UK residents quite rightly place their trust in the UK police force. It is the most visible and expected “Responsive” point of contact to whom the public turns when it sees, or regretfully experiences, a crime be it anti-social behaviour, burglary, fraud, sexual or other form of personal attack. Taxpayers also rightly expect their police forces to allocate their resources, including finance, to the most pressing needs of communities ensuring that all are protected from crime however it might manifest itself, whilst addressing the new challenges and responsibilities set by the Home Secretary. In many instances community support and involvement in crime resolution is now a pivotal part of the overall policing resource. This is to be actively encouraged but should not become the default position or be undermined by aspects of questionable crime reporting quality, thereby lowering public trust in policing and police force accountability. It is these 3 areas that will become the lynchpin of YOUR elected UKIP Police & Crime Commissioner (‘PCC’) whose 100% commitment to the role will ensure the necessary accountability at all levels of policing, its operational focus and delivery, its management and record on financial performance. Only through these aspects will your UKIP PCC be able to rightly claim the mantle as being the link between the Public and its Police Force.
It is essential a PCC now must “think out of the box” and keep abreast of new technologies and approaches to improve policing. Already trialled helmet and lapel cameras linked by radio to a police operations centre have demonstrated value whilst the use of tablets to record and submit evidence will be continued. New technology has the opportunity to deliver cost savings meaning more money for redeployment at a community level. By way of example the use of drones (as being used in France) is effective and is a fraction of the cost of police helicopters. No PCC can be totally resilient against unwarranted EU influence, to create “harmonization” across European Member States, as long as the UK remains part of the European Union. Proposed changes to uniforms and firearms licensing are on the short-term horizon. However it is beholden on PCCs to be in regular dialogue with the Home Secretary and to ensure that this dialogue works both ways, only then can communities be confident that PCCs are an asset to their social, civic and personal policing needs.