A Post-Apocalyptic Dawn

Well, it’s taken 4 years but the Horsemen finally seem to have earnt their corn.

The votes have been counted and verified and I can announce that the winner is Theresa May.

Results in Wales are not set to be announced until Sunday but it seems that the Tory Machine has won the day.  Having lost Cheshire, Leicestershire  and Humberside to Labour, they went on to take Hampshire from Independent, Kent from Independent, Lincolnshire from Independent, Norfolk from Independent, Surrey from Independent, Warwickshire from Independent and West Mercia from Independent.  So, apart from 3 losses to Labour it seems that ALL of the Tory gains were at the expense of the Independents.

I don’t really see why we should be surprised by that, the Tories seem to have targeted the Independent seats with some very (in my view) questionable tactics.

Firstly we had the Cabinet Office decision at a very early stage to withdraw/withold funding for a free mailshot.  Not everyone agrees with me but it is my view that this seriously disadvanaged the Independent candidates without the deep pockets of Party candidates.

We have seen Spin, More Spin and downright untruths from some of the Tory candidates in this campaign.  What on earth is wrong with simply telling the truth?  The story you are telling might not be a vote winner, but your proposals for dealing with it might well be.  Don’t keep telling us that Crime is Down, when it demonstrably is not, tell us that crime has risen and what you propose to do about it.  Way too simple that one for some candidates, they had to have a waltzer ride instead.

In Surrey we saw the late entry of two more Independent candidates which caused a few raised eyebrows and split the Independent vote, but having said that the Tory candidate attracted more votes than all three Independent candidates added together.

Here in DeadBadgerShire we had the (unwelcome) intervention of Mrs Theresa May, MP, Home Secretary.  She seemed to be targeting undecided voters with an email assuring us all that Tory was the only way to go.

A certain amount of spin surely?  Not only the Conservative PCCs that have had the power to ‘Hire and Fire’.

Not only the Conservative PCCs that have set the Policing priorities and overseen multi million £ budgets.

Crime is down by more than a quarter since 2012?  Really.  CrimeStats have endured all kinds of problems over the last few years.  The Home Secretary knows full well that the Counting Rules have chsnged more frequently than my socks.  Recorded Crime is on the increase once more but no mention of that.

We need a PCC that will take the job seriously and work with the government?  Is she implying that ONLY a Conservative candidate will take the job seriously?  Why is it essential to work with government?  It isn’t, it is essential to make Policing work properly, and to serve the public properly.  Mind you, it makes Theresa’s life easier to have a compliant PCC, that could well explain why she wants a PCC that will work with government.

How did she choose who to send it to?  How did she get their email addresses (that could be a worry)?  I didn’t get one so it wasn’t sent to all.

Even if wasn’t wrong to chip in (and some think it wasn’t) just because she COULD, doesn’t mean that she SHOULD have.

In Dorset she progressed to a rather more controversial video, promoting the same message as the email but targeted at Dorset.

Some of you know, most of you don’t know, but I was originally standing as an Independent Candidate for my local Force.  I had received all my registration paperwork from the Electoral Commission, I had sorted my £5k deposit, was designing a campaign website and was well over half way through getting my initial 100 nominations as required when the Cabinet Office withdrew mailshot funding. I was left in a similar position to Mike Pannett but with three entire counties to cover I certainly couldn’t afford leaflets for 3 large counties, I couldn’t effectively ‘Press the Flesh’ over such a large area.  Rightly or wrongly I took the decision early that the field was being tilted and manipulated by government so I withdrew.  Ultimately the sole Independent candidate here finished 4th, so it is highly unlikely that I would have won.  The Tories overthrew a reasonable Independent majority, despite the fact that the only candidate I knew anything about was the surviving Indie, and I was taking an interest unlike the average voter.

Do I regret withdrawing? I most certainly do.  Do I think I could have won?  Almost certainly not, but I am immensely grateful to those who supported and encouraged me, and I’m sorry if you feel that I let you down, but realistically I am convinced, with the benefit of hindsight, that success was far from assured.

There is an element that doesn’t believe that an ex Police Officer would make a good PCC.  Whyever not?  Almost anybody from a School Leaver to a 100 year old pensioner is eligible to stand.  How is any knowledge and experience, at whatever level, be a negative thing?

