Many will be aware that I have spent much of the past year or so working with Matthew Grove on the Humberside Police & Crime Commissioner Campaign. This week Matthew published his manifesto which gives information about who he is, what he stands for and what he will do if elected on November 15th.
1. ABOUT MATTHEW GROVE
I grew up in Lincolnshire and now live and run a company in East Yorkshire. I have a track record of working successfully with members of all political parties, voluntary groups and local residents. I would be the Police and Crime Commissioner for the whole of Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire as well as for Hull – a strong, local, independent-minded voice serving all residents and working closely with the public, Chief Constable, police officers and other organisations to make our neighbourhoods safer.
We must take the fight to the criminals, not just deal with the aftermath. For the most part we know who the habitual criminals are. We must target them instead of allowing them to target the innocent. For those whose drunken anti-social behaviour blights our streets at night, I will be looking to charge them for the cost of the police time spent dealing with them.
I will support effective rehabilitation and the fantastic work of those who help offenders re-join society. Continuing a life of crime can no longer be the easy option. We should help offenders who want to turn their lives around but not tolerate those who choose to make other peoples’ lives a misery. Preventing crime and re-offending is most effective when all the related services work closely together alongside our communities, so that offenders don’t fall through the gaps that can exist between organisations.
I want to ensure that there is no hiding place for criminals and that all parties focus together on reducing crime. I will protect investment in projects which have a proven success rate but will not waste money on rewarding criminals.
Matthew Grove2. MY PRIORITIES FOR HUMBERSIDE
- CUTTING CRIME will be my number one objective.
- PUTTING VICTIMS FIRST – I will always support victims ahead of criminals and yobs and work to make our neighbourhoods safer.
- INDEPENDENT VOICE – I will be a strong, local and independent voice, not a professional politician with an axe to grind.
- CROSS COUNTY CRACKDOWN – I will be a Police and Crime Commissioner for Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire as well as Hull.
- Freeing our local police from UNNECESSARY BUREAUCRACY and pointless targets.
- Challenging head on the CYCLE OF RE-OFFENDING.
- Keeping our COMMUNITIES SAFE and making them even safer.
- Supporting TOUGHER COMMUNITY SENTENCES so justice is seen to be done.
I pledge that if elected my Policing Plan will include firm proposals to BILL DRUNKEN TROUBLE MAKERS who blight our City and town centres, create mayhem and take up police time. This proposal comes after having listened to many people over a considerable time; it is well supported by residents, police officers and government ministers.
I have witnessed this type of drunken behaviour first-hand after spending time on the streets with the police incident response teams. I was with them as they received call after call throughout the night for drink related incidents. I have also taken the opportunity of seeing the problem from the other side, spending many hours talking to council licensing officers, door staff, pub and club owners, taxi drivers and late night take-away owners.
Offenders must be made to take responsibility for their actions.
4. OFFICE OF POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER
The office of Police & Crime Commissioner does not need to be situated in the existing Police Authority building, a rather grand former gentlemans’ club located in the centre of Hull valued at up to £0.5 MILLION.
My first step would be to sell off this luxurious building. I would relocate to somewhere more modest and look to possibly share the premises with a neighbouring organisation. This will reduce the costs for both the Commissioner’s Office and for any partner organisation. A location near the Humber Bridge will ensure the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is readily accessible to people on both the North and South Bank.
The up to £0.5 million of capital released from the sale of the building will be utilised to create a Community Crime Prevention Fund, so freeing up money to cut crime.
5. CRIME PREVENTION FUNDUsing capital from the sale of the office I will set up a ‘CRIME PREVENTION FUND’ specifically to be used to match fund suitable capital projects brought forward by community groups such as Parish and Town Councils, Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Neighbourhood Networks or Crime Reduction Partnerships. The benefits of this fund could include CCTV cameras, vehicle activated signs, gates and youth shelters.
I will continue the excellent work which has been started by community groups and local authorities, including the Fire Service, to divert those at risk of committing crime into activities. This will be a positive benefit to them and to our communities.
6. COMMUNITIES WILL NOT LOSE POLICE STATIONS
The LACK OF PUBLIC OPENING HOURS of police stations in smaller towns in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire is a problem. I believe it must always be an option for people to contact the police at a police station during normal office hours.
