the guard reported our presence to the police who arrived a short time later. The lads with the air gun ran away whilst I and two others froze and were arrested.

My next memory is of the police coming to my house and talking to my parents in a separate room. The police never questioned me to my knowledge. I then went to court and was to the best of my knowledge charged with trespass on the railway and possession of an offensive weapon. I was told to plead guilty to the two charges even though I had never touched the air gun. I was fined £2 and 10 shillings on both counts. Both of these offences are to the best of my knowledge “imprisonable” offences."

So he was replaced by a Dr John Savage...

who is the chief executive of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative and the Chairman of University Hospitals Bristol and says very little ... although I did find this cliche about the internet...

“I fully understand the need for a new approach to resource allocation in these testing economic times but the Government is making the wrong choices on crime, taking frontline police off the streets, weakening powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, and opening the door to the privatisation of core services – I will fight the impact of these reckless changes.”

He's also a dead ringer for computational nanotechnology expert Dr John E Savage ...but it may be possible they're not the same person...

The Conservative candidate is Ken Maddock the former Leader of Somerset County Council who boasts a similar line in vapid waffle

"I regard this as a great opportunity to take the improvements made in recent years in tackling crime and community safety to the next level, and to do so in a more transparent and accountable way. I believe I bring experience, support and a willingness to listen which this will need. But most of all, I want to do this because I know what a big difference it can make to the everyday lives of so many people."

While the Liberal Democrats have pulled off the scoop of finding an actual policeman to stand as their candidate a Pete Levy...

...okay a Military Policeman but you cant have everything.  He's also sat on local political committees and stuff and proudly boasts that he once worked for TV AM which lost its franchise a mere thirteen years ago when Mrs Thatcher decided to replace allocating franchises on merit with an insane blind auction in order to get Thames Television back for "Death on the Rock".

Of course one other major problem with the election is given these positions have never existed before and no one quite understands what the actual powers are it's very difficult for anyone to promise any specific measures or alternatively slag off the previous incumbent - because there hasn't been one.  So a vast array of usual campaigning tools remain locked in the cupboard... In the absence of any clear policies or revenue generating powers this leaves Mr Levy telling us that...

"The role of the PCC is to be the voice of the people and ensure that every resident has an input into the Police Plan.  My aim is to use the run up to the election to create the most effective and robust communications hub."

So basically the role of the Police Commissioners will probably be the same as that of those standing for the role.  Talking bollocks ... quietly. 

Meanwhile over at ...

Bedfordshire Police Authority

The election has caught the interest of far right UKIP splinter group the British Freedom Party...

Ironically their deputy leader is pictured behind a US flag and an Israeli flag ... just to show how British they all are.  Horah!  Like many other candidates Kevin Carroll promises

• An end to cuts in the police service. (Something he'll have no control over it's decided by the Home Secretary)

• Substantial improvements to pay and conditions of officers on the street, who are at the sharp end of crime and disorder in Britain.  (Something he'll have no control over it's decided by the Home Secretary)

• An end to political correctness, which is forced on officers by their politicised superiors, hampering their ability to deal with serious crime. Officers tackling crime out on the street need to know that they have 100% backing of their superiors.  (Something he'll have little control over it's decided by the Home Secretary but images from "The Sweeny" are imprinting themselves on my brain as I type)

• An end to ‘two-tier’ policing. The law should apply equally to all sections of the community.  (According to the Telegraph Mr Carroll believes there is an existing two tier system that treats Muslims better than the rest of society)

"Mr Carroll, who lives in the EDL’s heartland of Luton, has a conviction for a public order offence after he and another man hurled abuse at Muslims who were protesting at a soldiers’ homecoming parade.

But although Mr Carroll
received a nine-month conditional discharge in 2010 and was ordered to pay £175 costs, this will not prevent him from standing as a Police and Crime Commissioner (unlike Mr Bob Ashford)  because it was not an imprisonable offence."

• Strong policing of anti-social behaviour that blights the lives of many families.

• No more police time wasted on manning speed traps.

