After fighting against policing cuts for nearly four years, I am hugely relieved that the government has seen sense in suspending further cuts. However, I’m genuinely appalled that it took a terrorist atrocity in Paris combined with concerns for their political credibility to persuade the Government to do so, rather than genuine concerns about the safety and quality of life of the people
I am not a politician, but I was born and bred in North Yorkshire and my heart and soul is in our County. I have come to a point, as have many, where I simply cannot abide another five years of political nonsense from Westminster.
This has led to unchallenged Government policy being channelled through a weak Police and Crime Commissioner, and is having a profound effect on the delivery of our local policing in North Yorkshire.
I cannot stand by and watch policing levels and capacity regressing back to the 1970’s. We are all sick and tired of being spoon-fed government spin that crime is falling and all is well in frontline policing.
This simply isn’t what we are experiencing right in front of our eyes in our own communities.
For the last five years this has been presided over by our Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner.
Predatory cross-border criminals and reduced police visibility and accessibility has led to a loss of confidence and feelings of vulnerability in rural communities. Recently, in the biggest rural crime survey ever conducted, approximately 70% of those taking part said they had lost confidence in policing. It breaks my heart to hear this.
We are experiencing rising crime and anti-social behaviour in our towns and cities – not the picture our Government and some current PCCs paints at all.
For these reasons, and with the help and support of my family, and a group of experienced supporters, I am going to stand for election as an independent candidate in the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner election in May.
It is a daunting prospect for any ordinary person. This is politically a Conservative county and I do not have the machinery of a major political party funding me and oiling the election campaign wheels. However, what we are seeing develop within policing both nationally and in North Yorkshire certainly doesn’t chime with the traditional values of any ‘party of law and order’ that I recognise.
Do not relax at the Chancellors recent announcement of no further cuts to policing. It is not over yet and battle is just over the horizon.
The Government was recently sent back to the drawing board with its bungled new Police Funding Formula; a formula that was so far off the mark for the policing of North Yorkshire it was frankly incredible.
It would have meant the loss of an additional £16 million of central funding for our County. We await the revised formula next year.
I’m going to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in, and I’ll take no nonsense.
I despise political spin and I will make no apology to Westminster for being a plain speaking Yorkshireman fighting for the effective policing of my home county. “You can either shout from the touchline or put your boots on and get stuck in, lad,” as my dad would say.