Your Opportunity to change Policing

On the 15th of November 2012 the election of the Sussex PCC (Police & Crime Commissioner) will take place. For the first time the electorate will have a direct say in policing. The Police Minister Nick Herbert said in a speech that this will be

"a new era in policing, when local people will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex" .

Up until now the Sussex Police Authority has had this power; Who are they?, what do they do? I think most ordinary residents will be unable to answer that question.This will all change with the election, the electorate will be able to decide what Police force they want and how it operates. This is why I am putting my name forward to be chosen as the Conservative Party Candidate.

Book a Hotel

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Sussex Conservatives Chooses its PCC Candidate

Peter Jones

Sussex Conservatives will select their candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner on 14th July at the special general meeting at Burgess Hill.

As a losing candidate I think that puts me in a unique position in regard to judging who would be the best candidate for the job as I have studied them all in depth.

I believe that Peter Jones will make the best PCC Candidate and I am swinging my support behind him.  The reasons for this is that he has a successful record of turning round East Sussex County Council building up the reserves to be £200M and helping launch a £500M capital spending programme.  He is also one of Sussex’s big political animals and has the statue and gravitas to hold this position.

Peter has a plan (rather than aspirations); this would be to take out £10m of admin costs to give a boost to the front line, so the force can hire more police officers to protect our local communities.  Also to use some of the admin savings to strengthen the specialist support teams to help the force as a whole to catch more criminals and charge them.

Also one of the big issues I have highlighted is the CPS and its effectiveness in prosecuting cases. If elected Peter wants to use his mandate to introduce performance targets for police and the Crown Prosecution Service to hold them to account publicly for catching and prosecuting more criminals. 

Based on the above, I think Peter is the best Candidate, he has a credible plan and because of this I will support his campaign.

 I hope all members can attend on the 14th of July at the Triangle in Burgess Hill to make the decision and give whoever is the Conservative Candidate their support for victory at the election on the 15th of November.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Thank you

I failed in my bid to become the Sussex Conservative PCC Candidate and I wanted to write to say thanks to all those who have sent commiseration messages (you know who you are), also I want to say thanks to all those people who have helped in my campaign, and in particular in briefing me and helping me prepare.
Irrespective of the fact that I lost, I still do not think that this invalidates some of the arguments I was making, I just hope that the remaining candidates take on some of these ideas and would be happy to help with their campaigns and in anyway in the mission to reform policing to the betterment of our society.        

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Lessons to be learned from the US

US Sheriff
I have reading an interesting pamphlet published by the Centre for Justice Innovation, it details the experiences of the Crime and Justice system in the USA, particularly New York. Link to it  It's only 11 pages but it's eye opening stuff.
Starting under Commissioner Bill Bratton, the New York Police Department made a substantial investment in technology and data analysis as a management tool to increase the accountability of local precinct commanders (COMPSTAT).
One of the benefits of the COMPSTAT approach was that it helped break down the cities crime problems into more manageable smaller units of analysis; instead of a citywide maze of information, police could focus on distinct precincts and individual neighbourhoods with specific problems.
In the city Minneapolis  50% of the crime came from 3.5% of the cities address's.  This led them to develop Hot Spot Policing to bear down on Crime. They concentrated resource in tackling drugs parks,  as you know when this has been suggested in the UK the argument followed that you would simply displace crime to adjacent areas, the data didn't corroborate this, in fact they found that adjacent areas actually benefited from Hop Spot Policing.
In the USA they have elected District Attorneys, and this gives scope for small scale innovation by individual DA's on a District by District basis. One of these innovations that started in the 1990's was community justice through Community courts,  particularly Drugs Courts and Youth Courts, these are run by the community for the benefit of the community and even have many ex offenders involved in the process, they achieve a 94% approval rating from communities.  This seems such a commonsense idea to reduce the cost of our Justice system and to make it much more relevant to the people passing through the system.

The CPS in the UK  prosecutes on behalf of the Crown, but I can see situations where the Elected PCC can challenge the CPS in how they run things and also encourage them to introduce new ways of processing cases and prosecutions.  Drugs are a driver of crime and rehabilitation is the way to break the cycle of crime and reform lives.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Time for Police Change - Why I believe I am the best Candidate

Time for Police Change

I am now through to the final 6 and go forward to the short-list meeting to be decided by Sussex Conservative MP’s and representatives of the 16 Conservative associations in Sussex on the 23rd of June.

Nick Herbert the Police Minister conceived and pushed through the legislation for the new Police and Crime Commissioners in the Police Reform act in November 2011.  He saw that what was needed was a new way of thinking and managing our Police forces and he saw that you would need a unique individual who was a hybrid, a successful Business person and a Politician rolled into one.

I believe I am that person, in my business career I have built up and sold several companies in Aviation, Information technology, Travel Data marketing and Property.  In politics I have been a Councillor for 9 years and for 6 of those years I have been a Cabinet Member.  As Cabinet member I have successfully shrank the councils administrative buildings from 8 to 5, I have increased Customer contact over the web from just 15% to 60%, I have championed Green energy through the installation of PV Panels which is giving the council 50kw’s of green energy and a cash return of 19% per annum. Also I have been a strong advocate of lean systems thinking, leaning the Councils systems to make them more efficient and effective.

