'Crime almost endemic in parts of Hull' - police commissioner candidate Matthew Grove
A COUNCILLOR battling to become the region's first police and crime commissioner has said crime is "almost endemic" in areas of Hull.
Matthew Grove said his top priority will be to reduce crime if he is elected for the £75,000-a-year post in November.
He said: "We have had a 40 per cent drop in recorded crime but the bad news is we still have one of the worst crime rates in the country.
"What makes it even worse is we have very large areas with an extremely low crime rate, then we have some very challenging areas in the city, where crime is almost endemic.
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"We have to look at every possible way to tackle the causes of that."
Mr Grove said he stands by his comment that the role of commissioner would be the "job from hell".
He said: "I have said it before and I will say it again, as political jobs go, this is the job from hell. The public are choosing one person who will responsible and accountable.
"If you get things wrong in that job, there will be victims.
"They will have suffered appallingly or even have been killed and there will be no hiding from that.
"Success or failure will be defined very clearly and I think that is why so few people have come forward for it.
"You certainly wouldn't do it for the money.
"I have had many people say to me that the money isn't much for the level of responsibility."
Mr Grove said, if he is elected, he will step down from his role as an East Riding councillor and will hire someone to run his building consultancy business.
He said he was unfazed by going up against former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, who is the Labour candidate.
"This is not about personalities and I don't think the public will be interested in the personalities or the political parties. This is about issues," said Mr Grove.
"I believe I have the drive, determination and dedication to deliver the best service to the public, which they deserve and are paying for."
Policing and criminal justice minister Nick Herbert met Mr Grove at an event for commissioner candidates in Hull yesterday.
Mr Herbert said: "He is already proving to be a terrific candidate and will be a strong voice for the people.
"He will be on the side of the public with a common sense approach to tackling crime and dealing with antisocial behaviour.
"I think he stands a good chance. People will question whether they want a former national politician in Lord Prescott to be responsible for the police force and, more to the point, will they be able to believe a word he says?"
The elections will be held on November 15, with the commissioner starting work a week later.