If I am elected as Police and Crime Commissioner, communities will not be robbed of their police stations.
I will be looking to SAVE MONEY by sharing buildings and resources with other organisations. I will also be aiming to see revitalised and modernised buildings functioning efficiently and providing the service the public expect in locations convenient for them to access.
7. CHALLENGING THE CYCLE OF RE-OFFENDING
A large amount of crime is committed by a SMALL NUMBER of criminals.
Repeat offenders must be confronted rather than being allowed to continue their lives of crime, leaving even more victims in their wake. The authorities largely know who the criminals are. I will support targeting them instead of allowing them to target the innocent.
The services are there to assist rehabilitation with staff ready to help offenders take the steps towards re-joining society. Those who fail to grasp the opportunity to change must face lengthy prison terms to protect the public.
I believe that the many organisations and especially voluntary groups who are already working to tackle re-offending have put together a good foundation on which to build.
I will challenge the police, other public sector organisations and the voluntary sector to continue to develop innovative approaches to address re-offending, such as Hull’s MINERVA project.
8. BACKING VICTIM SUPPORT
Last year Humberside police referred nearly 19,000 VICTIMS OF CRIME to Victim Support and supported 3,500 witnesses through the courts.
I have backed Victim Support by signing up to their five pledges to ensure continued support for victims and witnesses.
- Be open and accountable to victims and witnesses.
- Ensure that victims and witnesses get the high quality help and support they need.
- Make the police more victim-focused and more effective at meeting their needs.
- Help victims and witnesses have a louder voice in the wider criminal justice system.
- ‘I will endeavour to be a champion for victims and be their voice to ensure their concerns and interests are always heard.’
The principal role of the Police and Crime Commissioner is to be the BRIDGE BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND THE POLICE, and our young people must not be left out of that partnership.
I shall appoint a Youth Ambassador to ensure young people are not forgotten when the Policing Plan is written. The Youth Ambassador will be responsible for working with existing youth organisations, taking our message into schools whether about drugs, alcohol or internet safety.
I will ask the Youth Ambassador to be our ‘Safe Internet Champion’. With Local Authority support, the Stay Safe Online message will be taken into every classroom in the area. But I will not stop there; I will ensure all parents have access to sensible and realistic advice to help their children use online chat rooms and social networking sites safely.
10. MAKING IT EASIER TO REPORT CRIME
I will continue the use of INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY to make it easier for local residents to report crime.
The government has launched the 101 telephone number for the public to report low-level and non-urgent matters. We will continue to embrace modern technology including introducing a free smartphone application.
The App can be used to report crime and send in pictures and videos which can be reviewed in the Force Control Room within seconds. It can also be used in reverse; if officers need urgent help in locating someone of serious interest, his or her picture can be sent to every App user and be viewed by thousands of residents in seconds.
11. TACKLING ABUSE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
Getting the message across about the dangers of DRUGS AND ALCOHOL will be a start.
Drugs and alcohol abuse lead to crime. We need to further engage with Health Authorities, schools, victims and charities and never stop looking for innovative ways of getting the message across. I will appoint a Youth Ambassador who will play a key role in this field.
12. LOCAL BOBBIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
I will substantially INCREASE the numbers of Special Constables in Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire.
The Special Constabulary is the UK’s part-time volunteer police force with around 350 members of the public working for Humberside Police. Special Constables wear a uniform, carry a warrant card and have full police powers when on duty. I will create significantly more opportunities for people to serve as Specials, working alongside the Neighbourhood Policing Teams in the communities in which they live. They will become our local ‘Bobbies for the 21st Century’ – supporting (not replacing) full-time officers. They will live, work and have responsibility for their villages, neighbouring villages, and specific areas of our towns and the City of Hull.
Special Constables will have a key role in working with Neighbourhood Watch and other voluntary crime prevention groups I want to increase the number and scope of these local community groups.
Humberside Police also work closely with town and parish councils. These local networks will become the eyes and ears for policing within their communities.
I want an increase in volunteering opportunities within policing and for members of the public to take on additional tasks that do not require a warranted police officer to perform. This will free officers to focus on front-line policing.