• A crackdown on the dealing of hard drugs.

• The police force once again focused on dramatically reducing serious crime — criminals and organised gangs should fear the consequences of their actions.

So a mixture of promises and empty promises... at least he's got a policy platform's more than can be said of most candidates.  Finding anything out about the Labour Candidate Olly Martins...

...was no mean feat ...but I did eventually find him on twitter where he was busy accusing Kevin Carroll of being the "EDL" candidate.  Mr Carrol is, although he is rather shy to mention it, is actually quite high up in the EDL ...which doesn't usually stand candidates in elections (fearing that they might split the UKIP BNP vote perhaps...?)

As if deliberately to wind up the EDL the Conservatives have managed to find a former asian police officer, businessman and councillor and Parliamentary Candidate and sub post-postmaster Mr Jasbi Parmer who is also rather thin on policy and long on waffle...

"As a former policeman in the Met I know that this  role is all about re-addressing the balance in favour of the victims of crime rather than the criminal. We must have more visible policing, crackdown on anti-social behaviour, and when it comes to policing in their area, we must put the public in the driving seat. Those are my priorities; however over the coming months I hope to meet as many people as possible to gauge their views and enthuse them about the role and my candidacy, because a divided Labour Party with a pitiful record whilst in government have nothing new to offer on policing"

Although he does have a proper website with lots of nice pictures of him in either a police helmet or a turban

Meanwhile over in ...

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

A hideously complicated multi-party battle is going that absolutely no one understands...  In 1989 when David Steel incorporated the SDP into the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats ....

To AV Deal or No Deal

...there schismed off a "continuing SDP" headed by David Owen and a continuing Liberal party that claimed to be the real Liberal party ...

...set up by

Michael Meadowcroft who having lost his seat in 1987 set out a grand plan to lose more.  Anyway, the Liberal party is very big in Cambridgeshire and has managed to split Peterborough council between the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Party and the "Peterborough Independent Forum" which consists of independent councillors Charles Swift, John Fox, Judy Fox, Keith Sharp, David Harrington and Stephen Lane and Liberal councillors Adrian Miners, Chris Ash and Bella Saltmarsh.  Suggesting that the independents are not that independent at all.  Despite insisting that they have no common policy platform they insisted on registering the Independent Forum with the Electoral Commission purely so that they could have a logo and get one of them on the police authority - under the previous system you couldn't get on the authority unless you were part of a party....  All of which is slightly pointless as they still form a minority on the council.  Confused?  So's everyone.

Here's Ansar Ali...

Supported by Cllr Bella Saltmarsh by Cllr Adrian Miners and by Cllr Chris Ash and
so effectively the Liberal Independent candidate...

and here's former Conservative Councillor Paul Dakers ... recently redundant lorry driver and former soldier...

who fell out with the Conservative Party a while back ..... ...not sure who's supporting him...?

Meanwhile UKIP candidate ...

...Paul Bullen ...

 has been having a very hard time at the mercy of a local radio DJ Paul Stainton....

... who clearly has zero time for UKIP or the election either....

Such a hard time it's worth animating...

Paul Bullen UKIP and Paul Stainton on Police Commissioners

And for those that think that UKIP stands on a philosophically wobbly platform alternative apathy is supplied by Cllr Stephen Goldspink of the English Democrats...

"All of the countries in the UK have a separate assembly to stand up for their citizens, except England. As a result, those who live in England are continually exploited and discriminated against by Governments of all colours, mainly led by Scots (Brown), those with Scottish roots (Cameron) and those who simply won't see the problem (Clegg)."

...who feeling that the breakup of the European Union is too big an ambition and have decided instead to start with small things and sort of campaign for the break up of the United Kingdom instead.

With so many people already on the Cambridgeshire ticket already the Monster Raving Loony party have decided that this is the ideal place to try and split the vote and have also stumped up the £5000 needed to stand veteran loony campaigner Lord Toby Jug

who unusually for a candidate in this election actually has a manifesto ... here it is:

All police officers will be issued with mountain bikes, except those in the Flying Squad who will be issued with space hoppers instead.