With just the Welsh votes to be declared the Tories have 20 out of the 36 PCCs elected in England.  More than half.  Labour have 13 PCCs in England, leaving a meagre 3 Independents. THREE!!

Party Politics now play a HUGE part in Policing of England, and I’m sure Wales will follow suit.  Who is to blame?  Personally I blame, partly, Theresa May, for her questionable interventions, but mainly, our old friend APATHY.

The government did a wonderful job of keeping the elections low-key, but I’m sure more people COULD have voted but presumably didn’t think it was important.

Finally I want to pay my own personal tribute to Mike Pannett.  I know the administrative hoops that he had to jump through in the background.  He had to endure some pretty tacky tactics along the way, but he did so with head held high.  Well done Mike.  You have lost no friends or supporters here.  The boy done good.

A Post-Apocalyptic Dawn

Apologies for the duplication, I had a technical problem with the url after correcting some typos

Well, it’s taken 4 years but the Horsemen finally seem to have earnt their corn.

The votes have been counted and verified and I can announce that the winner is Theresa May.

Results in Wales are not set to be announced until Sunday but it seems that the Tory Machine has won the day.  Having lost Cheshire, Leicestershire  and Humberside to Labour, they went on to take Hampshire from Independent, Kent from Independent, Lincolnshire from Independent, Norfolk from Independent, Surrey from Independent, Warwickshire from Independent and West Mercia from Independent.  So, apart from 3 losses to Labour it seems that ALL of the Tory gains were at the expense of the Independents.

I don’t really see why we should be surprised by that, the Tories seem to have targeted the Independent seats with some very (in my view) questionable tactics.

Firstly we had the Cabinet Office decision at a very early stage to withdraw/withold funding for a free mailshot.  Not everyone agrees with me but it is my view that this seriously disadvanaged the Independent candidates without the deep pockets of Party candidates.

We have seen Spin, More Spin and downright untruths from some of the Tory candidates in this campaign.  What on earth is wrong with simply telling the truth?  The story you are telling might not be a vote winner, but your proposals for dealing with it might well be.  Don’t keep telling us that Crime is Down, when it demonstrably is not, tell us that crime has risen and what you propose to do about it.  Way too simple that one for some candidates, they had to have a waltzer ride instead.

In Surrey we saw the late entry of two more Independent candidates which caused a few raised eyebrows and split the Independent vote, but having said that the Tory candidate attracted more votes than all three Independent candidates added together.

Here in DeadBadgerShire we had the (unwelcome) intervention of Mrs Theresa May, MP, Home Secretary.  She seemed to be targeting undecided voters with an email assuring us all that Tory was the only way to go.

A certain amount of spin surely?  Not only the Conservative PCCs that have had the power to ‘Hire and Fire’.

Not only the Conservative PCCs that have set the Policing priorities and overseen multi million £ budgets.

Crime is down by more than a quarter since 2012?  Really.  CrimeStats have endured all kinds of problems over the last few years.  The Home Secretary knows full well that the Counting Rules have chsnged more frequently than my socks.  Recorded Crime is on the increase once more but no mention of that.

We need a PCC that will take the job seriously and work with the government?  Is she implying that ONLY a Conservative candidate will take the job seriously?  Why is it essential to work with government?  It isn’t, it is essential to make Policing work properly, and to serve the public properly.  Mind you, it makes Theresa’s life easier to have a compliant PCC, that could well explain why she wants a PCC that will work with government.

How did she choose who to send it to?  How did she get their email addresses (that could be a worry)?  I didn’t get one so it wasn’t sent to all.

Even if wasn’t wrong to chip in (and some think it wasn’t) just because she COULD, doesn’t mean that she SHOULD have.

In Dorset she progressed to a rather more controversial video, promoting the same message as the email but targeted at Dorset.

Some of you know, most of you don’t know, but I was originally standing as an Independent Candidate for my local Force.  I had received all my registration paperwork from the Electoral Commission, I had sorted my £5k deposit, was designing a campaign website and was well over half way through getting my initial 100 nominations as required when the Cabinet Office withdrew mailshot funding. I was left in a similar position to Mike Pannett but with three entire counties to cover I certainly couldn’t afford leaflets for 3 large counties, I couldn’t effectively ‘Press the Flesh’ over such a large area.  Rightly or wrongly I took the decision early that the field was being tilted and manipulated by government so I withdrew.  Ultimately the sole Independent candidate here finished 4th, so it is highly unlikely that I would have won.  The Tories overthrew a reasonable Independent majority, despite the fact that the only candidate I knew anything about was the surviving Indie, and I was taking an interest unlike the average voter.

