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Eric Pickles joins crime commission campaign trail
11:00am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
GIVING the public its say on how the police is run will improve the way crime is tackled in the town.
So said Communities Minister Eric Pickles when he hit the campaign trail with Conservative police and crime commissioner candidate John Dwyer in Stockton Heath on Friday.
The top tory believes the new role, which will take the place of police authority panels, will help free up the police to concentrate on tackling crime while giving public the chance to approve or object through the vote of how their service is being handled.
Mr Pickles said: “The public has somebody to contact, someone to press, to blame.
“This is a job that requires talking to the community and it’s going to be John’s job delivering exactly what needs to be.”
In the face of criticism from some quarters over the newly created role’s political slant Mr Pickles said many countries around the world had police commissioners and the previous panels were mostly made up of councillors which meant politics was already involved in the role.
And he is backing John Dwyer to deliver for the borough.
AS a former assistant chief constable of Cheshire Police John Dwyer believes he has the inside track on what the new police and crime commissioner will be facing.
He said: “We are about to enter unchartered waters, if you see the police force as a ship doesn’t it make sense to have a captain of the ship who knows how it works and how the crew operate.
“I don’t need to know how it works, I have been there for 30 years.”
One of his flagship policies should he be elected will be to increase the number of special constables from 450 to 1,000 in four years.
“The public desperately want to see more police officers on the beat and in the current climate that’s going to be difficult. I have to manage that expectation,” said John.
“We want volunteers from the community to take up the role of special constables or parish constables.
“These people will police these communities because they’re part of that community.”
John rules out any front line police roles being outsourced to private companies but is openminded over a study into whether administrative roles could be performed by a third party.
He believes parishes and town councils will be a vital link for him to the communities across Warrington and will look to work with them on the policing issues affecting the diverse range of communities in the borough.
And he says there will be no party politics for him if elected in the face of criticism of the roles being too politician.
“In my selection process I said I won’t be towing the party line if I don’t think it was right for the police and with that message the party selected me,” he added.