We will solve the problem of over-crowding in prisons by releasing all the innocent prisoners.

It is unfair that judges and barristers should have to wear fancy dress in court so that we all laugh at them. In the interests of equality we insist that everyone appearing in court should wear wigs and silly clothes

We fully back the government’s policy of discouraging binge drinking by opening pubs for 24 hours. We believe that 24 hours is not quite long enough and propose to make the length of a day 32 hours long so that the pubs can be open for even longer.

Anyone caught breaking the law will be made to mend it.

Any child found breaking the Auntie Social Order will be sent to their Uncles for a good clip around the ear.

All police will be made to say HELLO, HELLO, HELLO when making an arrest, this will treble the police force.

Police helmets will be re introduced and made even sillier. The higher a police rank then the higher their hat becomes. At Christmas they will be able to put flashing lights on them and generally decorate them. Once they have achieved the rank of Chief Constable the height of their hats will not allow them to leave their office, which they don’t anyway.

With policies such as these, you can plainly see that I'm the sanest candidate suitable for the role of Cambridgeshire's first elected Official Loony Police Commissioner.

Labour's candidate Cllr Ed Murphy has little to say beyond the usual waffle about resisting cuts...

...while the Conservative candidate Sir Graham Frank James Bright is most famous for his two stints as an MP between 1979 and 1983 when he was the member for Luton East and, following the abolition of Luton East, the MP for Luton South 1983-1997. 

During an undistinguished parliamentary career he rose to the position of PPS to one minister after another and eventually became Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1994-97.  He is most remembered for the Video Recordings Act 1984 and the Entertainments (Increased Penalties) Act 1990 that banned many acid house parties.  He is also, rather ironically for someone standing as a Police Commissioner, a famous manufacturer of artificial sweeteners...... you may make up your own jokes. 

Sir Graham tells readers of his slick website cheerfully that "the pink Sweet’N Low sachets are seen all over the world".  This is true.  However, it is also true that he personally did not actually invent Saccharin (anhydroorthosulphaminebenzoic acid a derivative of coal tar) which has been rather well marketed not just by him but many others since it was first discovered by Constantin Fahlberg in 1878. 

Niether did he invent Sweet'n Low packets which were first introduced in 1957 by Benjamin Eisenstadt and his son, Marvin Eisenstadt as a spin off from sugar packets which they carelessly neglected to patent.  To be fair though Sir Graham does at least have a manifesto:

Genuine Partnership with the public to hold the police to account by setting strategy and effective monitoring

Priority to fight Cambridgeshire’s largest crime problem of anti-social behaviour

Encourage and support more Special Constables

A friendly, easy to use website for the public to track their ideas, my promises and to monitor progress of crime solving

Consultation with all levels of Local Government including Parish Councils

Not to put any additional burden on council tax

Co-operation with neighbouring forces to improve efficiencies and find cost reductions
Upgrade Neighbourhood Watch ... providing better resources and giving greater responsibility similar to London’s Neighbourhood Boards but based on parishes

Co-operation with London in creating a crime reporting app to enable faster and easier reporting of crimes

Ensure a better and faster response to telephone calls to the police from the public

Sir Graham lost his seat in 1997 to Margaret Moran... now most famous for facing 21 counts of fraud and forgery, totalling £80,000 but "unfit to stand trial".

Meanwhile in ...

Cheshire Constabulary

...there are more independents managing to stump up the £5000 deposit.  Cheshire contains Tatton ... the constituency famously stolen by independent Martin Bell from "sleazy" (and now never off the telly) Neil Hamilton...

Sarah Flannery is the Bell endorsed candidate...In 2010 she stood as an independent in the General Election against chancellor George Osborne where she garnered 2243 votes (5% - just enough to hold onto her deposit.

Interestingly we managed to find some policies for the candidates in this area ... or at least some waffle

Sarah Flannery's seven steps to policing in Cheshire are:

I'll be the people's advocate, Independent of any party politics, with links with every town and parish council across Cheshire to make sure I know your views.