Do I regret withdrawing? I most certainly do.  Do I think I could have won?  Almost certainly not, but I am immensely grateful to those who supported and encouraged me, and I’m sorry if you feel that I let you down, but realistically I am convinced, with the benefit of hindsight, that success was far from assured.

There is an element that doesn’t believe that an ex Police Officer would make a good PCC.  Whyever not?  Almost anybody from a School Leaver to a 100 year old pensioner is eligible to stand.  How is any knowledge and experience, at whatever level, be a negative thing?

With just the Welsh votes to be declared the Tories have 20 out of the 36 PCCs elected in England.  More than half.  Labour have 13 PCCs in England, leaving a meagre 3 Independents. THREE!!

Party Politics now play a HUGE part in Policing of England, and I’m sure Wales will follow suit.  Who is to blame?  Personally I blame, partly, Theresa May, for her questionable interventions, but mainly, our old friend APATHY.

The government did a wonderful job of keeping the elections low-key, but I’m sure more people COULD have voted but presumably didn’t think it was important.

Finally I want to pay my own personal tribute to Mike Pannett.  I know the administrative hoops that he had to jump through in the background.  He had to endure some pretty tacky tactics along the way, but he did so with head held high.  Well done Mike.  You have lost no friends or supporters here.  The boy done good.

PCC Elections?  Sshhh Maybe Nobody Will Notice

Just in case you hadn’t noticed there are elections next Thursday to elect some Police and Crime Commissioners.  I only say that because you may not have heard.  You have been a victim of this government’s latest scandalous trick.

Firstly Cabinet Office withdrew the funding for the candidates’ mailshot, meaning they would have to fund it themselves or do without, hugely disadvantaging the Independent Candidates.

The government spent, I believe, £9.6 MILLION sending us all a nice booklet about the EU IN/OUT referendum.

Teflon Theresa appeared in a few videos and sent out some emails assuring us that only a Conservative PCC could continue to successfully cut crime, whilst failing to notice that the latest official ONS stats show that crime has RISEN by 8%.  Blatantly ignoring Purdah and sticking a large oar into the democratic process.

The final straw is the revelation that after the multi million £ excesses of IN/OUT the Home Office have actually spent £2,700 promoting the PCC elections.  That is not a typo, that is two thousand, seven hundred pounds.

In 2012 they spent £3 million on a TV campaign for the elections.

If they followed the Electoral Commission’s recommendations they would have to spend about £9 million.

Instead they will be sending out a few posters to election officials at a cost of £2,700.

Is the process rigged?  You bet it is.  How anybody can describe it as fair is beyond me.

DESPICABLE ME

image

Controversial?  Me? Maybe Just This Once

Next month will bring us the 2016 elections for Police and Crime Commissioners.  At this precise moment I have no idea how they will go.  Most areas have Local Authority Elections on the same day which will hopefully improve the turnout over the 2012 disaster, but who knows, time will tell.

The government seem to be intent on tilting the playing field in their favour.  They have declared their hand by nishing the free leaflet drop which will comprehensively disadvantage any candidate not allied to a major political party, i.e. the Independents.

Rumours have been reaching the press in recent weeks how the Tories overspent on their election expenses in some constituencies at the last General Election, showing the contempt they have for the Electoral Process.  The last four years has proved to them the PCC system has not exactly fulfilled their plans and the popularity of Independent candidates such as Mike Pannett and Kevin Hurley has clearly got them rattled.  They seem hell-bent on gaining as many victories as possible this time round, and Theresa May has entered the fray urging everyone to vote Tory.

Purdah?  What Purdah?

So, unless Common Sense prevails (didn’t happen in the General Election) we should prepare ourselves for a plethora of Tory PCCs.  We have seen just what a good impression some of those have made of being government puppets.  Northants, North Yorkshire, Dyfed Powys to name just a few. They have all given a damn fine impression of obeying Theresa May without question.

So, what can we do about it if it all goes wrong?

Personally I’m not a huge fan of “Blue Flu”, it’s never really very popular, hardly ever effective and may send the wrong message to the public.

