04/11/2012 Sunday Politics West


04/11/2012

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Including UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and David Willetts on Lord Heseltine's growth plan.


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Transcript


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In the West: Fighting to be top of the cops. We will be quizzing the

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candidates hoping to run Avon and Somerset Police. But with cuts and

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2066 seconds

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You join us live for the Sunday Politics in the West. It is pretty

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cold out today. Today, the battle to be police commissioner. It is

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less than two weeks to polling day but what are the issues and who

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will you vote for? What will the new person at the top actually do

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for their money? The elections take place right across the west in

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Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire but we will turn

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the spotlight on the largest forced, that is Avon and Somerset. --

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largest force. We have all for what candidates in the same room. They

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are the Lib Dem at Peter Levene he is a Bristol councillor. Ken Madoc.

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Sue Mountstevens, she is the only independent and a former magistrate.

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And also Labour's Jon Savage. I will give you each a short time to

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give us your top priority. We will start with John Savage. The top

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priority is we have to set a budget and there is not a lot of time

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after being appointed. Anyone who kids themselves there are easy

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solutions to the big problems is kidding themselves. We need to sit

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down and talk and listen to people. Sue Mountstevens. I want to keep

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party politics out of policing. I want to be sure we are doing what

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the residents of Avon and Somerset want not what Westminster once.

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Madoc. The main thing is to cut crime. If we cut crime, we cut the

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amount of distress caused to victims and the amount of work

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needed to buy the entire judicial system. Pete Levy. We need to do

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what the Government should have done, find out how we explain to

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the public what a police and crime commissioners can do and re-engage

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with a demoralised police force. The Chief Constable of Avon and

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Somerset is a man of many years' experience. He is a respected chief

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constable. Is there a single issue you could say, you have got that

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wrong and I will come here and tell you how to do it? I do not think so.

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He is the chief constable and he is a professional police officer, he

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has learned that. He is supported by an excellent road. -- excellent

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group. The PCC role is completely different. If you look at the

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statistics for Avon and Somerset, the crime reduction is amazing. We

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need to find ways of keeping that going. A lot of people will say,

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what is the point of this? There are big changes coming. The changes

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are to hold the police to account, in a democratic way, that has never

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been done before. That is a substantial change. We know there

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are big shortages of money coming in. We need to make sure there is a

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big police power. At his right. need to open the police up -- that

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is right. We need to get the public more involved in the police hunt

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for the police to go out to the community and explain to them why

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they are doing things. Whoever gets elected on Thursday week will take

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charge at a difficult time. Hanging over every force is the need for

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cuts. Police numbers are falling, morale is down, sick levels are up.

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On Thursday 15th November, everybody living in England and

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Wales outside London will have the right to vote for a police and

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crime commissioners. It went down well at her party conference but

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the Home Secretary's changes have not be welcomed outside the hall.

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Earlier this year, police staged a show of anger and frustration. Tens

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of thousands marched in London. Complaints were numerous but mostly

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driven by the 20% cut in funding imposed by the Government. 600 came

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up from Avon and Somerset. That is nearly as many officers as the

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force is losing. In the last Labour government, police have prospered.

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Numbers rose to record levels. In the age of austerity, they have

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fallen back. It is not just the cuts that have hurt morale, so to

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have plans to change pay and pensions. A bespectacled lawyer

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armed only with a pen. Tom Winsor strikes fear into coppers. He has

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just been appointed Chief Inspector of Constabulary after carrying out

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two major reviews. They are controversial changes and they

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include cutting the starting rate of pay, pushing back the retirement

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age and brainy in the possibility of pay cuts for unfit officers. --

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and bringing in the possibility. It has not gone down well. What Tom

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Winsor is doing is contributing to a suppressed feeling of morale

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because it forces this impression that individuals have that they are

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not valued or appreciated, they are not literally valued through the

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pay packet. A cross all ranks, there is discontent. The local

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Police Federation say officers feel like they have been beaten and

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robbed. We have the 20% budget cuts, the reviews on a policing. I think

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that PCC will come in half way through everything going on and

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they will have to deal with it. Government are spending millions on

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scary adverts, trying to get people to vote and thousands is being

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spent by candidates. What I am seeing in a lot of manifestos is so

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am very bland statements about fighting crime, fighting the cuts.

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The reality is most police and crime commissioners will have to

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sit down after the election and work out how they are going to

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solve the problem of fulfilling these promises when the police

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resource cake is getting smaller and will continue to get smaller.

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Theresa May was left in no doubt at this year's conference. Stand by

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your vision! In it will be up to her newly elected proteges to see

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if they can turn the she is into cheers. Police numbers are falling.