I'll support efficient and effective policing through supporting the police service and ensuring a joined-up approach to working with other agencies and partners.

I'll reduce crime by being focussed on more visible police presence, detection rates, re-offending, anti-social behaviour and dealing effectively with offenders.

I'll deliver value for money by supporting what works well and exploring resourceful commissioning that contributes to crime-cutting without sacrificing public safety for profit.

I'll improve accountability and public confidence by publishing regular updates on how your needs are being met - and being honest about what can and can't be done.

I'll provide the best possible service for victims of crime by working with the Criminal Justice System and voluntary groups.

I will represent the views of the young people of Cheshire by exploring opportunities for a Youth PCC, backed by a Youth Police and Crime Panel.


In response Conservative John Dwyer (retired Assistant Chief Constable of the Cheshire Constabulary and former Councillor for Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council) who's daughter is in the Army’s Corps of Music being a professional musician in The Band and Bugles of The Rifles ...has produced a less expansive six point plan for Cheshire:

Increase the number of Special Constables to 1000-aiming to have a Special Constable in every town and village.

Deliver better ways of working-reducing bureaucracy and returning police officers to our streets.

Zero tolerance of yobbish behaviour-bringing to justice the small minority who blight our lives, our Cities, towns and villages.

Driving down crime-through a combination of crime prevention and crime reduction strategies, building on the partnership approach which is already proving successful.

Reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities in road traffic collisions-by adopting a zero tolerance of driving under the influence of drink and drugs and using community intelligence to target offenders.

Making himself readily available to the people of Cheshire, Halton and Warrington-so that they can share their concerns directly with him and influence the way their areas are policed.

While Labour's John Stockton could only manage five key pledges:

Standing up for communities against the Tories 20% cuts to policing and the loss of nearly 250 police in Cheshire by 2015.

Keeping police on the beat with neighbourhood policing; not handing over responsibility to private companies or leaving it just to PCSOs.

Backing a strong and swift response to antisocial behaviour. Victims should be able to get a response within 24 hours.

Being tough on crime and the causes of crime. I will work in partnership with the police, local people and councils to tackle and prevent crime.

Protect the police from political interference. I will set the strategic direction for policing, but will not interfere in operational matters, which is the right and proper duty of the Chief Constable.

...while standing for the Liberal Democrats is Ainsley Arnold ....

....former councillor on both Macclesfield Borough Council
and Cheshire East Council, sitter on police authorities and lover of cliches...

"Public engagement is essential to understand the concerns of local people regarding crime and policing in their area, and to help shape the policing objectives and priorities across Cheshire. We need to fully engage with all residents, to ensure that the views from all parts of our society, especially our most vulnerable are both listened to and acted upon"

...and also standing as an independent is Baroness Newlove...

...who's greatest claim to fame is having had her husband murdered.  Garry Newlove was murdered in August 2007 in Warrington after confronting a gang of drunken youths who were vandalising her car.  Following this tragedy... Baroness Newlove instantly became an expert and started lots of foundations and spent a lot of time writing for "the Sun" where she dispenses such pearls of wisdom as:

"YOU rarely meet a cop these days, if you do they are often overweight.  This is because most of them drive around instead of being where people need them — on the streets. "


"When are lazy parents going to realise life is not a soap opera or a PlayStation game? I’ll tell you — when we strip their benefits, fine them heavily and shame them in the papers. Parents need to instil respect in kids and teach them right from wrong. If kids run wild their parents should be hauled into court alongside them. And if kids get community service, the parents should have to join them."

Having been made a peer by Labour Lord Prescott she sits on the Conservative benches from where she promotes her rather simplistic view of anti-social behaviour - that it's all down to the demon drink.

Meanwhile down Cleveland Police Authority...

...a slightly simpler two horse race is underway between Cllr Barry Coppinger for Labour (who is fighting his campaign on Facebook and Twitter) and Cllr Ken Lupton for the Conservatives (former leader of the Council who has a very slick website)...

