CUTTING crime not police is the intention of John Stockton should he get your vote in the police and crime commissioner vote next week.

The Labour candidate has hit out at Government cuts of 20 per cent on police budgets on the campaign trail.

John said: “Knocking on doors I have not met anyone who says we should have less police on the streets.

“People must realise that the thin blue line is getting too thin.

“Nobody else is mentioning this issue, it’s almost like the elephant in the room.”

The Halton councillor who is a retired teacher says if elected he would look to find other ways of increasing police budgets through raising levels of funding from council tax payments.

“I will consult the people of Cheshire,” he added. “If we paid this amount of police precepts it will put this amount of police officers on the streets.”

And he will be looking to work closely with parish councils too.

He added: “In the county we have some of the richest one per cent of population and some of the 10 per cent of poorest population in the county.

“The key is managing community policing. We have 19 neighbourhood units in the region and its about placing resources where they are needed.

“We are budgeted for 222 CSOs and I will be going to parish councils to say can you provide funding.”

But he is opposed to outsourcing front line services.

Despite his party’s views against the introduction of police and crime commissioners he believes some fears about the new role have not come to light.

John said: “It’s well known the Labour Party opposed these changes at Parliament but we are were we are. We were not going to let the Tories and Lib Dems have a free run on these positions.”

Preventing crime from happening in the first place is also one way he hopes to continue to cut crime and John will look to work with other services to lower reoffending rates.

“I will look to work closely with probation to make sure when people are involved in the criminal justice service they are not left high and dry,” he said. “If they are dealt with properly they are much less likely to reoffend.

“The challenge is to continue to drive down levels of crime with a diminishing budget.”