Browse content similar to 11/11/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
In the South West, the biggest crime rise in England and Wales
sets the scene for the election of Devon and Cornwall's first Police
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2149 seconds
Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in the South West. Today
we are talking about the brave new world in policing which begins on
Thursday when we collect our first Police and Crime Commissioners. We
will be hearing for from the candidates for the top job in Devon
and Cornwall, and hearing from some guests.
Tamsin Melville has been looking at the major changes about take place.
When the looters hit Branscombe Beach in Devon after the Napoli ran
aground, it was the then Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall
Police who stepped up to defend it allegations of ineptitude. If we
find that we are -- if we find that they are selling it, we will deal
with that through the theft Act. For a decade it has been the chief
who is the public face of the force, but that is about to change.
Do most important way we are restoring the link between the
police and the public is through the election of Police and Crime
Commissioners. The new commissioners will replace
police authorities. Seen here cavorting to put up the police part
of council tax, Devon and Cornwall authority has not often been in the
headlines. Have you heard of the Police Authority? A I have not.
do you think it makes the funding decisions? Or I have no idea.
you ever heard of the police authority. I have not.
A made up of local councillors, the police authorities on its way out,
with its powers going to the new commissioners.
The majority of people in Camborne are not aware of the role the
Police Authority plays in setting the force's budget. The Government
hopes that giving this power to an elected Commissioner will give
people more of a say. The chief constable will still run
the force, but it is the PCC's job to hold them to account. He or she
will be finalised the force budget and have the powers to hire and
fire chief constables. They will also hold the purse strings for
victims services. Those who represent them are worried. My main
concern is that whoever gets elected boards a fair commissioning
process in place, so that the money is allocated in a transparent way.
In the Commissioner is holding the chief constable to account, who
keeps an eye on the Commissioner? Mike Firbank is the rector of
Camborne. He says it is not clear yet how much influence it has.
hope the panel will have a really good relationship with their
Commissioner, and be able to support them whilst also asking
difficult and challenging commission -- questions. But all we
can do is see where this all Leeds. In it is a big job for weather gets
it, and with question marks of a public engagement, they are fears
of a how much of a mandate the Police and Crime Commissioner will
really have. By I am joined by Jim Webster, a
former police chief here in Plymouth, and by a political
analyst Adrian Lee. Jim, you had a lot to do with the
old Police Authority. How much of the difference is this new role
likely to have? For the first couple of years we could be in a
phoney war. I think we will find that the commissioner will come in,
have some ideas, but quite quickly find that they cannot change things
quickly. There are budgets already set, and actually for the average
police officer on the street this will not affect them too much.
Government insists that he or she will not interfere, but a Home
Office website says they will be responsible for everything from
CCTV and graffiti to tackling in gangs and drug dealing. That sounds
pretty hard core staff. I can't imagine them getting their hands to
dirty with that. If you look at their first 100 day plan, it is
almost impossible. The box that they are going to set the budget,
it is not going to happen. The police will vote at the policing
plan, and offer it to the commissioner. The commissioner will
sign it off. But the Budget will be said. There is no way they will
step in... Should people vote than in any case? I think it is good to
vote, but it is quite useful that the prospective low turnout divided
over ten candidates means quite a no mandate, and I would not expect
such a person to make too much of an impact too early on. Adrian,
what is your view? The powers are on the face of it really a rather
significant. But they will actually be considerably constrained, not
only by budgetary factors in terms of those factors restricting
manoeuvre, but also by the police and crime come -- Police and Crime
Panel. The panel member did not seem particularly confident. He is
one of the Coptic independence. rest of the panel on councillors
drawn from across Devon and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly,
including the mayor of Torbay and the leader of Devon County Council.
Are you telling me that despite everything the Government is saying,
and the time and money being spent on this, not much is going to
change? Guthrie bodies that have to work together to make it work. --
there are three bodies. The police constable, the Police and Crime
Commissioner and the Police and Crime Panel. With a Home Secretary
sitting somewhere in the background. Jim, is this a waste of time?
quite different in London - you have their Police and Crime
Commissioner, who is the mayor. He has access to the budget of
Transport for London, the fire brigade, so he can bring to bear
lots of budgets outside policing. Inside the -- in the PCC here, he
or she will have access to the police budget and that is basically
it. So it is hard to think they will make a huge difference.
