Crime commissioner candidate Lord Prescott has plan to cut police cuts
POLICE role hopeful Lord John Prescott plans to put the brakes on plans to cut 400 police officers from the Humberside force if he lands the job.
As he launched his new battle bus as part of his campaign for the job of police and crime commissioner in the region, the Labour candidate said he has a "plan B" to overtake the one agreed by Humberside Police Authority.
As reported, about £10 million will be cut from the police budget over each of the next three years.
But Lord Prescott said that was too fast and could lead to the loss of 436 officers – and claimed 249 of those would be lost from frontline services.
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Speaking during a visit to North East Lincolnshire he said new figures from the Home Office reveal the number of frontline police officers has been reduced from 1,628 in 2010 to 1,507 in March 2012 – a cut of seven per cent in less than two years.
"We are making the cuts twice as fast as other police forces in the country," he said.
"I want to take my message out to the people so their voice is heard about the plan.
"There is already a plan A to develop the cuts. One of my first commitments is not to follow that first fast track and therefore develop plan B."
He said The Prescott Express, his new campaign battle bus promoting JP: The People's Voice, would enable him to meet voters.
He said: "It is a kind of mobile surgery so I can listen to their views.
"Since 2007, when Humberside was at the bottom of the league, there has been a marked improvement and the force is nearer the top.
"Humberside adopted community policing well, but there are still the problems of violence through drink, theft by people to feed their drug habit and assaults.
"I am going to get action to get that reversed."
During his visit, Lord Prescott treated his campaign team to fish and chips in Cleethorpes.
He said the resort had become like a second home after his appearance at the Clee Festival Of Music last month and a summer visit to Pleasure Island with his granddaughter, Ava.
As reported, there are currently six candidates for the role, which goes to public vote on November 15. They are political heavyweight Lord John Prescott (Labour), MEP Godfrey Bloom (UKIP), Matthew Grove (Conservative) and Independents Walter Sweeney, Neil Eyre and Paul Davidson.
Whoever becomes this influential figure will be responsible for overseeing the work of Humberside Police on behalf of residents.
Potential candidates and their agents were invited to attend a pre-nomination briefing on September 18 at 6pm in County Hall, Cross Street, Beverley, or contact Jane Stewart, in democratic services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, on 01482 393204 by Friday.
All candidates must have submitted their application by October 19.
Interviews with the candidates are appearing in your Grimsby Telegraph and, once published, can be found at www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk.
Find candidate details at www.policeelections.com