Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 18 October 2012


On Thursday 15th November 2012 you will be asked to vote for the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall.
Please make sure you vote either by post or in person.

The idea is that we need to make the police more accountable to local people in the delivery of their crucial service. As I have written before the current system of a police authority made up of councillors from around the region has not been sufficiently connected or pro-active to encourage the citizens of this region to feel they could influence police priorities or performance at strategic level. So we are trying a new democratic system.

There will be a number of candidates for you to choose from. Each of the main parties is fielding a candidate in our region and there are also several independents. There will not be the kind of leaflet blizzard that comes with a general election, but you should all be getting information soon telling you how to find out about the candidates so you can make an informed choice. Because the region is so large, personal contact will be at a premium, but there will be a number of public events that these brave folk will undertake. If in doubt a visit to will guide you in the right direction, or contact my office.

The idea is not for the Commissioner to interfere in day to day policing, but to help set strategic priorities according to what people want. The Commissioner's main job will be to stay in touch with local communities and ensure that public priorities are reflected in police performance. For most of us tougher action on anti-social behaviour by alcohol-affected youngsters would probably be top of the list. The Commissioner's job will be to make sure the police deliver.

We all respect the work of our police, but I have never met anybody who does not think it cannot be improved.

Is this a good policy? I am on record as saying it is not my favourite policy, although for large cities I can see it being a great success.
I worry about the size of our region, but the current system certainly needed to change. The matter is settled so we must give it a go.
The bigger the turnout the more the successful candidate can claim legitimacy and the more the Chief Constable will listen.

So please vote on 15th November. 

posted by Gary @ 09:56