04/11/2012 Sunday Politics West


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


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


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2066 seconds


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


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


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


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


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


Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire but we will turn


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


after being appointed. Anyone who kids themselves there are easy


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


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


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


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


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


amount of distress caused to victims and the amount of work


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


On Thursday 15th November, everybody living in England and


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


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


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


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


of thousands marched in London. Complaints were numerous but mostly


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


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


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


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


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


have plans to change pay and pensions. A bespectacled lawyer


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


just been appointed Chief Inspector of Constabulary after carrying out


two major reviews. They are controversial changes and they


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


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


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


Winsor is doing is contributing to a suppressed feeling of morale


because it forces this impression that individuals have that they are


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


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


Police Federation say officers feel like they have been beaten and


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


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


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


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


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


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


The reality is most police and crime commissioners will have to


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


solve the problem of fulfilling these promises when the police


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


police and crime commissioner. It is engaging with the voluntary


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In business, the systematic working of overtime is symptomatic of


managerial responsibility for so my straight answer is no match.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Bovis -- systematic overtime on a regular basis his managerial


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


organised by Parliament. The government decides on the pension.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


gadgets which will mean every individual officer will be able to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


commissioner filled the diary? I wonder what the real life


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have been doing, which is representing them and finding out


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


different organisations, meeting people, holding sessions with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


graffiti to throwing cigarettes out of windows. Everything. Everything


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


increase because we are going to have the community safety fund


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Bristol? In it is about rehabilitation and reducing crime.


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


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


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


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


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


Boris Johnson took some serious flack from a small group of


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


Tory candidates for Bristol Mayor and the Police and Crime


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


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


change. A blot on the landscape or a great


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


whether they love or hate wind turbines like this one in


Gloucestershire. There are proposals to build more in the area


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


blocked. Three of our local Tories rebelled


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


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


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


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


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


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


standing in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Dorset on our


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


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


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