13. INCREASE IN COMMUNITY POLICING
WORKING TOGETHER is how we reduce crime and the fear of crime.
I am totally committed to supporting existing community based groups, such as Neighbourhood Watch, Neighbourhood Networks, Farm Watch and Pub Watch Groups and want to help them to take on a greater role. I will work with Councils, businesses and other organisations that share my goal by contributing funding to help people set up new Community Groups and revive groups that are no longer active.
I will also support projects to improve the exchange of vital information about targeting criminals.
I will substantially increase the number of Special Constables deployed across the area who will be able to operate in their local communities.
14. TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES
We are in difficult economic times – that’s why every penny we spend must be SPENT WISELY.
I will instigate a root and branch review of Humberside Police and look for more efficient ways of working. The savings found by this exercise will be made available for crime prevention and front line policing.
I will seek to build partnerships with neighbouring police forces and other agencies to drive down the costs of buying products and services. Effective policing is about hours spent on the street, not behind a desk.
As Police & Crime Commissioner I will be relentless in ensuring police officers are out on the beat, not stuck behind a desk doing paperwork.
15. COLLABORATIVE WORKING
Locating organisations and groups in the same building to WORK TOGETHER will bring many benefits. By joining together related services from the Police, Health, Probation service and the local authorities, offenders can’t fall through the gaps that can exist between organisations. It is essential that organisations work closely together to address crime and avoid duplication.
In my view, the long term future is in ensuring that the police continue to work innovatively with local authorities and other organisations to deliver the best value for local taxpayers.
I will therefore support and drive forward a more collaborative approach to be taken by public service organisations in tackling crime, disorder and substance misuse head on, and I will promote the sharing of examples of good practice across the whole area.
16. RURAL CRIME
The theft of livestock, farm plant and machinery, not to mention the impact of rural fly tipping, is a blight on East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire’s RURAL COMMUNITIES.
A great deal of Northern Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire is rural, yet policing our rural communities has too often been forgotten. I know that crime is a key issue and that tackling crime is a priority for those who live in the countryside. I recognise these concerns and rural residents can be assured that my policing plan will include provision for policing their areas and that their concerns are met.
The impact of rural crime, including poaching, the theft of livestock, diesel, farm plant and machinery, not to mention the effect of fly tipping blighting our East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire’s villages and towns is of great concern. It is my opinion that rural areas have also been targeted by those criminals engaged in metal thefts.
Residents from rural communities must be properly represented on local community groups and partnerships. I will work with representatives from rural communities to reduce crime and make our communities safer.
Rural communities must be safe and have the tools to protect themselves. I will help community and Farm Watch groups to make use of low cost technology to monitor those who come into our villages and farms to commit crime. I will set down a firm marker to those with criminal intent that our rural areas will no longer be soft targets for them to exploit.
I think policing is most effective when it is carried out by local policemen or women who know and understand the area. I will ensure that special constables are able to work within their own communities.
Rural crime will be taken seriously.
17. URBAN CRIME
I WILL ENSURE THE POLICE GET TOUGH ON YOBBISH BEHAVIOUR that blights the lives of those living in our urban communities.
Vandalism, graffiti, littering and nuisance behaviour are all unacceptable. This type of crime will only increase if we accept or ignore them. These crimes will be resolved where possible using a system of restorative justice but the police will not shy away from prosecution. We should be looking to rehabilitate offenders, but if someone has committed an offence they need to be properly punished.
Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own homes and neighbourhoods. Yet thousands of people around the country are still having their everyday lives blighted by anti-social behaviour. It’s time to put victims first.
Community punishments will be made tougher. Victims of anti-social behaviour and low-level crime will be given the right to choose a community payback punishment for the perpetrator of their crime. As Police and Crime Commissioner, I will provide a menu of punishment options so that the victims of crime can choose an appropriate punishment.
I understand the concerns of everyday people. I want to CUT CRIME in your community. That’s why I want to be your Police Commissioner; to PUT VICTIMS FIRST and ensure JUSTICE IS DONE. Unlike others, I will not play party politics with this important role, and this is why I respectfully ask for your vote on the 15th November 2012.