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What are you going to get done? How can you do anything when the number

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of people on the streets is falling? It is about the commission

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element. It is additional budgets coming under the control of the

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police and crime commissioner. It is engaging with the voluntary

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sector and helping them. They have been helpful with bringing crime

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figures down and bringing detection rates up. He people will be

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knocking on your door, saying, I want a policeman. You will have to

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say, we do not have the people. whole of the public service is

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facing this. It is a reality. It is not about police on the beat only,

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it is about -- is about officers being available. Sue Mountstevens,

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are you satisfied you can do anything, given that the budget is

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boring? I am going to make a difference. The real difference is

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we need to target persistent offenders. -- is falling. That is

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the highest problem. We cannot make a difference and the role of the

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PCC will be to work together as a whole. -- we can make a difference.

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Times are very tough. We know what a financial mess the country is in.

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It is only right that every part of the public sector will have to take

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its share of putting that right and getting us back on an even keel. We

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can pull off a pretty neat trick here. We can get more for less. I

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have a great deal of experience of business and public service. I

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think we can close the difficult circle and get more for less.

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are to be happy the force spends over �6 million a year on overtime?

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In business, the systematic working of overtime is symptomatic of

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managerial responsibility for so my straight answer is no match.

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would argue against that. There has to be flexibility in overtime. We

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do not decide to, as a police commissioner, about when someone is

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murdered or raped and therefore that over time has to come in

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because we have to follow that process through. You would keep the

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overtime budget? That is too simple -- simplistic. When the situation

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calls for it, of course we need all hands on deck. But the working of

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Bovis -- systematic overtime on a regular basis his managerial

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irresponsible. He lorry former policeman. What to do you think? --

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you are a former policeman. I think Tom Winsor and Hutton have

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demoralised the police force. They have taken away their feeling of

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being required. I know the police are doing this but I want to do

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everything in my power to make sure they are rewarded for the job they

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do. Not many people get over time these days. You sign a contract a

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new work when you work. It is 2% of the total budget. It is not right

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to bring it up as a bland figure. It is not way you can do the most

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significant change. A Avon and Somerset Police spend �60 million

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on pensions every year. Very high figures. The employee contribution

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is 12.7 million. There is hardly anyone in the 4th over 55. Can we

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afford a force like that? -- in that the force. A pension is to be

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organised by Parliament. The government decides on the pension.

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It would be ridiculous there is one pension for Avon and Somerset and

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another... We should be fighting from within it for change?

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cannot change the contracts that exist, in my view. It is the reward

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for the job they do. It seems they rages you should change that. We

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have to think about how we can level at the balance. -- it seems

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outrageous. It is about the future. We can't go on forever with this

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great percentage. We have to take into account the Constabulary and

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the police authority by dealing with cuts of 43 min him pounds over

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three years. It is delivering more for less. -- �43 million. We have

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heard morale, we saw the police that the demonstration, morale is

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low. Is that something that bothers you? Of course it bothers me. The

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only way we will get a result is with a well selected and well

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organised force with a high morale. In you want more for less, that is

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unlikely? We can work smarter. We can make more use of electronic

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gadgets which will mean every individual officer will be able to

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be much more productive. I believe great manager and a ship and

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leadership is the key. -- great management. Many people are unclear

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about what the job will be. Our reporter has been a daydreaming

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about the role and what it would be like if he were elected.

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So I got the job. Apart from having goals such as setting targets, the

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budget and the ability to hire the Chief Constable, what else is there

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to do to earn my �65,000 salary? I spent a few hours this morning at

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police headquarters but that only took a few hours. I have checked

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the handbook from the Home Office but that does not tell me much

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about the role. I do know a man who has some ideas. I would say it is a

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full-time job and you must treat it like that. It will be more and was

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then you expect because the role is in police and crime commissioner

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and the crime it is important. Policing is doing well in the

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county. Crime is going down and public confidence is rising. But

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you need to tackle the criminal justice side of things. It is a

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full-time job. With no job description how will the

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commissioner filled the diary? I wonder what the real life

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candidates in Gloucestershire think they will be doing. If I am

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representing their views so I have got to know what they think. I have

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visited every corner of the county, listening to what people want from

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their police force and in terms of their strategies. It would not be a

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Monday to Friday job. You need to find out what people want. I would

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spend a lot of time here, having briefings with the chief constable

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and the police staff. There would be little time spent here in police

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headquarters. It is out there with the public, carrying on the work we

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have been doing, which is representing them and finding out

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their views. There will be an element of going out a meeting

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different organisations, meeting people, holding sessions with

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different groups. That is important. There is no structure so it will be

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seeing what the role brings and what people want. Gloucestershire's

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candidates agree. It is about giving the public a voice. What to

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do the public one? A I would think it is probably a good idea. A bit

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of a shake-up. -- what to do the public want? If it is hard to say

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whether this person will have enough experience. Not get rid of

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any more community police officers. They do the job well. What people

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want to see generally is police on the straight. They do not want to

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see the cutbacks that are coming. Zero-tolerance on everything from

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graffiti to throwing cigarettes out of windows. Everything. Everything

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that starts right down here that needs -- that leads to larger crime.

