Police Commissioner candidate Matthew Grove pledges to be 'the victim's champion'
THE Conservative candidate for the role of Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner told the people of North East Lincolnshire that he is the credible alternative to Lord Prescott.
Speaking during a visit to Grimsby and Cleethorpes at the weekend, Matthew Grove said that while he lacked the public profile of the former deputy prime minister, he was not "burdened" with his past record.
After chatting to members of the public in Grimsby's Victoria Street, the East Riding Council cabinet member told the Grimsby Telegraph that even Labour supporters had promised to vote for him rather than the long-serving former Hull MP.
As reported, six people have so far thrown their hat into the ring for the £75,000-a-year post. As well as Lord Prescott and Mr Grove, they are UKIP's Godfrey Bloom and Independents Walter Sweeney, Neil Eyre and Paul Davidson.
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Mr Grove said: "I think people are very much looking for an alternative to Prescott. I think people are becoming aware of how important this role is and they want to make sure whoever is elected is the right person for the job.
"Do they want to give the job to someone who is 74 years old and who has flip-flopped on a number of substantial issues?
"This is a man who opposed the House of Lords and then took a peerage. This is a man who opposed the police and crime commissioner position and then stood for it."
Mr Grove added that Lord Prescott had voted for the Human Rights Act, something which he described as a "charter for criminals" which he would like to see abolished.
Pledging to become "the victim's champion", he said: "I will give them a voice that they haven't had before."
Mr Grove also vowed to campaign for tougher sentencing and advocated a system of charging drunken offenders for the cost of policing.
He said: "I think people realise that the police are doing a reasonable job despite the system, not because of it. A lot of the public's concerns relate mostly to sentencing and the criminal justice system.
"I believe we are seeing sentences that clearly don't fit the crime and victims are feeling let down. If elected I will push for more appropriate sentencing."
He added: "We have got to tackle this culture of drunkenness which has made many of our town centres on Friday and Saturday nights no-go areas for decent people, and even more worryingly, has made our casualty departments places where people don't want to go for fear of what they might face when they get there."