Ex-police chief Paul Davison given tough time on Crime Commissioner campaign trail
AS divisional commander of Humberside Police in the East Riding, Paul Davison was used to being listened to.
But as he seeks election to the new job of Humberside Police And Crime Commissioner he is being given a rough ride when visiting parish and town councils across East Yorkshire.
Mr Davison, who left the East Riding division as the safest place in the country to live when he retired in March this year, says his aim is to be a totally independent candidate with no political commitments. Some councils, though, have criticised him for electioneering.
At Beverley Town Council, Mayor Margaret Pinder said: "Your idea of the line between electioneering (and advising) is more blurred than mine. If you have an elected role, it's naive to think it's not political."
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At Hedon Town Council, several councillors refused to listen to the former officer and left the meeting.
Mr Davison said: "All I was trying to do was raise awareness of the election but some people did not like what I was saying and didn't even look at me when I was talking."
Mr Davison led the East Riding division for the last four years of his 30 years' service with the force. During his time as divisional commander, he decided every crime committed would be investigated, no matter how small.
Mr Davison said: "If I am successful I will take the vision that has been successful in the East Riding. I would not go near this job if I hadn't been a police officer."
Despite having received support from the East Yorkshire Independents party, Mr Davison says he will owe no allegiance to any party and will simply fight to give the people in the Humberside force area the best possible service.
But, faced with party politics at council meetings, the former chief superintendent struggled to get his message across.
Addressing Beverley Town Council this week, Mr Davison was told he had ten minutes, including questions.
He said: "You are the leaders of the public you serve, that's why I'm here. I don't know how much you know about the police and crime commissioner role but it will affect your families. Appointing the next chief constable after Mr (Tim) Hollis will be crucial.
"The new chief constable should get a three-year contract and a set of targets and told if they don't achieve these targets they will be sacked."
Mrs Pinder, a Labour mayor who will support former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in November's election, brought the discussion to a close.
Conservatives on the council have questioned whether Mr Davison can be non-political when he has support from the East Yorkshire Independents party.
At Hedon Town Council there is less of a party political divide but several councillors felt it was the wrong forum for the candidate to express his views. Councillors Allen Marshall and Ann Suggitt both left their seats. Councillor John Dennis had opted not to sit at the meeting because Mr Davison would be speaking.
Mr Davison will hold a street surgery outside Wilkinsons in Toll Gavel, Beverley, from 10.30am to 12.30pm today.