Former public health officer and football referee Ken Lupton has a lot to say about himself including ...

On leaving school at 15 I started work as an apprentice fitter and turner with Ashmore Benson and Pease, I changed my career into local government initially as a Public Health Officer and Surveyor but for the last nine years I was Managing Director of Stockton’s Direct Labour Organisation covering such diverse services as Leisure Centre Management, School Catering, Cleansing Services, Grounds Maintenance and Vehicle Maintenance. Successfully managing an organisation with 2000 employees and a multi million pound budget through the rigours of compulsory competition, a changing political environment and in 1996 the total reorganisation of local government with the restructuring of Cleveland County into four Unitary Councils.

...but is a bit thin on actual policy.

A similar two horse race is carrying on in Cumbria Constabulary ...

...between Patrick Leonard for Labour and Richard Rhodes for the Conservatives...

...again former headmaster Richard Rhodes the Conservative candidate has an impressive and swanky website and a very comprehensive manifesto... here represented in a slightly smaller font to accommodate his verbosity...

1. Establish an Executive Committee consisting of the Chief Constable, Chief Executive and Treasurer to determine policy and strategy that is deliverable within existing budgetary constraints. Central to this would be Hot Spot Policing - in which a comprehensive crime mapping exercise will demonstrate where and when criminal activity takes place. This will facilitate the deployment of effective resources to the areas of the County where they are most needed, avoid wasting time and effort and develop the highest level of visibility and response possible.

2. Establish and Office of Public Engagement which will be proactive in facilitating public attitudes, complaints and suggestions by accessing all media outlets, staging public events and advising the Executive Committee on public reaction to policing and crime prevention matters.

3. Establish an Office of Victim Support, which will be responsible for distributing the recently announced government finance for victims as well as coordinating practical help for those whose lives have been affected by crime. This will be done by working with existing voluntary and public sector organisations. No Crime ever has only one victim.

4. Promote Restorative Justice in response to the current government initiative as a means of reducing reoffending and boosting victims' confidence in the system. This will be done by commissioning work from the public, private, voluntary and faith sectors and will have 4 main target areas in the first instance.

5. Anti Social Behaviour Statistics show this to be the greatest area of public concern.

6. Veterans Veterans are the largest single occupational group currently in our prisons. They deserve better.

7. Youth Justice There needs to be greater overall coordination in the handling of youth crime.

8. Rural Crime In Cumbria we have a particular need to address this issue by harnessing local resources.

Promote a Pan-Cumbrian vision and level of activity for dealing with crime across the County by embracing the good work and activity currently being promoted by Local Authorities, Safer Cumbria, Community Safety partnerships, and the new Health and Well Being boards, amongst others. This will include a cooperative approach with the statutory agencies such as the Police, the Probation Service, Youth Offending Service, the Health Authorities and Education Services.

To Conclude
It is worth reflecting on the recent HMIC Inspection- which showed that in the Cumbria Police Authority Area there had already been significant savings whilst retaining high levels of public satisfaction and a lower crime rate. However there is still a need to find a further £4m of savings. This represents a significant challenge but it is my view that the only prospect of success in achieving these savings as well as maintaining the reduction in overall crime is to adopt a positive response. This is the guiding principle behind these proposals linked, of course, with the overriding wish to protect the people of Cumbria.

Apart from the fact point 5 isn't actually a point at all this seems to boil down to creating a lot of offices and committees which will no doubt reduce paperwork.

Erm... I was pressed to find out anything much about Patrick Leonard at all except that he is a former council CEO and the director of a housing association. 

While down Derbyshire Constabulary...

There is again only a two horse race... between Alan Charles of Labour and Simon Spencer of the Conservatives or there was going to be until it turned out that ...

