I will work to get our Police the resources they need. Conservative PCC Lorne Green is very proud of his work in providing better equipment. These improvements were needed but came as part of an “efficiency” programme to save money. Imagine how much more effective our Police could be with their modern equipment if they also had the millions of pounds that have been stripped from their budget over the time Lorne Green has been in office. We have a promise of more Police officers to be recruited. It will take years for these new recruits to become fully effective. The Conservative candidate says we should be looking to 2030. I say we need more officers now. The funding for these new recruits comes with strings attached – targets that do not include a single one that meets the specific challenge of policing a large rural County. I will focus not just on efficiency but on effectiveness. I want our Police to be valued by their communities not just be value for money.
I will campaign for a fair pay deal for our Police. It is shocking that the 2021 Budget includes a pay freeze for so many of the key workers, including our Police, who have kept us safe during the COVID pandemic. I hope that by the time these elections take place that Police and other key workers will have received recognition of the risks they face on our behalf. They should be given priority for vaccination once the most vulnerable groups have been protected. If not, I will continue to argue loudly that they should. As your PCC my voice will carry greater weight.