Friday, 16 November 2012

Labour's Clive Grunshaw elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire

Labour's Clive Grunshaw – the only candidate for the post who was a serving member of the existing Lancashire Police Authority – has been elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire following a County-wide election.

Mr Grunshaw, who was Labour’s candidate for Lancaster & Fleetwood in the parliamentary election in 2010, officially takes up the role of PCC for Lancashire on 22nd November, replacing the current Police Authority.

The PCC will hold the Chief Constable to account and be the voice of the County when it comes to issues of crime and policing.

Speaking after his election to the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, said:

"Clearly I am delighted with this result. I would like to thank all those who voted in this election. Also, thanks to all those who have worked and volunteered during this election.

This is a new era for policing in Lancashire. This is a real opportunity to focus on what matters to people in this County.

"My number one priority is the safety and security of the people of Lancashire.  I will focus on making this role a successful one; ensuring the public gets the best possible service from Lancashire Constabulary and protecting the frontline."

Clive Grunshaw has had a varied career: he left school aged 16 to work on Fleetwood Docks as winch builder. He worked as a milkman before gaining a Politics degree as a mature student from Lancaster University. After working for his union, the T&GWU,  he became the parliamentary assistant to Joan Humble MP (Blackpool North & Fleetwood) in 1997 but has been a Wyre Councillor since 1994 – and is presently leader of Wyre Labour Group.

A County Councillor since 1999 – he served as Cabinet Member for Children & Young People and then the Environment – he has also been a foster carer for children with special needs.

"My simple aim in standing as candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner is to do  everything within my power to make Lancashire the best police force in the country," said Clive in a  published statement. "Given the level of cuts being imposed upon us it will be a difficult task for any newly elected PCC – but it is also an opportunity to make things work better.

"To be effective in the new role we need to firstly listen to the views of the resident’s of Lancashire and to then incorporate their views/concerns into the Police & Crime Plan." he argues. "It is through meeting people across Lancashire that I have identified their concerns and put them as my priorities."

The only candidate that was a present member of Lancashire Police Authority where he has been Chair of the Resources Committee for the past four years, he has had to be involved in decision making to shave £38 million from the county's policing budget – but still have a gap of over £3 million yet to identify.

"We have had a moratorium on recruitment for the past three years (apart from a one off recruitment of 50 officers last year fill some gaps)," he notes. "It is also worth pointing out that whilst we have identified the cuts they have only been partially implemented.  Any suggestion that the reduction in the budget has not led to an increase in crime is misleading – it soon will!

"I hope to find further savings through collaboration with other forces, working more effectively with the voluntary, community and faith sector and some innovative schemes such as targeting persistent and prolific offenders.  This is because, if done properly, it will make a real difference to the safety of the resident’s in Lancashire and save a significant amount of funding that could be reallocated into other areas of crime reduction.  It would be achieved through integrated offender management i.e. working more intensively with persistent offenders, and their families, in a multi-agency partnership approach.

"The cost to the tax-payer of dealing with each persistent offender, through the criminal justice system, is tens of thousands of pounds," he notes. "By turning their lives around it would help to save significant resources – which could be reallocated to other areas of crime reduction including better commissioning of services direct from community groups; and putting more police officers on the frontline to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour.  This would hopefully improve the trust and relationship between the police and communities and therefore have a positive effect on the fear of crime.

"Again easier said than done but the evidence is that this is a genuine opportunity for improved working.

"We have already started some of this work in Lancashire with the Total Family Programme – this would be an extension to this scheme.

"If we can make such schemes work then we can ensure that savings are reinvested on the frontline and PCSOs."

Mr Grunshaw's Key Pledges:
  • Defend frontline policing – maintain a visible policing presence
  • Protect neighbourhood policing – particularly PCSOs
  • Ensure swift and effective response to reports of anti-social behaviour
  • Prioritise the fight against domestic violence and child sexual exploitation
  • Champion the rights of the victim
  • Target persistent and prolific offenders

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