There are no fewer than ten candidates standing for the new job
but in Devon and Cornwall. We couldn't fit them all into the
studio but we caught up with all of them to ask why we should vote for
them. I have got the experience, their
commitment, the drive, the energy. I have run my own business for
almost 20 years I am fully committed to maintaining as many of
our powers in this country as possible. We should not be
contributing �50 million a day to the European Union, but we should
take it back and stop the cuts in Devon & Cornwall Police. As a
former police officer I have experience of policing. I have
dealt with the members of the public who deserve and pay for a
better police force. So I think I am the candidate with the most
experience in dealing with members of the public, which is what the
PCC is about. People should vote for me because this job is all
about people, and joining up the police and its community. I have
had 33 years in the Royal Navy Blair I ran big organisations, I
went into industry and then I worked for the specialist youth
organisation. I have been a duty solicitor for 20 year is. I know
where we can make efficiencies. I am generally -- genuinely
independent. I am not a council- owned one minute for a party, then
one minute independent. I want this to happen. I am focused on
preventing crime before it happens. I am a professional, not a
politician, and I am truly committed to working for the people
of Devon and Cornwall. I'm used to working with multi million pound
budgets. In these challenging times, we are going to need partners to
come to the table to deliver multi- agency services. The police cannot
work in isolation, so we need to invest in partnership to release
police to do what they do best, police our streets. I was the roast
recent chairman of the police authority. -- most recent. I am a
people person, I want to get the principles of looking after people
established even better. A I am a local businessman, a former Royal
Marine of 13 years' service. I want to hold the chief constable and
senior officers to account for their actions and reactions. Once
word sums it up - experience. I have been the chairman of the
police authority, and served on the national body for police
authorities. I have been in public service for a long time as leader
of North Devon Council. Be pushing vote for me because I'm going to
deal with the street crime. We have a problem with alcohol-related
crime. We have had 20,000 incidence of violent crime in the past year
here in Devon and Cornwall. That is an increase of 10% in the level of
violent crime. I will introduce zero-tolerance policing to deal
with that. We cannot go on like this, it is not fair on our young
people, the young -- largest victims of crime.
If you're watching in Dorset or Somerset, you can see your local
BBC website. Four candidates in Avon and Somerset.
The far South West is not seen as a hotbed of lawmen of -- enormous
mess, but the candidate for that region is facing at a worrying
challenged. Murray and Amanda runs a
hairdressing salon in Tevez them. A few weeks ago, burglars smashed a
window and took their say. I was devastated. We were not cut --
covered by insurance, so me and Amanda lost that money.
By Dobyn there has been a spate of burglaries in the last few weeks.
photography shop local to ask, are letting Agents, a couple of
hairdressers, a couple of charity shops. None of us are safe. We
would like to see a few more police officers, more CCTV.
But latest figures show a decrease in crime of 6% across England and
Wales. But for Forces show an increase - Northamptonshire, Essex,
North Wales and Devon and Cornwall, which is up by 7%. Our region has
by far the largest increase in crime.
The figures in Devon and Cornwall show that burglary is up by 16%,
robbery is up by 19%, and violent crime by 22%.
Last year we had an increase. This year we have reverse that trend by
working with our partners in health and education. My commitment is
that we will continue to reduce crime of role. The Police
Federation believes the increase in crime it is as a direct result of
Government cuts. Hundreds of police officers marched on London earlier
this year to protest. Devon & Cornwall Police plan to cut 700
officers by 2015 as part of plans to save �51 million. In a recent
report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, they
agreed that Devon and Cornwall is one of five forces particularly
affected by police cuts, but whilst crime rose here, the other four all
achieved cuts in crime, with the biggest decrease been seen in Brent
-- Gwent. A police here failing? They have
their fair share of challenges - the first is size. Devon and
Cornwall makes up the biggest police force area in England and
Wales. The second challenge is tourism, which swells the
population. Then there is the on going pop -- problem of sufficient
funding. Devon and Cornwall have faced
severe cuts, and inevitably that has had an impact on front line
policing more than they would probably want it to.
The University of Exeter surveyed more than 2000 people. They ask if
people would pay an extra �50 tax each year it bought more police on
the streets. 42% of respondents in the South West were willing to pay
�50 a year extra, compared to 29% were opposed.
Marie is one of those who does not want to pay more. She once more
police on the streets, but things she pays enough already. -- she
once more police. I am joined by a criminologist at
Exeter University. Jim Webster, the combination of
these crime figures and this report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of
Constabulary does not reflect well on Devon & Cornwall Police.
Police crime figures are always challenging. They are always prone
to political interpretations. I would also like to say that the
long-term trend for Devon and Cornwall has been down a... We have
not got the official Office of National Statistics figures. Go I'm
going up at any problem -- time is a problem. But you get larger
percentage swings in Devon and Cornwall. Bernice Crime stats are
Always Ready difficult league -- easily misinterpreted. But the
other forces identified by the Her Majesty's Inspectorate of
Constabulary have all achieved reductions. Clent has the biggest
reduction in the country. -- Gwent. A I know from my time in the force,
you can look at all sorts of statistics to prove all kinds of
all arguments. You are the expert on this. No Biddy is the expert!
