Police candidates have their say
8:28am Mon Nov 12, 2012
The candidates vying to become the county police and crime commissioner promised to let the people of the Newark help shape the way they were policed in future if elected.
The four were guests of the Hawtonville Safer Neighbourhood Group on Thursday evening at the only hustings to take place outside Nottingham.

A crowd of around 40 people questioned the candidates at Hawtonville Community Centre.

Voters go to the polls this Thursday, November 15, to choose the first publicly-elected commissioner who will replace the police authority, set budgets and hold the chief constable to account.

Miss Rosemary Holland, a local defence solicitor, asked the panel if they had identified what their policing priorities were for Newark.

A former policeman, Mr Malcolm Spencer, standing as an independent, said he wanted local policies tailored to local communities.

Mr Padding Tipping, the former Sherwood MP who is standing for Labour, said: "Communities can tell you what their problems are and usually what the solution is.

"What goes on on the Hawtonville Estate will be different in Farndon and completely different to rural Caunton.

"I would have public meetings to discuss what the problems are and then meetings again to talk about the progress being made."

Mr Tony Roberts, deputy leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council and the Conservative candidate, said Newark's problems were drink-related crime especially by young people, anti-social behaviour, metal theft, and more general rural crime and he would work to address them all.

Dr Raj Chandran, an independent and former police surgeon and Mayor of Gedling, said his top priority was to hold community surgeries.

"Our duty is to do exactly what you want," he said.

Mr Spencer said he could return 100 police officers to the beat from backroom duties.

Mr Roberts said he dealt with police as part of his council role with community safety and had overseen a rationalisation of Kelham Hall while protecting frontline services and could do the same at the police.

Mr Tipping said he could call on 40 years of public service, which included time as an MP and with community groups.

Mr Spencer said he would have no problem holding the chief constable to account, having already done so as an adviser to the Nottinghamshire Police Federation.

Dr Chandran said he would use his £75,000 salary to pay for independent auditors to go through the force's books to identify where savings could be made.

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