December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Marijke Cox, Reporter
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Medway councillor Craig Mackinlay has been selected by the Tory party and Ashford councillor Harriet Yeo by Labour
Members of the county’s two main parties have selected the candidates that will go head to head in the battle for the police and crime commissioner post.
Leader of the Labour group on Ashford Borough Council and president of the TSSA – a union representing the British Transport Police – Harriet Yeo won the candidacy for Labour.
Tory members cast their vote at the weekend’s hustings and Medway councillor and north Kent magistrate Craig Mackinlay came out victorious.
The 45-year-old chartered accountant, from Chatham, is a current member of the Kent Police Authority (KPA) but will have to relinquish this post once his nomination papers are officially submitted, likely to be in October.
The pair will fight in the November 15 poll, which will select Kent’s first PCC. The Lib Dems have not put forward a candidate.
The PCC – who will serve a four-year term – will replace the existing Kent Police Authority and will have the power to hold Kent Police to account, determine a policing strategy, set the budget, and hire and fire the chief constable.
Former Rainham Mark Grammar School pupil Cllr Mackinlay, who represents the River ward on Medway Council, said he was honoured to have been selected for the Tory party.
He stressed that cuts in the force were a catalyst for change.
“Because of these cuts, Kent will see a new policing model. It will be at the heart of all policing – link that with my skills as a chartered accountant and I can conserve main frontline policing with the budget that we’ve got,” he said.
He pledged to cut police paperwork and bureaucracy so officers were free to get back on the beat and he vowed to keep Special Constables in the force by offering them skilled work rather than “dull” roles.
He said his priority campaign messages included a total war on drug use and supply, through a mixture of absolute enforcement and strongest possible sentencing with the promise of real, accessible help to those seeking to get drugs out of their lives, and a ‘no-broken window policy’ of early intervention by the police, local authorities and other partners where early indicators of anti-social behaviour arise.
He also vowed to bear down on rural crime with the creation of a dedicated task group, manned by Special Constables.
“The backdrop of reduced budgets offers a once in a generation opportunity for positive change,” he added.
His Labour rival Cllr Yeo was selected following a Labour policy conference last weekend.
She received the call announcing her victory after discovering her home in the village of Kingsnorth had been burgled.
Cllr Yeo said she would not stand for cuts in the force.
She stressed that she would stop privatisation of the police and would do everything she could to reduce fear of crime.
“Police budgets have been cut by 20 per cent, nearly double what experts and Labour said could be cut – 16,000 police officers across the country are being lost,” she said.
“I will begin campaigning straight away on five key pledges that Labour PCC’s will deliver.”
These include standing up for communities against the 20 per cent cuts and keeping police on the streets with neighbourhood policing.
“Not handing it over to private companies or leaving it only to PCSOs,” she said.
Her other three pledges are: to back a strong and swift response to antisocial behaviour, with victims getting a response within 24 hours; to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime; and to protect the police from political interference.
She added: “We did not support the Tory-led Government’s policy of PCCs because we believe the £100m cost would be better spent on frontline policing.
“But we can’t leave communities to Tory PCCs who will merely be cheerleaders for Government cuts, and we won’t be able to change the Government’s policy until the next general election.”
Independent hopefuls in the PCC race are former Mayor of Medway Dai Liyanage; Ken Little, from Whitstable; former Kent police officer Fran Croucher; and property tycoon Fergus Wilson, from Maidstone.
The English Democrats have chosen member Steven Uncles.
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