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Keeping Politics out of Policing?

August 20, 2012 9:26 AM

Warwickshire Liberal Democrats revealed today that they have been meeting with potential Independent candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner Election in November.

The Lib Dems are concerned about the way in which party politics seems to be taking over the election and are currently considering whether it would be in the best interests of Warwickshire not to put forward a Lib Dem candidate in order to increase the chances of an Independent candidate winning the election.

Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, who leads the Warwickshire County Council Group said, "We have been speaking to potential Independent candidates because we are concerned over the level of 'ya boo' politics that has already started and we wanted to establish whether there is an alternative for Warwickshire. We believe that we should try to keep party politics out of policing in Warwickshire. We have also been speaking to local people across the county and they too confirm that party politics should not play a part in local policing. The political independence of the police is enormously valuable: you only have to look at countries where politicians control police forces to see the dangers."

Cllr Roodhouse added: "We're unlikely to formally endorse an Independent, because it's unlikely that there will be a 100% match between their policies and ours. However we would consider encouraging our supporters to look very closely at any Independents, to see whether they were able to support them at the ballot box. David Cameron said he wanted businessmen and charity leaders who had proved themselves in life to come forward for election, yet the government has made life difficult for Independent candidates by refusing the support that would help make this happen. At general elections all candidates are allowed to deliver a piece of literature through the post without charge, to put their views forward. Yet a similar facility has been rejected for this election, making it much more difficult for Independents."

Warwickshire Lib Dems met on 2nd August and heard presentations from three potential Independent candidates, two of whom were present at the meeting to answer questions. Details of the potential Independent candidates have not been revealed as not all of them have yet formally declared an intention to stand. The Lib Dems will be meeting again on 6th September to decide whether or not to put forward a Lib Dem candidate at the election.