Why an Independent Candidate?

At a meeting of Independent Councillors and Independent Police and Crime Commissioners with Martin Bell & Simon Weston on 28 June

The people of Sussex need a Police & Crime Commissioner who is Independent of all political parties to ensure that our Crime reduction and Policing do not get caught between conflicting  party agendas at a national and local level. A vote for me will ensure that party politics are kept at a safe distance and that the Policing strategy will reflect the wishes of Sussex residents, not a Party conference. 

The Police Authority currently fulfils some of the roles that the Police Commissioner will carry out from November. One of the strengths of this arrangement is that although the majority of Police Authority members are selected by Political Parties, Independent members drawn from the wider community ensure that no individual Party can impose its will on the Police. This arrangement was introduced by Michael Howard in 1996 who originally intended that community voices would be in the majority! 

To elect a Party Politician as PCC would be at odds with Michael Howards view in 1996 and with those who developed this new model of police Governance for the Conservative Party. It would be counter to the views of the general public and other commentators and senior members of  the three largest Parliamentary Parties. I have spoken to hundreds of Sussex residents including many party members who are shocked and appalled that the Labour and Conservative Parties have chosen to select candidates despite the views held within the parties. More recently UKIP and finally the Liberal Democratic Party have also selected candidates.

Hastings Observer 30th August 2012

The Commissioner will not govern alone as his work will be scrutinised by a committee called a Police and Crime Panel (PCP). The Police Panel will consist of 18 Local Councillors and two Independent members.  The voice of Political Parties will continue to be heard strongly ensuring that an Independent PCC does not act in a manner that is disconnected from the views of the Parties. However to select a party politician as our Police and Crime Commissioner would ensure that almost all of those involved in the governance of our Police come from one dominant Political Party.