11/11/2012 Sunday Politics South West


Similar Content

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


Download Subtitles