Does this manifesto have political traits?

Here is a manifesto of a PCC candidate. I have blanked out regional references and the candidates name. Please read it and see if you can determine political/independent bias, and complete Poll above. Then click link at end to see original:

Key Points

If I am elected, I will commit to the PCC’s office being inclusive, honest, representative, fair-minded and accountable. Policing is a complicated and demanding job. I want to inspire everyone who does take on that job in XXXXXX. My primary goal as ” Police and Crime Commissioner would be to to keep crime low and ensure residents feel safe.

  •   Support our Police, agencies & partners to strive to continue to reduce crime
  •  Tackle all anti social behaviour identifying repeat and vulnerable victims
  •   Tackle all violence against Women & Girls, exploitation & hate crime including Commit to securing first UK prosecution for Female Genital Mutilation
  •  Tackle drugs related crime whilst working with agencies to pursue a constructive approach to drug and alcohol addiction.
  •   Create a comprehensive communications strategy to engage with the widest possible audience
  •   Support victims of crime ensuring they get the help and support they need.
  •  Create Voluntary Sector Liaison Officer to make sure we’re aware of and are then able to support all voluntary organisations regardless of size and location.
  • Ensure a fair share of resources across both rural and urban regions and ensure we have PCC office representation across all Police Districts
  •  Maintain a non-political culture within the PCCs office
  •  Consideration to Deputy Commissioner
  •  Work with the Police to protect front line services including PCSO’s
  •  Tackle all hate crime
  •  Ensure effective Neighbourhood Policing relevant for local people
  •  Ensure local elements for each District within the Police & Crime Plan
  •  Create a cross regional and fully representative Public Scrutiny Panel
  •  Maintaining Independent Custody Visiting Scheme
  •  Investing in Young People & Youth Engagement
  •  Creating a fully representative Youth Council led by appointed Youth Commissioner
  •  Ensuring a safe environment for our Children & Young People
  •  Reduce re-offending by full engagement with restorative practices including an increased use of Community Justice Panels
  •  Neighbourhood collaborations
  • Appoint a Policy Officer to ensure we remain updated regarding changing legislation
  • Also to allow Police and PCCs office to challenge existing legislation when appropriate
  •  Support Animal Welfare

Further Details

These are not the only objectives to continuing to improve policing and criminal justice system in our region. However, they do form my core strategy to ensure our residents have the most effective, reliable and ”

trustworthy police and judicial system possible. And I hope it give you an idea of the type of Police and Crime Commissioner I want to be.

Support our police, agencies & partners to strive to continue to reduce crime.

XXXXXX Constabulary have continued to improve performance. Public confidence and perceived quality of service have improved year on year. Overall crime figures are reducing with overall detection rates increasing. However, these aren’t issues with which we can be complacent. The very first priority will be to ensure that all the measures put in place to meet the demands of the comprehensive spending review remain on course. HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) recently praised XXXXXX Polices ‘careful approach’ leading them to publish a report in July this year saying that ‘XXXXXXX Police were in a good position to achieve it’s savings target with an ambition to continue to delivering improved policing to make people feel safe and confident in their service.’

I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure we continue to be the lead force on collaborations with neighbouring forces tackling major investigations as well as serious and organised crime. I will continue to support collaborations delivering ‘more for less’ such as the national borderless police air service and the national forensic consortium. I will work to resist all further cuts to the Police budget.

Tackle anti-social behaviour

Continue the improvements made by the Police over recent times. I will ensure that we have a comprehensive strategy in identifying repeat and vulnerable victims and we have the relevant skills and resources to support all residents whose lives are affected by this. I will continue the work of collaboration with local authorities and partnership organisations to build and maintain strong relationships within all communities in order to quickly and efficiently identify any aspect of ASB.

Tackle violence against women & girls, exploitation & hate crime

VAWG (rape and all other sexual violence, domestic violence, honour based violence, female genital mutilation and trafficking etc.) remains a serious issue for which we all have responsibility. I believe that everyone has the right to live his or her life free from the fear of physical or emotional assault.

I promise to take a region wide approach against all forms of violence and abuse against women and girls, ensuring it is written into the Police and Crime Plan and that a range of support services for women and girls continue to be commissioned. These will include those based within the Criminal Justice system as well as those working independently of it. Non Criminal Justice based services are essential for women who do not want to report crime against them, or who feel unsafe or unsure about reporting. I will ensure that we publish an action plan at a local level targeted at preventing violence from happening, supporting survivors of violence and their families and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice

I will continue to champion a policing policy that does not tolerate gender-based violence. I will work with colleagues and partnership organisations to tackle the root cause and ensure we are able to contribute to effective prevention and education programmes. To ensure that issues around consent, gender equality and respect as well as tackling attitudes to women that underlie violence and abuse. Partnership working reflecting a multi agency response will be undertaken and collaborations will be supported at a strategic and operational level. When engaged with competitive tendering processes for the provision of vital external partnership services I will ensure that small organisations with local and/or specialist knowledge will not be disadvantaged.

