Wisbech quizzes Police Commissioner candidates
Candidates hoping to be Cambridgeshire’s next police and crime commissioner vyed for votes during a hustings in Wisbech.
Jason Ablewhite (Con), Dave Baigent (Lab), Nick Clarke (UKIP) and Rupert Moss-Eccardt (Lib Dem) answered a range of questions during the session in the Oasis Centre on Friday.
The candidates were hoping to woo voters ahead of the election, which takes places tomorrow (Thursday).
During the debate, which was watched by around 40 people, the candidates were asked to state what their three priorities for Wisbech would be.
Mr Clarke stated that his priorities would be reducing the 101 response times, coming down on drug dealers and introducing zero tolerance teams, which would arrive unannounced into a community to deal with ‘low level crime’.
He said: “People urinating where they shouldn’t be will be arrested and dealt with. Those parking on the pavement and all the rest of it. These things are not being dealt with at the moment as the Chief Constable has less resources.”
Tory candidate Mr Ablewhite said legislation was being changed to help tackle street drinking, which was raised as an issue.
He said: “In terms of Wisbech, I think one of the key things we need to tackle is violent crime. I have heard a lot of people in my visits talking about violence towards youngsters and that has to be a key priority. A lot of that does come back to drugs.”
Mr Baigent told the audience that he aimed to “foster a spirit of co-operation”.
He said: “If elected I will bring senior police officers into this community. The community and police officers will talk, priorities will be set, they will become my priority and in turn they will become the Chief Constable’s priority to police.”
Mr Moss-Eccardt said he wanted the police to go back to Robert Peel’s principles when the forces were first set up.
He said: “Policing by consent, that has been lost and we need to get back to that. Serving the community and doing it in the way the community wants. You can’t represent or serve the community without being in that community. All that leads to the police and the community working together to reduce crime and harm.”