I prefer the #DoItRight philophosy.  Do absolutely everything by the book.  It normally takes much longer than taking the shortcuts, you can’t be wrong and you can’t, justifiably, be criticised.

Alongside this, my personal preference is to withdraw all of the things we do on a totally voluntary basis, such as driving Police Cars and/or carrying firearms etc etc.  I know many will not agree with that stance and that is your right, but let me just tell you this;

One dark day I was involved in an accident driving a Police Car, nobody died, nobody was injured but there was a very expensive pile of junk left at the side of the road. The Garage Sergeant appeared to be shocked that I was sober at 9 o’clock in the morning and that I was Guilty of being stationary whilst being hit by a 113 mph Porsche and I was accordingly prosecuted for this heinous offence.  Acquitted at Court with No Case To Answer, I had received no assistance from the Federation except offering to pay my legal bills.  Upon acquittal a Traffic Chief Inspector said “we all know what happens at Court son, the Innocent go down and the Guilty go free”.  On that day I vowed NEVER again to exceed the speed limit on duty,  NEVER to creep across a set of red lights, NEVER again to do one single thing driving a Police Car that would put my personal driving licence in jeopardy.  The Presumption of Guilt saw to that.

If a significant number of officers adopted similar views, Response Times would go out the window, jobs would stack up waiting to be done and it would become blatantly obvious that we need MORE cops, not less, just to tread water and get the Job done.

Not all of you will agree with me, and that’s fine.  I merely ask you to consider it, and if there is anything that you can stop doing, or do less, that won’t get you into trouble, then consider it.  Direct Action is seldom ignored, but I’m not sure that we can emulate the French Farmers and cover Parliament with cowshit or blockade our ports.  We cannot strike, that’s currently a No No, but if there is anything at all that we can lawfully do, that doesn’t breach the Discipline Code, just think about it.  I don’t want one single one of you to drop yourselves in the mire, but I am convinced that there are things that you can do (or not do) that will be noticed and make a difference.

Hunt’s speeches in the HoC over the last two days have shown how much sympathy and concern we can expect from the government, he has just been priceless.

I hope that the Independents will be successful next month, or at the very least, that the Tories fail, but if not you may need a Plan B.

Purdah vs FOIA

Yes, that old chestnut.

Personally, I confess, I did not know which should or would apply in the run-up to an election, so I phoned a friend.  It was not long before an answer was forthcoming.

I turned to page 7, as suggested, and this is what it says”

FOI requests

9. Requests which would normally be covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) must be handled in accordance with the requirements of the Act, and deadlines set therein. Where the application of the public interest balance requires more time, that is permitted under the Act but there is no general power to defer a decision.

10. Where a request needs to be considered under FOIA it will not normally be possible to get back to the Parliamentary candidate, or others within 24 hours and he or she should be advised of this as they may wish to submit a request more in line with paragraph 8 above.

Whilst the two paragraphs above are Cabinet Office guidance in relation to a General Election, surely the general principles must hold true for all and any elections.

If that is true then officials such as Police and Crime Commissioners should not be crying “Purdah, can’t do that” in relation to perfectly reasonable Freedom of Information requests.

I, for one, will most certainly be quoting the above Cabinet Office Guidance if any of my requests are declined on the grounds of Purdah, and I hope that you would all do the same. 

In Support Of The NARPO Army

There has been a lot of comment on Twitter recently to the effect that ex Police Officers should not stand for election in the forthcoming PCC Eelections in May.  Why not?  Who CAN stand in a hope of being elected?  ALMOST ANYONE.

To be able to stand as a candidate at a Police and Crime Commissioner election in England (excluding London, and Wales, you must be:
 at least 18 years old on the day of your nomination

 a British citizen, an eligible Commonwealth citizen or a
citizen of any other other member state of the European
Union, and
 registered as a local government elector in a local council
area that is within the police area in which you wish to stand, both at the time of your nomination and on polling day.

To be fair there are some people who cannot stand, who are they?

Bascally they are;

Disqualifications

1.2 Apart from meeting the qualifications for standing for election, you must also not be disqualified.

1.3 Most disqualifications apply on the day you are nominated and on polling day (see paragraph 1.4), but some will only apply on taking up office (see paragraph 1.5).