Initiatives such as operation Bluestone, the dedicated rape and sexual assault investigation team must continue to deal with and respond to any allegation of rape or serious sexual assault, including historical rapes and domestic rapes.

No one in the XXXXXXX area must be out of range of the right level of advice and support.

Note – Female Genital Mutilation

This practice is generally performed on girls aged 8 – 14, but can be done at any age. It is a cultural practice not religious and there are variations on the severity of the practice. FGM is generally not performed using any anesthetic or in sterile conditions. I will work with partnership agencies and communities to continue to raise the issues of FGM and ensure that support and advice is available. Engagement with the relevant communities is paramount and I remain sensitive to the cultural element of this practice. However, I will work to support other agencies to eradicate this practice within our region and to help bring about the first UK prosecution for female genital mutilation.

Tackle drugs related crime whilst working with agencies to pursue a constructive approach to drug and alcohol addiction.

Treating drug and alcohol addiction as a health, not a criminal issue is a proactive starting point in reducing re-offending. The amount of acquisitive criminality (crimes in which an offender acquires or takes items from another person) that result from drug addiction, the cost to businesses and individuals, the pressure on support networks and most significantly, the impact on the lives of victims is staggering. Drugs is an issue that need tackling now. Again, I will look to our voluntary sector to identify those organisations that have the most effective solutions and with whom we can most effectively collaborate.

I will look to work with these organisations to consider potential changes to legislation that would provide a more practical and effective approach to drugs and drug related crime. See Policy Officer (later)

Create a comprehensive communications strategy.

In order to ensure the office of the PCC is able to engage and ‘talk’ with the widest possible audience I aim to create the most effective communications strategy. I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure that the office of the PCC is the relevant outlet for a full, transparent and two way means of communication between residents and their Police.

This does not include communications and public consultation around specific major investigations and operational policing. I would expect to be fully informed of all developments around such investigations but whilst investigations are ongoing they would remain with the Senior Investigating Officer and ultimately the Chief Constable. It is vital to understand that sensitivity regarding the handling of investigations and information could be crucial to the outcome to any investigation.

I would support continued development of technological communications methods such as the on line ‘track my crime’ and other web based and traditional initiatives.

Support victims of crime ensuring they get the help and support they need.

I believe that victims and witnesses must be at the heart of policing and as such I will work with Police, statutory, voluntary bodies and local authorities to:

• Be open and accountable to victims and witnesses, seeking out and acting on their views.
• Ensure that victims and witnesses get the high quality help and support they need, when they need it. • Make the police more victim-focused and more effective at meeting their needs.
• Give victims and witnesses an effective voice in the wider criminal justice system.
• Constantly work to develop new ways of delivering justice for victims

Create Voluntary Sector Liaison Officer

Across our region we have a diverse range of independent voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. They provide effective and professional services and support that helps cut crime, support victims and maintain community safety.

I will ensure that within the office of the PCC we will have a dedicated Voluntary sector champion (Voluntary Sector Liaison Officer). We will conduct a mapping process across the region to identify every relevant organisation and conduct an assessment of delivery processes in line with Safer Communities provisions to create a practical working council for improved collaboration and financial effectiveness. I will ensure that we collectively benefit from strong community links involving local people, some of whom represent those outside of the mainstream. I will ensure our collective approach means we go beyond meeting statutory duties and target the most vulnerable members of our communities. Such an inclusive collaboration should also support existing Police and local authority provisions allowing us to return resources back to front line services. I want to use our strength in connectivity to attract additional external funding opportunities.

Ensure a fair share of resources across rural & urban regions.

Covering an area of 1,855 square miles there is a diverse mix of rural and urban policing within our region. I will ensure there will not be an unfair allocation of funds favouring one area over another. I will ensure that, in line with the constabulary system of basic command units with dedicated senior teams, the office of PCC will also have representation for each district. Each PCC official, in addition to his or her ‘core’ role, will have specific responsible for their own district and keep me briefed on specific issues (PCC Divisional Officer). I would also look to work with local and national partners as well as community safety initiatives to ensure increased collaborations to support Divisional Commanders.

