John Prescott: I'd stop police officer cuts
LORD Prescott has pledged to stop cuts to officer numbers if he is elected as the first Humberside police and crime commissioner.
The Labour hopeful is the first candidate to unveil his manifesto ahead of next month's election.
Using the slogan "I'll cut crime – not cops' jobs", it says he will do all he can to protect the jobs of police officers and PCSOs.
Lord Prescott said: "I don't accept the extent of these cuts and I will be wanting to stop them if I am elected."
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Humberside Police has cut more than 200 officers since 2010, with plans to lose a total of 440 by 2015.
Lord Prescott has spent weeks travelling across the region and has spoken to hundreds of residents in his "battle bus" – a converted Hyundai people-carrier.
"I have always said I wanted to know what people think and what they say is their first priority is high-profile policing.
"This is being threatened by huge budget cuts and I can't help but feel the inevitable consequence of that will be an increase in crime."
His manifesto also includes plans to tackle binge drinking with a "late-night levy" on problem pubs serving alcohol between midnight and 6am.
"The funds generated from this levy will be used to pay towards the costs of alcohol-related crime and disorder created by night time economy.
"It's time to take back our town centres from drunken thugs for families and the elderly.
"Drink is related to a lot of crime, particularly violent crime, and it is the same with drugs. They are a real problem, which is why I want to hold an urgent drugs summit, to find out the extent of that."
His manifesto also proposes introducing criminal justice centres, which he describes as "neighbourhood courts" to dish out community justice for low-level offences.
"It is about getting the community actively involved, and passing their judgement on people committing antisocial offences."
Video of Lord Prescott on the campaign trail today ...
Lord Prescott also said he would introduce rural "crime-busing hit squads" and would provide victims with better support, including more updates on their cases.
He would also like to see "more social" uses of neighbourhood police stations, which are only open to the public part-time.
Lord Prescott said, if elected, he would not move into the current Humberside Police Authority building in Hull city centre.
Instead, he said he wants to be based near the Humber Bridge.
"I need to be more easily available and accessible than the current police authority," he said.
"Around the Humber Bridge would be a more central location to serve the whole area, no matter where people are coming from."
Voting for the commissioner takes place on November 15, with the successful candidate starting work a week later.
Six other candidates have announced they intend to stand for the role.
Nominations close on Friday, when the final line-up of candidates will be confirmed.