...Cllr Alan Charles of Labour (Police Authority Deputy) stole a purse when he was 13 (or 14)

"I was walking home from school with a friend down a busy shopping high street, playing dare and I took a woman's purse from her shopping bag as we were walking past her.  We were caught and I have to say I was pleased we were caught. I got a very sharp shot across the bows and I have never been in trouble since ...Let's be honest - there are an awful lot of young people who do daft things at 13 or 14 years old.  We don't want this to be a blight on the rest of their lives for them."

Cllr Alan Charles Aged 13

Labour East Midlands said it had been advised by a barrister and legal experts that the decades-old offence would not disqualify Mr Charles from the role after all as he received a conditional discharge as a juvenile but he stood down anyway probably because it's difficult to be tough on juvenile crime when you were almost "in juvy" yourself.  No wonder that his was "a strong voice of opposition to David Cameron's introduction of commissioners – modelled on American sheriffs".

Cllr Simon Spencer (Conservative Deputy Leader of Derbyshire County Council) meanwhile...

...has a massive swanky website which whatever it may lack in policy it more than makes up for in"Simon Says..." tee shirts.

Meanwhile down in Devon and Cornwall...

No less than 7 candidates are fighting it out.  Cllr Nicky Williams for Labour...

"I won't stand by and let the Tories become cheerleaders for the police cuts in Devon and Cornwall..." blah blah blah

Tony Hogg former Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station, Culdrose, managing 3000 personnel and a budget of £81 million for the Conservatives

"I believe Labour is signed up to the necessity for public sector cuts"

While the Liberal Democrats have gone for ex-Police Detective and DCI Burnside lookalike Brian Blake...

who says he would "put public safety first, but also wanted to show how community policing and restorative justice could be used to benefit everyone"

Splitting the Liberal Democrat vote is Brian Greenslade standing independently who was the Former Chairman Devon & Cornwall Police Authority, Former Liberal Democrat Devon County Council Chairman and is now Resources Chair and Board Member APA....

.... who doesn't believe the post should be political despite spending most of his adult life in politics... as you can imagine this opinion has gone down like a lead balloon with many party activists.  However since the part line in London is that the elections are bollocks and wrong (probably because they cant afford to lose 41x£5000 = £205,000 in lost deposits) he somehow hasn't been suspended from the party.  Erm...

As if two Liberal Democrats isn't enough John Smith...

... former member of the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority a former Liberal Democrat county councillor has thrown his hat in the ring as well in order to try and slip the Lib-Dem vote 3 ways...  While not exactly having too many clear policies Mr Smith just clearly doesn't like the whole idea of Police Commissioners and his manifesto is very much simply a huge rant against the whole idea.

He gets top marks in our book for remembering Peel principle number 7

Principle 7 states: “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

Police Authorities were first constituted in 1964 – they were designed to give local community influence over the policing that was done in their area. The structure of local government has changed many times since 1964 and the structure of police authorities has also changed. The structure of modern police authorities was defined in the Police and Magistrates Courts Act of 1994 – its Membership consists of ten councillors and nine independent members from Cornwall, Devon, The Isles of Scilly, Plymouth and Torbay.

So, policing is managed and directed in each force area by the Chief Constable – the Home Secretary provides part of the necessary funding from central taxation and expresses the wishes of government – the Police Authority provides the rest of the funding from council taxes, sets the force budget and defines the priorities for the Chief Constable. The effectiveness of each Authority is measured, using these standards:

· Setting strategic direction and priorities

· Scrutinising performance outcomes

· Achieving results through community engagement and partnerships

· Ensuring value for money and productivity

There have, of course, been some tensions between the three groups involved in providing policing but, generally, the system seems to have worked well over many decades.

One would have thought that a government faced with huge economic problems, at home and abroad and faced with trying to contribute to the maintenance of world order, would not want to waste time and money re-organising internal systems that are working well.   The principle that “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” seems to have been forgotten.

In the last local elections, the voters of various Local Authorities were offered the opportunity to elect Mayors – single figures with huge power.   Most of the referenda resulted in the voters turning down that opportunity, in favour of the local power remaining with the groups of people who make up Councils.   Communities were not given the opportunity to have a referendum on electing Police and Crime Commissioners and, one suspects, that if they had been, the option might well have been rejected.