In addition to urban policing needs, we give equal consideration to the range of issues affecting rural and farming communities including theft of livestock, anti social behaviour, metal theft, fly tipping and road safety.

Maintain a non-political culture within the PCCs office

Politicization of policing is not acceptable or fair to the integrity of the Police or public. I want a robust and honest collaboration between the PCC’s office and all local authorities, regardless of political affiliation.

Regardless of political affiliation, I will engage with everyone in order to ensure that we work together, share resources as well as best practice. I will hold the integrity and political impartiality of XXXX Police as sacrosanct and ensure my conduct, as Police & Crime Commissioner, is apolitical. I will expect other individuals and organisations to respect this.

Deputy Commissioner

I will give consideration to appointing a Deputy Commissioner. I would look to appoint the best person for the job, regardless of political affiliation. I am of the opinion that as a practical consideration I would ideally look to have a woman in this role. Whilst I’m perfectly comfortable dealing with a range of issues I believe that having a person with corresponding experience and characteristics to my own would be complimentary. If this is one area that means we can be collectively more effective then so be it.

Protecting front line services

I will respect the Police Officers, PCSO, staff and volunteers of XXXXXX Police. Whilst I appreciate there will be a need to be prepared for strategic business changes to maintain the most effective and financially stable service I will not consider any form of privatization of warranted officers. The office of constable is the core of modern policing and maintains the integrity, impartiality and accountability of operational policing.

I believe that XXXXXXX police have accepted their responsibility regarding the Comprehensive Spending Review. However, I will fight to maintain budget and staffing levels to ensure the safety and security of the public, Police Officers and Staff is never compromised. I will work across the political spectrum to actively engage with all local authorities, MP’s and Ministers to lobby central government to immediately address the loss of an annual £20m as a result of an unfair tax transfer (damping) and resist any further cuts to our budgets.

I will work with the Chief Constable and the Strategic Director of HR to ensure that we do our utmost to refresh the morale of a workforce that has seen some of the biggest changes in it’s history. Both the Winsor and Hutton reviews of Police terms and conditions and of public sector pensions respectably will have a dramatic impact on working lives.

I will strive to ensure that these changes do not hinder our ambitions to provide continuity regarding beat teams who are able to build good community relationships and become part of the fabric of their communities. I will work with all local authorities to ensure that PCSO’s are retained and supported. I will also work with local authorities and the Police to provide a career structure for our PCSO’s to retain a quality and experienced workforce. I will also encourage recruitment of additional Special Constables and other volunteers.

Tackle Hate Crime

This covers a range of crimes against groups and individuals as diverse as those with mental health issues, elderly persons, vulnerable members of our communities, racial and ethnic groups and so on. I will ensure that we maintain a robust approach to all hate crime and will focus on the needs of victims first. I will promote any measures to counter hate crime against any community or individuals especially through public engagement. I will actively engage with local campaigners and community representatives to consult and collaborate to ensure I am informed regarding relevant issues and opportunities.

I will actively support the police regarding specific community police groups with special understanding and training in order to foster good relations with the community. These include the LGBT Liaison Team, Polish Community Support and many more. It is important that the Police as well as the office of the PCC best represent the divers community that it serves.

Effective Neighbourhood Policing for local people

To be truly effective at a local level, policing needs to be focused on delivering solutions to crime and the fear of crime specific for each local community. To deliver a seamless service tailored to the local needs, expectations and circumstances, neighbourhood police teams need to work increasingly closely with ordinary local people as well as local councils, agencies such as housing associations, trading standards, youth, education and social services, community organisations, victims’ groups and residents’ representatives. There is good evidence based support that a community based approach to tackling anti-social behaviour and crime prevention does work.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) provide a local and familiar face for their residents, which compliments the services provided by warranted officers. They provide a critical link between ordinary citizens in the community and the Specialist Neighbourhood Officers.

I will work with all local authorities and safer community teams to ensure specific community burdens aren’t always placed solely with the Police. This will include collaborations around issues as diverse as dog fouling, cycling on pavements, illegal parking, fly tipping etc. It will be crucial to remind local authorities and councilors of the contributions they can make to help fight crime and create safer communities.

Note – Local Police & Crime Plan

The overall Police and Crime Plan will contain divisional area specific elements, in consultation with the local Community Safety Partnership, local authorities, and Divisional Commanders. The local plan will identify the crime issues for the local communities and provide priorities for tackling them. It is particularly important that the plan meets the needs of each community.