Disqualifications that apply on nomination and on polling day

1.4 You cannot stand for election if on the day of your nomination and on polling day:

I. You have been nominated as a candidate at a Police and Crime Commissioner election taking place on the same day for a different police area.

II. You have ever been convicted of an imprisonable offence. This disqualification applies even if you were not actually imprisoned for that offence, or the conviction has been spent.

III. You are a police officer or are directly or indirectly employed by the police. For further information, see paragraph 1.8

IV. You are disqualified under certain provisions of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, (as amended), if you are a civil servant, a member of the armed forces or hold any judicial office specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the House of Commons Disqualifications Act 1975 (as amended).

V. You are a member of the legislature of any country or territory outside the UK.

VI. You are a member of staff of a local council that falls wholly or partly within the police area in which you wish to stand, or you are employed in an organisation that is under the control of a local council in the police area in which you wish to stand.
Note that you may be employed by an organisation that is under the control of a local council, for example, if you work for certain fire services or health services. This list is not exhaustive. For further information see paragraph 1.13.
At a Police and Crime Commissioner election you are not treated as being employed by a local council if you work at a school (either as a teacher or a member of non-teaching staff) that is maintained or assisted by a local council.

Elected members of councils are not disqualified from being elected at a Police and Crime Commissioner election.

VII. You are the subject of a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order. For more information, see paragraph 1.20. 

Much has been made of ‘political independence’.  My take on this is; even if you regard PCCs as a political post (and most people do) if the candidate or post-holder are not aligned with or supported by a Political Party then surely they may truly be regarded as Independent.  After all, we have Independent MPs, Independent Councillors, nobody describes them as not being ‘Independent’ but we happily accept that they are indeed ‘political’.  What is the difference please?  Free from the shackles of Party Politics, no expectation or obligation to “toe the Party Line”.

When it comes to “holding the Chief Constable to account” we are faced with the assertion that anyone who didn’t rise to the rank of Chief Constable has somehow ‘failed’.  I for one do not regard myself as having failed in this quest quite simply because I did not attempt to reach those dizzy heights. I joined the Police to be a ‘Copper’, not to jump through assorted hoops to attain great rank.  I would certainly be offended to be branded a ‘failure’.

There also seems to be an assumption that an ex Police Officer would be incapable of forming a professional, working relationship with the Chief Constable and would be forever ‘blurring the lines’ or ‘overstepping the mark’.  How condescending is that?  What guarantees do you have that a professional politician would be any better, or do they have the monopoly on forming such working relationships?

I have also seen the arguement on Twitter that ex Police Officers are unlikely to act with an appropriate level of Integrity and Ethics.  In my view that is an outrageous generalisation.  Why on earh should ex Police Officers, retired or not, have less integrity than a politician, or Mrs Miggins who was a full time florist until just a week ago?  At various points in their careers Police Officers will have been vetted.  How would politicians or members of the public score in a Vetting Process? When it comes to public confidence, the Police still score higher than politicians;

I am not naive enough to think that all Police Officers, Ex, Retired or Serving, are all 100% perfect, but I certainly don’t believe that their standards are lower than the norm.

At the end of the day all I ask from any of the candidates is that they tell the truth and stick to stablished facts in their campaigns.  That way the electorate can vote for the candidate of their choice, having been ptoperly informed along the eay, and not persuaded or disuaded by somebody before the campaigns have even properly begun.

To return to the beginning, do I see a problem with ex (retired) Police Officers standing as a candidate? No I most certainly do not.  If that’s what the public want then they can and will vote for them.  The converse is also true.

The Countdown To 5th May Has Begun

Just 2 months to go until possibly one of the most important elections in recent years.The elections for Police and Crime Commissioner.  Local Authority and Mayoral elections (where applicable) are being held on the same date and hopefully this will improve the turnout.

Unlike in 2012 , when the last PCC elections were held, Police and Crime Commissioners are no longer an unknown quantity.  There are good, there are bad ones and there are PCCs who are totally unfathomable.  You wil each have your own opinion of your own PCC.

There are some excellent Independent candidates this time around, Mike Pannett in North Yorkshire, Barrie Sheldon in West Mercia, both of whom have a wealth of relevant experience for different reasons.

Kevin Hurley in Surrey is standing for re-election and I guess that the people of Surrey have had plenty of time to decide whether they like his style or not, but he does come with a reputation for telling THE TRUTH.  If that’s what you want then maybe he’s your man.