But how do we make some sense of it? Jin is right, if you look at
the figures overall, Devon and Cornwall has a low base, there has
been a decline in crime stats. Week are having a serious blip. More
idea think that is happening? Other authorities with severe police cuts
have reduced crime. It could quite easily be that we have been hit by
travelling criminals. There has been Crime tourism in the way that
there is ordinary tourism. The manpower figures do not allow for
that sort of thing when it hits you. There have been a burglary and
pickpocketing gangs moving across the South and they have gone back
out of the country, coming from France and Belgium for example.
Research will tell us what happened about ten years too late... We will
come back to both of you long before that, but now we talk to the
candidates. We asked them whether Devon and Cornwall should have more
frontline officers and if so how they would provide them.
Devon and Cornwall force needs a more visible policing presence. I
would for Chris -- focus on PCS Os. They are friendly, and get to know
the people in the streets. They would be my focus for recruitment.
Police officers in the street have two effects, they reassure the
public and they did their criminals. I have seen criminals and talked to
them, and visible patrols are definitely a deterrent to those
criminals. Rover gets this job as PCC has to put that down as and one
of his or her priorities in insuring that we see more police
constables, PCSO has and specials out on the streets. Go in an ideal
world we would like more frontline police officers, but we know these
are challenging times. 81% of the budget is on staffing at the moment,
and we know that the Government is cutting 20% of that. So that is
going to be difficult. We are going to have to be much more creative
about how we release police officers so that they can patrol on
the front line. We have to relax the cuts we are currently suffering.
When I was chairman of the police authority are increased the number
of officers, we did that with good evidence to support that. We cannot
allow the slide to go all the way back, and if elected my first
priority will be to stop the slide and see how we can sustainably
resource increasing police officer numbers again. We have to make
better use of the ones that we have got, and cut down bureaucracy and
get officers back on the beat. Have independent, dedicated teams doing
the interviewing. Encourage Specials and neighbourhood watch.
The public want to get involved, and that is a way of helping them
do it. The policy of the UK Independence Party is to get as
many frontline police as possible working around Devon and Cornwall.
The question we have to face up with his these cuts that are
looming. Winner to be realistic and realise that there may well be cuts
and they may affect front line policing, no matter how much any of
us want to stop it. We want more frontline officers, but we have to
be realistic, we have to work with the cuts. We need to argue for a
better slice of the funding cake for Devon and Cornwall, and also of
said police cuts through more Special Constables, more police
volunteering, to get more police out on the streets. Devon &
Cornwall Police need more frontline officers. When I was a member of
the police authority, I voted for an increase in funding to allow the
number of officers to increase to 3,500. I think that is a better
figure. I regret the fact that the Government is now making cuts, and
I would want to redress the imbalance in the number of officers.
We need more officers in the front line. We have 3,300 presently
holding warrant cards. Too many are used doing secondary tasks, and red
tape is keeping them in the offices. But the stations are accessed by
appointment only. We need to get these officers in a frontline role,
interacting with the community they serve. I prefer that term local
policing, rather than front line policing. We cannot cut local
policing, we have to find ways and means of maintaining that. We can
do that for the next two years. Some of the cuts so far have been
quite draconian. Thereafter, if the Government persists in its
disgraceful behaviour, we are falling off a cliff. We have to
hold on to our front line policing. How much of this is bound to
frontline officers? We are getting obsessed with it. The acting chief
put his finger on what is required, and I am disappointed not to have
heard the candidates' strategy for working with education, health,
social workers, probation. The police cannot cope on their own,
and that is the criticism that be Inspectorate of Constabulary made
of the Devon and Cornwall -- Devon and Cornwall strategy -- Devon and
Cornwall strategy. Officers on the beat, the research shows that
officers have a slight effect on deterring crime, but there is no
difference between one officers on the beat and two of three more. The
impact is slight and it does not grow with the number of officers.
him, what about the idea of moving the balance between police officers
and community support officers? candidates' use of valid and
interesting, but police is for more than patrolling. We also want to
have detectives investigating rape, murder, have paedophiles so veiled
and arrested. -- serve failed. I would hope that when the candidates
or in post, after a year or two of learning the role, they have a more
visionary approach to what they can do. Maybe looking at structures, a
amalgamations, just thinking about more police on the streets will not
make savings or solve crime. There is more candidate information