A late entry is Graham Calderwood an ex solicitor who having spent a lot of time defending criminals thought he'd make up for it by thinking up some better policies in his garden these include the following

1) Something about drugs and cutting dependency

2) Something about crime falling if criminals think they will be caught and if they fear the sentences the courts can impose

3) If cuts have to be made he is "TRULY INDEPENDENT with no party allegiance  with no support of any political party whether for this election on NOVEMBER 15th or any previous election".  I'm not sure if this is actually a good thing ... a man knocking 60 who's never been party political.

4) Lets cut down paperwork.  Easy

And so to the final Devon and Cornwall candidate...

William Morris is head of the "Next Century Foundation" for peace in the Middle East who has decided that he has to do something for people at home as well to avoid turning into a Mrs Jellyby and also believes that "policing is too important an issue to be consumed by party politics".... probably because a political party wont have him.  He was once Special Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Sultanate of Oman.  A position for which there is not usually too much competition since Oman is an Absolute Monarchy ruled by ...

Qabus bin Said who appoints the entire cabinet himself.  Citizens of Oman can vote for Members of Parliament... but the Cabinet is appointed by the monarch.  So a bit like our constitution but in Oman the Sultan really means it when he "asks you to be Prime Minister"...

He also led press delegations to Iraq in 2003 as chairman of the International Media Council and worked closely with Tony Blair's Labour Government and has tried to stop wars in Syria and stuff.  You know when you try to write about a subject that isn't the Iraq Inquiry and...

Anyway down Dorest Constabulary...

an actual real senior policeman is standing.  Former DCI Martyn Underhill most famous for his involvement in solving the Sarah Payne murder case

and his attitude to the whole thing is probably best expressed by his website where after explaining that policing should not be political he boasts that he is the best of both worlds because he's standing in an area he lives in but hasn't served in so there will be no old boy favours nonsense.

For fans of pun based humour the Conservatives have managed to find a candidate called Nick King

Who has little to say about policing but a lot to say about how he comes from generations of great businessmen.  And started his own businesses.  Etc Etc

My family have run their own businesses for seven generations and I followed this trend by starting my own company at the age of 25. Dealing in employee relocation, I steered this company to the top of the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and to win the Virgin Customer Services Award within eight years.

In 2000 I co-founded Rubyz Cabaret Restaurants and a year later opened my own property management company in Bournemouth. I’ve now retired from both businesses and concentrate on my work in politics.

Erm... The Labour Candidate Rachel Rogers meanwhile spends a lot of time on Twitter discussing such vital issues as shrubs, fuchsias, XMas shopping and M6 Services.

which I am sure are vitally important to the role...

While the Liberal Democrats having managed to find a Bank Manager by the name of Andy Canning to put people in the can ...

...who waffles on a lot about restorative justice...

The key thing is to stop re-offending. Once criminals get into the habit of offending and going to prison they become life-long criminals and then are responsible for a large number of crimes. Restorative Justice can break this pattern by stopping first-time offenders from re-offending and over time this greatly reduces the number of crimes. This will make all of our communities safer. Restorative Justice has been introduced successfully in Bridport already and should be expanded to the whole of the Dorset Police area as soon as possible.

In Durham Police Authority...

A fairly simple 2 horse race is going on between Labour's Ronald Hogg ... a former Assistant Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary and Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Police who thanks to a massive publicity blitz has amassed 129 followers on twitter...

...and the Conservative Candidate... 20 year old Nick Varley

...described by Labour's Northumbria Candidate Vera Baird .... "too young".  Erm...

James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South, and Mr Varley's old Conservative Future mate immediately got out of his 28 year old pram...

... accusing Ms Baird of ageism.

What will we be saying next?  That some people are too old to run? Vera Baird’s experience is of losing her driving licence for breaking the law while she was Solicitor General.

Who knows.... but in Essex Police Authority...

Photo credits.  Everyone stolen from their own self publicity except Gary Oldman
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