Northumberland Labour Group
Ian Swithenbank, Chairperson
Grant Davey, Leader
Val Tyler, Deputy
Robert Arckless, Secretary
Northumberland NE61 2EF
Telephone (01670) 533000
Fax (01670) 533072
As the election for the new Police and Crime Commissioners approaches on 15 Nov, it seems like an opportune time to raise some relevant questions for the Conservative candidate Phil Butler who will be fighting this election on the record of his coalition government. Mr Butler has made much of his record as a ‘high profile crime fighter especially in the area of fraud’ so maybe he will answer these questions.
- Does he support the Home Secretary’s 20% cut in police numbers which will mean over 130 fewer frontline police officers in Norhumbria Police area?
- Does he support the Home Secretary’s push to force police forces to privatise policing and will he rule it out in Northumbria?
- Will he reinstate the ‘neighbourhood policing pledge’ which was scrapped by the coalition government he now represents and which allowed residents to hold police forces to account?
This election will be held against the backdrop of a mounting push from the Tory/Lib Dem government to open police forces up to market pressures and I wonder if Mr Butler shares my fears that the recent G4S shambles in the Olympics will be a taste of things to come, with police forces forced to choose between fighting crime and ‘making do’. I have noted that Mr Butler’s career was almost exclusively ‘forged’ during the Labour years and his particular area of expertise in fraud detection benefitted from above inflation increases in resources and I wonder if he has considered that the party he now represents are cutting the level of resources to fighting economic crime by over 25%?
He makes much of ‘not being a traditional politician’ but I suspect his answers to the above questions will give the public everything they need to know before 15 November. Will he duck the tough questions or will he come clean and support the government he is now a representative of?
Leader of Labour Group, Northumberland County Council.