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I do not know what they are going to do. In my day in charge, I have

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spoken to the public, met with the police and made some big decisions,

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like appointing a chief constable. I agree the budget. And I said the

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force's targets. It seems a this job will be what ever the

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commissioner makes of it. One of these four people will be in charge.

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It is a big job. It is a very big job and an important job. I have

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been on thousands of doorsteps in the last few months and I can tell

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you people want to be allowed to go about their business, day-by-day

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without any fear or insecurity. What I can bring to that is a fresh

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look at the police force and that he does the system to make sure

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that happens. -- and the judicial system. People want to see more

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police officers and less crime. That is not very difficult. We have

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a cut. We have to take on board we have a �43 million cut. Damping is

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going to get worse. Damping is the Government taking that some of the

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money they should be allocated to Avon and Somerset. That will

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increase because we are going to have the community safety fund

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damping. We will have less money. We cannot just broke police

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anywhere. We have to target specific places. -- we cannot just

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go Road police anywhere. You want to target. You want money in

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individual units. A lot of people will say, we want to see officers

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on the beach. I you going to say, you cannot have them? -- on the

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beat. They need to see officers when they need to see them. This is

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not an instant thing, cutting crime. If we want to do that, the

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advantages of this job, it is getting in touch with the public.

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The rest of it is getting in touch with the rest of society. If we

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want to cut crime, we have got to do something about education and do

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something about the great amount of money we are spending on the wrong

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things. Let me give you a hypothetical. Say the chief

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constable comes to you and says, we have this lovely village, a few

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murders but it is very quiet. We do not needed police station there.

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You say, can I closer? What do you say? -- can I closed it? The it has

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looked at the evidence. When police stations are being used once or

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twice in 24 hours, you would not keep them open. A public will say

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they want it open. But let us get the police to where the residents

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are. We have gone through this process. I want an inquiry office.

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If you have got a building open, Monday to Friday and There are one

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or two people going in a day... is horses for courses. How will we

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do a job in reducing crime and reduce infrastructure? In Bristol,

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they are going to have drunk tanks on the weekend to deal with trunks.

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It will save the pressure on the NHS. Is your view to facilitate

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this all say, I do not want drunkenness on the streets of

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Bristol? In it is about rehabilitation and reducing crime.

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I would want to work with local authorities... I have chaired the

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setting up of that and it is great. The police service have not paid

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for this. We need to work together. Let us not fight our own battles

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but buy them together. Let us take a look at some of the

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other political stories of the week in our round-up.

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Boris Johnson took some serious flack from a small group of

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protestors in Bristol this week. He was here as a cheerleader for the

:57:05.:57:08.

Tory candidates for Bristol Mayor and the Police and Crime

:57:08.:57:18.
:57:18.:57:19.

Commissioner. Many welcoming committees I have had, that was the

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most... It shows there of people in this city who are crying out for

:57:27.:57:30.

change. A blot on the landscape or a great

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way of generating energy? It seems even the government cannot agree on

:57:33.:57:36.

whether they love or hate wind turbines like this one in

:57:36.:57:38.

Gloucestershire. There are proposals to build more in the area

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but if the Tory Energy Minister gets his way all new plans will be

:57:42.:57:43.

blocked. Three of our local Tories rebelled

:57:43.:57:46.

in this week's vote on the EU budget. James Gray, Jack Lopresti

:57:47.:57:49.

and Laurence Robertson were amongst 53 who defied their leader, voting

:57:49.:57:59.
:57:59.:58:04.

with Labour, calling for a real- terms cut in spending.

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That Was the Week. That is all we have got time for. The programme

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continues in London. Thank you to the candidates for Avon and

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Somerset for joining us. There is a full list of all the candidates

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standing in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset on our

:58:26.:58:30.

website. There is more information on how to vote and the views of

:58:30.:58:38.

your candidates. You can hear more from the candidates on your local

:58:38.:58:43.

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