You get some interesting reactions when you say you would like to be the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset - some people question your sanity - more though are really supportive.
What does a PCC do? Boiled down to its essence, the role is to be the voice of the community and hold the chief constable and police force to account, allocate resources, commission appropriate initiatives and act to help counter national threats as appropriate.
The Police and Crime Commissioner is your representative, the people of Dorset elect them to represent their wishes. That is why it is a political role – if you don’t like what’s happening or think it could be done better then you can change things via the ballot box.
Fundamentally then any PCC candidate needs to really do three things:-
a/ Communicate with the electorate to understand their needs regarding policing and crime issues that affect them – (see the bottom of the page and please take my Police and Crime Survey)
b/ Craft clear strategic priorities based on those needs that will improve the safety of the people of Dorset
c/ Agree a Crime plan with the Chief Constable and hold them accountable for its delivery
Whilst Dorset Police are a good force there are things that could be improved – a particular issue that occurs widely across parts of the county is that of Anti-Social Behaviour – this Quality of Life crime is the one that is raised time and again at neighbourhood forums. The rate for Dorset is the second worst in the South of England.
To balance this clear need there are new crime patterns such as online fraud, domestic abuse, stalking and harassment and modern slavery. These are now being more recognised and reported or evolving due to new technology.
There are ways to improve this - there does not need to be the stark choice between the clear threats and the less violent crime grinding down our happiness and quality of life. This can be improved if we keep the needs of victims and their community at the forefront as we also recognise the vulnerability of some perpetrators.
So why would anyone want to do this? I can only speak for myself and like most things it comes down to an emotion. Firstly, it is about home, keeping us safer and more secure. I was born and have always lived here so I have played on the beach, in the parks and drank in the pubs. I love this place and have no ambition save one – to make Dorset safer for all of us.