One thing we definitely do not want is a PCC who is part of one of the mainstream political parties.  Just look at the track record of some of the Tory PCCs, nothing more than Theresa May’s Yes Men.  If that’s what you want then fine, but honestly, party politics has no place in Policing.  It is clearly wrong.  It unduly influences decisions taken by the PCC and is undoubtedly detrimental to impartial Policing.  That is exactly what Policing should be – Impartial, Without Fear Or Favour, with their loyalties being to the people they serve, NOT the Home Office.

The government has already interfered to disadvantage the Independent candidates, some Tory PCCs seeking re-election are beginning to make claims that they really can’t back up.  Don’t be fooled by smoke snd mirrors.

I’m sure there are other excellent Independent candidates, not just the ones I have mentioned above, and if I have forgotten or omitted you then I apologise.  The important thing is that you seriously consider voting Independent, whoever your candidate is. I fervently believe that the safe and continued future of our fine and proud Police Service depends on keeping politics out of Policing.

Spotlight On Dyfed Powys Police, Life On The Other Side Of Offa’s Dyke

Another Tory Police & Crime Commissioner has come to my attention this week. In the second of my ‘Spotlight’ articles my trusty beam goes over Offa’s Dyke and into Welsh Wales.
Firstly we have Mr Salmon’s astonishing claim to be recruiting extra Police Officers. In a move similar to that in North Yorkshire, Mr Salmon has been proclaiming 30 ‘extra’ officers for months;

“This year Dyfed-Powys has 30 extra police officers and they’re spending a lot more time on the beat.”

Extra – what does that mean?

“beyond or more than what is usual, expected, or necessary; additional”

So where have these ‘extra’ officers come from?  Well, I’m not entirely certain as the official Home Office stats don’t actually show an increase in establishment of 30 officers.

  • September 2011 –    1,145
  • September 2012 –    1,120
  • March 2013 –            1,112
  • September 2013 –    1,101
  • March 2014 –            1,123
  • September 2014 –    1,164
  • March 2015 –            1,176
  • September 2015 –    1,166

September 2015 is the latest set of official stats available, so it is difficult to see which period this ‘extra’ 30 officers refers to.  Maybe he’s including PCSOs and Specials do you think?

In September 2015 there were 10 fewer PCSOs than in March 2015, so not there.  There were also 3 fewer Specials than there were in March 2015, so NO ‘extra’ officers there.  I can only assume that he is referring to some internal redistribution of officers, which doesn’t really equate to “This year Dyfed-Powys has 30 extra police officers

I’ll leave it there and move on, but you haven’t persuaded me Mr Salmon, my readers can make up their own minds, or you could tell us where they have come from.  Convenient though, just before an election.  Or, maybe it’s just another example of Tory Smoke and Mirrors.

Then I couldn’t help giggling at this newspaper headline;

Salmon on the slicks

Apparently Mr Salmon is being investigated by our old friends at IPCC for driving his official Dyfed Powys vehicle with one or more bald tyres.  Apart from the sheer embarrassment of getting caught driving a Job car with bald tyre(s) the model and nature of said vehicle caught my attention.

Our friends in the media beat me to it and submitted their own FOI request.

A Freedom of Information request has found that the BMW 530 supplied to Mr Salmon is equipped with blue lights and a siren that he cannot use. The request also states the Commissioner is entitled to claim 45p a mile in mileage expenses for use of a private vehicle.

A BMW 530 equipped with blue lights and siren?  Firstly Mr Salmon is a politician not a Police Officer, in my humble opinion he has no right to drive such a vehicle.  I am sure that the Dyfed Powys Pool is full of Focus’ and Skodas he could drive, or maybe something a little bit more up market, a Mondeo for example, without blue lights and siren.

Secondly I am sure that the Police Officers of Dyfed Powys would welcome an unliveried BMW 530 with blue lights and siren onto the fleet.  I am sure they could find a more suitable use for it every day of the week.  All I can think is that Dyfed Powys Police are so well off that they don’t have to worry about money so muchg as other Forces, unwanted, surplus BMWs lying around all over the shop.

I nearly forgot, MILEAGE.  Bronwen tells me that her boyfriend Dai is only allowed to claim 40p per mile mileage.  Some disparity there it seems, or maybe the PCC’s miles are more valuable than the Police Officers’?

