Control of policing in Dorset is too influenced by government policies and party politics, says an independent candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner.[one_half] But a Tory representative says his party affiliation means voters will “know what they’re getting” if he is elected.
Martyn Underhill, independent candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner role in Dorset, claimed it had “become impossible to divorce policing and politics,” resulting in budget cuts and other political decisions affecting policing in the local area.
The former detective chief inspector of Sussex Police said that, if successful, he will make decisions based solely on Dorset, rather than reflecting decisions made in Westminster.
But Nick King, Conservative Party candidate for PCC, rejected Mr Underhill’s claims and said that his links to the party provided him with a “small base of enthusiastic supporters” but had little other influence.
Mr King stressed he was very concerned with what Dorset people wanted, rather than visiting town meetings “waving party manifestos.”
The former governor of Poole Hospital also claimed that Mr Underhill’s independence means he is unable to predict in terms of policy. The Conservative said that on more than one occasion the independent candidate had “given different answers to the same questions.”[/one_half] [one_half_last]
[/one_half_last] The elections for Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, held on November 15, will be the first of their kind in the region, with the new role intended to foster a closer relationship between the police and the public.
Both candidates admit that educating the public about the forthcoming elections and the new role has provided a hurdle to their campaigns, but despite this, response has been generally good.
Aside from Mr Underhill and Mr King, Rachel Rogers will be representing Labour in the forthcoming PCC elections and Nick Canning will be representing the Liberal Democrats.
Martyn Underhill: www.keeppoliticsoutofpolicing.co.uk
Nick King: www.nick4dorsetpcc.org.uk