The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is a non-political role and yet for years politicians have pitched their tents on it.
Largely because it extends the reach, power and influence of the political parties.
Don’t just take that from me. Read the quotes from the Labour Party below.
Political interference is never desirable in police matters.
Fortunately in Northumbria, on this occasion there is an option. You can choose a non-political candidate for the role of PCC.
My name is Dr Julian Kilburn. I am a medical doctor and I will be running as an independent candidate in the election on May 6.
This will avoid the many conflicts of interest that must deeply trouble the party politicians when they are trying to sleep at night (or not).
No one can serve two masters.
How to choose between the people who elected you or your powerful party political paymasters you can offer you a leg up on your personal career aspirations and ambitions.
There are too many things to serve.
So what is the PCC supposed to be doing with their time?
Well, they’re supposed to be a voice of the people.
What does that mean?
Well, it means answering to YOU.
What else are they supposed to be doing?
They’re supposed to hold the police to account.
What does that mean?
That means the totality of policing in the region.
So it’s a BIG job. And it’s getting bigger.
There is an expansion of the office under the current government. A Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner will be appointed.
Unless the winning candidate is Independent, this new deputy will be obliged to share the same political loyalties as the chosen candidate.
That is a fairly horrifying endgame.
Well, to make it worse, the government is about to change the political system to First Past The Post meaning there will no longer be any realistic opportunity for an independent PCC unless they are already in the job.
That will make 2021 the final opportunity to remove party politics from the police in Northumbria.
So, it’s a huge task and a big job.
However, the Liberal Democrats consider this job “pointless”, and the priority is its abolition. We already know that is NOT the future of the role. And we already know that the electorate did not support this view in the last vote. You must decide if a vote there is an approach that will mean somebody will work the hardest they can for you in the role.
Labour disapproves of the role PCC too but sees it as “great value politically” for them.
Rather than care about the job and what it can deliver to the community, the party has been instructed that throwing their considerable firepower and finances at it “gives them a platform to take the fight to the Tories on a national scale long before 2024”
They consider the role a pawn in a bigger political gambit and are satisfied to trap the police in the middle. As they state: “a high-profile, county-wide PCC candidate can really help our councillors and candidates win in real battleground wards over a wide area”
And so here we are
There is no place for politics and policing.
There never has been.
There never will be.
In Northumbria you have an Independent candidate.
Please consider lending him your vote.
(That’s me, by the way.)