As many Police officers remind me, Sussex Police is not a business, but a service, but it has many areas that would certainly benefit from a businesslike approach.  The PCC position is not an operational role, but any elected Commissioner will have to set the Priorities of the Force and the budget.  Whilst these are not operational, the effects of them will impact operationally on the Police. 

I passionately believe that Sussex Police should introduce lean systems thinking, this reform empowers staff at the grassroots giving them the ability to help reform their role and give back the discretion that has been removed over the last 30 years.  It is basically commonsense, but it gives a focus and impetus to front line staff to take control and manage their patch to the betterment of the force as a whole.   This is not an airy fairy concept either; Cheshire Police has successfully introduced Lean system thinking which is already improving performance and allowing resource to be concentrated on the front line.  But to introduce this type of reform you will have to have the agreement and “buy in” of the Chief Constable.

That is why the successful PCC will have to build a strong relationship with the Chief Constable to manage and navigate his or her priorities through; the relationship will have to be built on mutual respect with any disagreements being hammered out in private.
I believe I have the proven ability, I believe I am at the right age to take on this position, old enough to know what’s right and young enough to have the energy to give this role the 60 hour weeks that it needs.

My Priorities are
Anti Social Behaviour
Anti Social Behaviour linked to the night time economy
To build up Community Policing
To introduce Systems thinking to increase front line policing resource.

If you are coming to the selection meeting on the 23rd of June or the Hustings on the 14th of July, then I hope you will have confidence to give me your vote.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Out Sourcing Police Services - is it right or wrong?

Surrey's Police badge

There is a great debate and discussion regarding Out Sourcing of Police Services by some Police Authorities and some PCC Candidates.

Firstly I believe that any Police Authority that attempts to outsource before the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in November is at the best trying to circumnavigate the Police & Reform act 2011 and landing any prospective Candidate with a fait accompli as far as any reform agenda, at worst it is a blatant challenge to the will of the Police Minister Nick Herbert, Government and Parliament.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against Outsourcing pur se. I believe that until you reform and lean the systems and the way Police work you cannot outsource as you lock in existing inefficiencies for the length of the contract to the detriment of the Public Purse.
Security Guard, a vision for Surrey?

The Current proposals between Surrey and West Midlands Police Forces are misconceived and wrong.   You have to start with leaning your systems and talking to the Police at the sharp end.  Once you have established the best way of working then there is scope to outsource noncore services, but until you really discover what is needed you cannot lock any force in to long term financial commitments  I do have some detailed proposals on how I would change Policing which I will map out in a later blog, so watch this space!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Decision time to choose the Sussex Conservative Candidate on the 14th July

Decision time for Sussex Conservatives on the 14th July

Many of my friends and colleagues have been asking me regarding my campaign and the selection process.

I have now passed stage one of the selection process with my interview at CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters), the next stage is to be decided when a shortlist of candidates for interview will be drawn up on Friday 18th May by the elected eligible members of the Area Management Executive along with Nicholas Soames MP the Lead Member of Parliament for the selection  in Sussex. Applicants will be advised soon afterwards.  

Successful applicants will then be invited to an interview to be held on Saturday 23rd June.  Those attending will comprise the Area Management  Executive for Sussex plus up to three representatives from each Conservative Association in Sussex together with Sussex Members of Parliament. From this meeting 2-4 applicants will go forward to interview at a Final meeting open to any member of the Party in Sussex to be held on Saturday 14th July in Burgess Hill during the afternoon; and, votes will then be counted at the conclusion of this meeting.    Please place the date of 14th of July in your diary and please attend.

I have launched a new domain for this blog 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

16th November the day after the PCC election - Hard Choices

I have been thinking about the scenario after a PCC election and if I am lucky enough to get the Conservative nomination and win the election.

The biggest priority will be the budget, and as this will have to be put in place fairly quickly; expectations will be high, but it is inevitable that the newly elected PCC will inherit much of the Police Authority's budget and will have to control those expectations.  The wise candidate will have to balance raising hopes in the election with the realistic expectations of what can be achieved in the first 90 days.

Jam tomorrow would be the flavour of the day and I would (If Successful) announce in the first week,  reviews of Force Procurement, Human Resources and Asset Management with reports coming back by March 2013, this will give some momentum.   Also the Successful PCC will have to think of Deputy Commissioners and the team around them, hopefully the successful candidate will have firm ideas of who they want.

A lot of these issues should be aired in the campaign debates, the electorate in Sussex are a sophisticated lot and there are plenty of retired businessmen and woman in Sussex that will hold the Candidates feet to the fire, if successful in the nomination I will relish the challenge.

Rt Hon Nick Herbert (Police & Justice Minister) & Paul Dendle

Rt Hon Nick Herbert (Police & Justice Minister) & Paul Dendle
Nick Herbert (Police Minister) meets Paul Dendle on the streets of Arundel