Humberside Crime Commissioner 'candidates' face grilling from Grimsby Institute students - Lord Prescott included
SIX would-be candidates for the £70,000-a-year Humberside Crime Commissioner role were grilled by students at the Grimsby Institute.
As reported, this November elections will be held to decide which of the candidates will win the post, which will take over the role of the current Humberside Police Authority.
Although several people have announced their intention to stand for election, they cannot officially become candidates until mid-October.
However, this did not put off the students – many of whom are studying criminology – from quizzing the six on their policies and raising their own concerns.
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Those facing the questions were former Labour Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott; former Humberside Police Chief Superintendent Paul Davidson; Conservative Matthew Grove; former Conservative MP Walter Sweeney – who is standing as an independent; Scunthorpe IT man Neil Eyre and UKIP MEP for Lincolnshire and Yorkshire Godfrey Bloom.
As reported, Mr Bloom had only launched his election campaign earlier that day (Friday) with a visit to Grimsby from party leader Nigel Farage.
There were three separate sessions with a total of 30 students – from the ages of 18 to mature students in their 60s – taking part.
Mr Grove said: "It felt like three really different job interviews but they were a really great bunch of people.
"Sometimes public appearances can seem very superficial but, on this occasion, I was faced with three rooms full of expert students, many of them studying criminology, who knew their subject inside out.
"They were very intelligent and they really did grill me – but it is reassuring to know that there are people like this coming through the system.
"It shows that there are members of the public who are genuinely interested in tackling crime at grass roots level."
Mr Sweeney, added: "It was an excellent day and I got the chance to talk to a wide range of students of different ages and from different backgrounds.
"I only wish I had the chance to talk to more of them.
"They asked some very perceptive questions and something that I noticed came up often was how we stop people reoffending – people who never turn away from crime."
Paula Grant, of Safer Future Communities, the organisation that arranged the event, said: "It was important for students to have a chance to talk to the commissioners in a closed and comfortable environment so they could ask questions about what concerns them.
"The crime commissioner role is a major shake-up and I think it will mean a lot to students to feel that their university is part of it."
Later, Lord Prescott – who had another engagement in Hull following the debate – tweeted: "Great PCC hustings at Grimsby University Centre. The students knew more about law & policing than most of the other candidates."
Keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph for all the latest on the election race. You can also join the debate by e-mailing your views to email@example.com