The four candidates for Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner state their case
ADAM SIMMONDS – CONSERVATIVES
Working with Northamptonshire’s biggest employer I managed multi-million-pound budgets and drove efficiency. I have worked closely with police, fire and ambulance services. I want to combine my passion and experience to be the county’s police and crime commissioner and make Northamptonshire the safest place in England.
I will represent you and your family fearlessly and tirelessly with an independence of outlook and judgment, never giving way to vested interests. I am a Christian with strong working relationships with other faith groups and a local charity volunteer.
Change is brought about by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The Safest Place in England campaign is about changing the status quo, challenging perceived ideas and traditional solutions. It will bring fresh leadership, momentum and a renewed motivation and will only be achieved by a new generation of leadership.
If I earn your vote, I will:
Put more police on our streets by cutting red-tape, form-filling, top-heavy management and expensive offices.
Better support and equip the police. It is not all about numbers of police; it is about how effectively they are used.
Give more powers to PCSOs and relaunch the Specials.
Put victims of crime first and reducing violent crime by 40 per cent.
Enable us all to reclaim our communities through zero tolerance for street drinking, drugs and anti-social behavior.
Improve response times.
Break the cycle of reoffending.
Recognise and better protect the special needs of rural communities.
Give budgets to communities, involving them more in their own protection.
Help Northamptonshire become the safest place in England.
Every individual, young and old, deserves respect, safety and justice; I will speak up for everyone.
As an elected police and crime commissioner, the buck will stop with me. I will be accountable to everyone.
I want Northamptonshire made safer and I believe I can make this happen.
JOHN NORRIE – Independent
Born in Scotland, I have lived in Northamptonshire for 27 years. I’m married and chairman of Northampton Advanced Motorists.
Having left secondary modern school at 15, I have since gained a bachelor’s degree and a PhD. I have worked as an independent professional for nearly 30 years scrutinising performance and asking probing questions. I’ve sought to change the way people think about what they do and to take responsibility for improving what they do. I have an international reputation in this area.
I am not a party politician.
I am passionate about Northamptonshire and its police force. I have extensive experience in improving the performance of public and private organisations. I have worked with police forces and more recently with Northamptonshire Police on very successful improvement initiatives. Prior to this I served a term as an independent member of the Northamptonshire Police Authority.
I want to bring real accountability to policing and large parts of the criminal justice system (CJS). Using my influence, the public mandate and commissioning powers to move the CJS to a much more joined-up way of working, redress the balance between offenders and victims and allow the majority more of a say in what outcomes it should be achieving.
I will focus on communication with the public, and galvanising the professionals across the CJS. It is communication, openness, transparency and accountability that will give the PCC legitimacy.
I have the qualities required of a PCC – good understanding of how organisations work; understanding of policing at all levels; credibility with senior officers; a proven record as a good communicator; proven ability to influence people and outcomes; the passion, experience and enthusiasm for this job.
Paul Varnsverry – LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
My career has incorporated constant and substantial involvement with the police. Since 1998 I have been chairman of the British Standards committee for police riot, ballistic and stab protection, directly liaising with the international police, military and security communities.
Post 9/11, a high-level recommendation resulted in me working on protective equipment for first responders dealing with potential “dirty bomb” terrorist attacks and, for nine years, I was specialist technical advisor to an ACPO subcommittee, drafting police national operational requirements.
I was elected a Northampton borough councillor in 2007 and later appointed deputy leader. Through neighbourhood management, working with police safer community teams, £1.8m of new investment into deprived communities was secured, driving down crime and anti-social behaviour.
I also work within commercial organisations, from owner-operator firms to multi-nationals, assisting their business operations and management. My career has provided me with the experience to face the challenges lying ahead for me as police and crime commissioner (PCC).
My main priorities are putting more police on the streets, encouraging closer working between the police and local communities to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, putting victims first, effective action to protect women from domestic violence and rape and cutting deaths and injuries on our roads.
The public are the best source of information the police have and anything which undermines that relationship must be addressed. Better feedback on how reports of incidents are dealt with is essential to build confidence and trust. The criminal justice system often re-victimises victims. The initiatives I propose will put victims’ interests first.
Road traffic collisions on our county’s roads need to be reduced. I have a number of initiatives that involve working with others to achieve this.
The role of PCC for Northamptonshire and the responsibilities accompanying it demand the highest standards of ability, honesty and integrity.
Jim MacArthur – UKIP
I have been dedicated to fighting crime all my working life and have held senior positions in various police services. I also served in the RAF Police and the Special Air Service Regiment.
Latterly, for more than 25 years, I was the senior executive responsible for fighting crime – nationwide and worldwide – for two major UK companies, each far larger than Northamptonshire Police.
Additionally, I was a member of the European Airport and Seaport Police Association and attended EU security committee meetings. A paper I wrote on security was the basis for EU legislation. Until last August, when I resigned to stand in this election, I was a Special Constable with Northamptonshire Police.
I am standing as a UK Independence Party candidate, but I am not accepting any party funding. As police and crime commissioner, I will not permit political considerations to play any part in my decision-making.
It is difficult to give a full detailed list of priorities in this short address. But by consulting my website (www.jimmacarthur.com), to view my full manifesto, you will see that among other things I intend to prioritise police responses to violent crime, domestic abuse, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour.
I shall also be promoting a very robust attitude by our police officers towards the behaviour of those criminal elements which blight our society and impact so adversely on the lives of law-abiding citizens. I will ensure the needs of the victims are prioritised over those of the criminals.
However, I am concerned to reduce re-offending rates and stop young people spiralling into a life of crime. I will be prioritising investigations into the underlying causes of their behaviour and promoting restorative justice programmes.
These very often not only help victims come to terms with the after-effects of a crime perpetrated on them but also help the criminals understand better the corrosive effect of their action on the victims’ quality of life. Hopefully attending such programmes will give criminals cause to reflect on their actions and deter them from re-offending.