Public Scrutiny Panel

In order to provide all residents with clear visibility to police activity I will create a public scrutiny panel. Funding will be provided to cover travel and other associated costs for members who will be invited on a voluntary basis. The panel will consist of the broadest possible range from geographical, ethnic, faith, gender and age representation. This panel will meet regularly at varying District locations to scrutinize various elements of our Policing provision. This will be in line with current Police Authority practice and will include sampling Complaints against Police files and calls into the police as two examples. Regular reports will be submitted to the PCCs office with relevant feedback being provided to the Chief Constable and reports published on line

Note – Maintaining Independent Custody Visiting Scheme

Under section 51 of the Police Reform Act 2002, statutory responsibility for organising and overseeing the delivery of independent custody visiting did lie (in consultation with chief constables) with police authorities. I will assume this responsibility and continue with our Independent Custody Visiting to ensure that the police services are open and accountable to the public. This will be the continuation of an established system whereby volunteers attend police stations to check on the treatment of detainees, the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed.

Investing in young people & youth engagement

Young people are the age group more likely to be victims of crime and to become involved in committing crime. I will:

  • –  Make myself accessible to young people and provide appropriate ways for young people to express their concerns to me (e.g. face-to-face surgeries, social media, e-petitions)
  • –  Treat all young people as citizens, valuing their interests and opinions as much as any other group in the community
  • –  Provide an equal platform for all members of the community, including minorities and those who are marginalized
  • –  Establish a way of meaningful representation of young people’s views by creating a Youth advisory panel with representation from existing youth groups. I will also create a Youth PCC role who will work within the PCC’s office to ensure these aims are realized.
  • –  Use my influence as Police and Crime Commissioner to support the police force to engage positively with all young people.I will also engage with other relevant agencies and the Police to ensure continued support of the Police Apprentice scheme as well as add to the Police Cadet system.

Children and Young People

I have undertaken to engage with a range of voluntary sector and statutory bodies to ensure we maintain a safe environment for our children and young people to be safe and to feel safe. I will make every effort in preventing, identifying and addressing all forms of child abuse and exploitation, including sexual exploitation.

Although not limited to Children and Young People I will actively engage with the relevant voluntary and statutory organisations to raise the profile of human trafficking and slavery. I will ensure that the office of the PCC creates a culture of support and ensure that all young people have confidence in the Police in order to engage with efforts to protect them. I will work with the Police to ensure we deliver training for frontline police officers in recognising child sexual exploitation and human trafficking and to respond appropriately. This includes making sure that child sexual abuse issues are included within wider investigation training on child abuse.

Full engagement with restorative practices

Champion neighbourhood /Community justice panel involving local people deciding how offenders make amends for all crime where the community deem appropriate. Following the success of a pilot scheme in Somerset I would look to introduce this throughout the Police area. To provide funding and support addressing victims’ needs as well as holding offenders accountable. To involve victims, offenders and communities in this process. To ensure improved use of victim impact statements within such practices. The time and cost involved in taking certain cases through a formal legal process (courts) is proven to be significantly higher and also involves the offender not having to take responsibility for their actions.

Neighbourhood Collaborations

With a number of neighbourhood and community safety collaborations and groups I believe that the efforts of a number of community minded groups and individuals is being diluted. With neighbourhood forums, partnerships, Neighbourhood Watch, PACT, action groups, business and partner organisations there is a vast amount of duplication. I would look to encourage development of a single and effective neighbourhood organization with representation from the community, Police, local councils, statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure each plays its part to focus on issues of common interest including graffiti, vandalism, speeding, dog fouling etc. Social media networking alongside more traditional means of effective communications would ensure that each neighbourhood would retain maximum control.

Policy Officer

There will be occasions when we will need to look at legislation and how the effective policing of it impacts on our communities and resources. I anticipate having a dedicated Policy Officer within the PCC’s office to maintain a watch on emerging legislation but also allowing us to work with the Chief Constable and other Police organisations to challenge and lobby for changes to existing legislation as appropriate.

Animal Welfare

I would look to secure improved collaboration between the Police animal welfare organizations (RSPCA and RSPB etc.) I will identify shared benefits of collaborations to identify and tackle crime and animal welfare issues. The following in particular:

Develop a joint Wildlife Crime strategy in conjunction with other enforcement agencies.

Tackling irresponsible dog ownership. Work with agency partnerships for consolidated legislation to ensure improved preventative measures.

I will also be engaging with such organizations to investigate the possibility of their assuming identical boundaries to the various Police Services. This will help co-operation and avoid duplication.

Click here to see whose Manifesto this is and see original

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