Debate begins to become Humberside Police's first crime commissioner
CANDIDATES vying to become the first Humberside police and crime commissioner have debated for the first time.
Five of the seven candidates bidding for the £75,000-a-year role took questions from community groups from across Hull.
Conservative candidate Matthew Grove, Liberal Democrat Simone Butterworth and independent candidates Paul Davison, Walter Sweeney and Neil Eyre took part in the debate, organised by the city's Neighbourhood Network.
Labour candidate Lord Prescott and UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom did not attend.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The candidates were asked what their first priority would be if they are elected as commissioner in November, with Mr Grove and Mr Sweeney both saying they would focus on cutting crime.
Mr Grove, a current East Riding councillor, said he will create a community crime reduction fund, which will give grants to pay for crime prevention schemes.
He said: "Reducing crime is not a role we can just leave to the police, it is for all of us to ensure we tackle crime.
"It is time to empower the public to work with the police and other agencies and then we can beat crime."
Mr Sweeney said it was important to "rebuild trust" between the police and the public.
"It is easier said than done to reduce crime and improve detections against a background of reducing resources, so I want to involve more and more people in the fight against crime."
Mr Davison, a former divisional commander for Humberside Police in the East Riding, said his priority is to replace the outgoing Chief Constable Tim Hollis.
"Reducing crime is a very difficult thing to do. I think the most important thing for Humberside Police is to get the right chief constable. That is absolutely crucial."
Neil Eyre, an unemployed man from Scunthorpe who describes himself as a "normal guy", said he would ensure there were no cuts to frontline policing.
Reading from an iPad as he delivered his answers, Mr Eyre said: "I would change the budget so non-essential services are the ones that see reductions in their budgets.
"Every person I have spoken to is sure they do not want to see cuts to frontline policing."
Ms Butterworth, a city councillor, said: "Reducing crime and increasing the satisfaction of victims would always be a priority, but they wouldn't be my first.
"That would be enhancing the lines of communication between the police and the community."
The question-and-answer session was part of the Neighbourhood Network's annual general meeting, which saw groups asked to submit questions to the potential commissioners.
The successful candidate will replace Humberside Police Authority, which is being abolished, as being responsible for the force's £180 million budget and setting its priorities.
During the debate, the candidates were also asked how they would deal with antisocial behaviour and noise nuisance, how they would reduce the fear of crime and how they would work with young people.
Mr Sweeney said he would like to bring back the stocks for offenders, while Mr Eyre said he want communities to deal with "irresponsible and unreasonable behaviour" by asking pubs and shops to ban troublesome residents and families.
Mr Davison said he would investigate every report of antisocial behaviour, with every victim being visited by police.
Ms Butterworth said more early intervention was needed to tackle the perpetrators of antisocial behaviour and Mr Grove said problems needed to be tackled "appropriately", with less focus on criminalising young people.
Voting will take place on November 15, with the commissioner taking office a week later.