All this from the Force that gave us

Dyfed-Powys in South Wales – the force where 19 days of work was rewarded with £170,000 – gave a senior officer expenses worth £54,945 when he moved house.

Carl Langley, a 48-year-old assistant chief constable, claimed the cash when he moved from Lincolnshire Police in March 2012.

and

Police chief whose move cost taxpayers £55k is probed over alleged affair with lawyer affected his work

and

Police lawyer being probed over affair with force chief now accused of giving £67,000 of work to estranged husband’s legal firm

Our friends at the Daily Mail really do seem to have it in for Mr Langley and his Force.  I have no idea if all or any of these items are true but I assume that the Daily Mail think that they are.

If you know of any more Tory PCCs seeking re-election that would benefit from ‘The Spotlight’ please let me know in the usual way and I will see what I can do with it.

 

BREAKING NEWS:- Mike Pannett To Stand For North Yorks PCC

Hear ye, hear ye, at 11 o’clock this morning it will be announced that our very own Mike Pannett will be standing for election to the post of Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire.

Needless to say he will be standing as an Independent candidate, free from the shackles and interference of Party Politics.

There can be few people better qualified to stand.

Mike is fiercely independent.

He has a solid background in Policing.

He is well known, not only in North Yorkshire, but now nationally thanks to his contributions to numerous news stories and Current Affairs stories in the mainstream media.

Mike knows from personal experience how Policing should work, and he commands the respect of many Front Line officers thanks to his never-ending support for the Police, particularly the Front Line.

People across the country know that Mike firmly believes that Party Politics has no place whatsoever in Policing, not in the current era, nor any other.

A well respected local, retired Naval Officer, Rear Admiral Bob Cooling,  has this to say in support of Mike

As a former officer in the Royal Navy who spent 34 years in the service of my country, loyal to the Crown regardless of the colour of Her Majesty’s Government, I see three compelling reasons why Mike Pannett is the right choice for PCC in North Yorkshire:

First, he is an Independent candidate and therefore unencumbered by a political agenda and able to serve the whole community without the distraction of party politics. Politics should not be mixed with public service and Mike really understands that.

Second, he combines an unmatched wealth of experience of the Police Service and community issues (both rural and urban) having served as a police officer for 20 years and subsequently been deeply immersed in community affairs in North Yorkshire.

Third, he is a man who is utterly committed to delivering the support and resources our beleaguered Police Service so desperately needs, while also ensuring that our community receives the best possible support from a Police service that is adequately funded, skilfully led, and highly motivated.

With this rare and admirable combination of attributes Mike Pannett is in my view the most compelling candidate at this critical time for the role of PCC in North Yorkshire.

There’s not much more I can add to that really, but if you agree that Mike Pannett (@MikePannett) is the right man for North Yorshire’s PCC in next year’s elections then send him a message of support if you wish and if you live in North Yorks please think very carefully and vote next year, and hopefully that vote will be for Mike.

I thank you.

Two Simple Questions, How Hard Can It Be?

  1. Could you please provide me with the estimated/anticipated cost of
    providing a Candidate Leaflet or ‘Mailshot’ for the 2016 Mayoral
    Elections?
  2. Could you please provide me with the estimated/anticipated cost of
    providing a Candidate Leaflet or ‘Mailshot’ for the 2016 Local
    Authority Elections?

And the answer from our illustrious Cabinet Office?

I am writing to advise you that following a search of our paper and electronic records, I
have established that the information you requested is  not held by the Cabinet Office.

It might be helpful if I explained that funding for Candidate Leaflets or ‘Mailshots’ does
not come from the Cabinet Office, so we don’t hold the information requested.

You may wish to try the Electoral Commission which holds information on how much 
candidates have spent on campaigns. 

And the issue that prompted my question in the first place?

Voters will not be sent impartial information about candidates for next year’s police and crime commissioner elections, the BBC understands.

The Cabinet Office is understood to have ruled out sending free mail-shots to households – despite criticism about the low turn-out for the 2012 poll.

Candidate information for the local and mayoral elections will be sent free of charge to each household.

However, the BBC understands the information will not be sent out for the PCC poll.

If that is not an excellent example of Government and Civil Servants colluding to fudge the issue and feed the voting mushrooms bullshit I have yet to see one.