Too much politics in Warwickshire police commissioner election?

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WHILE Tory and Labour 
candidates for Warwickshire’s police commissioner’s role trade blows over policy, the county’s Lib Dems have said they are concerned the campaigns are too party political.

The Lib Dem Group is considering not putting forward a candidate and instead informally endorsing an independent. The group met with three potential independent candidates last week. The election is set to take place on November 15.

Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, Lib Dem leader, said: “We believe we should try to keep party politics out of policing in Warwickshire because the political independence of the police is enormously valuable.”

He added: “David Cameron said he wanted businessmen and charity leaders who had proved themselves in life to come forward for election, yet the government has made life difficult for independents by refusing the support that would help make this happen. At general elections all candidates are allowed to deliver a piece of literature through the post without charge, yet this has been rejected for this election.”

Both Labour’s candidate, James Plaskitt, and Conservative Fraser Pithie have announced new policies this week.

Mr Plaskitt said he was keen to enforce a levy on late-night venues which shirk their responsibility towards sensible drinking. The levy, which could be up to £4,000 per year, would go to the police.

Mr Plaskitt said: “Drunk and disorderly behaviour is an extra burden on our already stretched police resources. Pubs and clubs have a responsibility to ensure their customers have a good time, but also to ensure they are not anti-social when they leave. If they don’t act responsibly, then I wouldn’t hesitate to apply these measures.”

Meanwhile, Mr Pithie has accused his Labour counterpart of hypocrisy following comments made about G4S, who are recruiting civilian investigators for Warwickshire Police. Mr Pithie said: “Given Mr Plaskitt’s comments last week inferring that the police’s use of G4S was unwise, why is the same company fit to provide security at this Autumn’s Labour Party conference?”

Mr Pithie has also promised a “relentless focus” on crime fuelled by drug addicts by cracking down hard on persistent offenders and providing rehabilitation to those who were serious about getting off drugs. He said: “A large percentage of acquisitive crimes are committed by a minority of offenders. Whilst these are small in number, they cause harm and misery to the vast majority of hard working, law abiding citizens and businesses.”