Labour select Police and Crime Commissioner candidates with a promise to “protect the communities” of the North East

Labour's PCC candidates with Chris Bryant MPLabour have announced their candidates to contest the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner elections in the region.

Vera Baird, will contest the election for the party in the Northumbria Police Authority area.

Ron Hogg, has been selected as the Labour candidate for the Durham Police area.

Barry Coppinger, has been chosen to stand in the Cleveland Police area.

Labour’s candidates were selected by an all postal ballot of party members in each police force area.

Announcing the results on a visit to the region, Labour’s Shadow Home Affairs Minister, Chris Bryant said:

“We have an excellent set of Labour candidates in the North East with a wide range of backgrounds and experience.

“You don't have to win mastermind to work out you don’t cut crime by cutting the police. This region is losing over 1,000 police officers because of the Tory-led government's funding cuts. That is a ludicrous gamble with public safety and people are rightly anxious about the effect it will have on the fight against crime.

“Vera, Ron and Barry will stand up to this government and fight the cuts in front-line policing. They will keep officers on the beat, not just rely on PCSO s or hand policing over to private companies. They will ensure a strong and swift response to antisocial behaviour.

"And they will give the police the tools they need to tackle crime, not compromise police indepedence.”

Barry Coppinger, Labour’s candidate for Cleveland Police & Crime Commissioner said:

“I am delighted that my Party colleagues have given me the opportunity to ensure that, despite the huge financial cuts and organisational chaos being created by Coalition policies, we do everything possible to protect policing in Cleveland. There is a great deal at stake. We have one of the best performing forces in the country and I am determined to fight to keep it that way.

Whether it is talking with local residents groups, meeting with organisations who have a role to play in protecting the public, or getting people to contact me direct, my most important task between now and November will be to listen to as many views as possible about what should be the priorities for the future and how we can work together to achieve them.”

Ron Hogg, Labour’s candidate for Durham and Darlington Police & Crime Comissioner said:

“I wish to express my gratitude to all those who have supported and encouraged me, and offer a special thanks to the members of the Labour Party who voted for me to be their candidate. It was an exceptionally strong field and I now enter the next phase of the campaign which is to win the election in November.

To do this, I reaffirm my commitment to be the people's voice, to represent your interests and I will strive to protect our Police Service in Durham and Darlington from the worst excesses of this Government.”

Vera Baird, Labour’s candidate for Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner said:

"I am delighted to have been chosen as Labour's candidate in Northumbria. I would like to thank Labour Party members from across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland for their support. It's my job now to consult all the people of Northumbria, rural and urban, from young to old about their policing needs so that I can be their voice."

"I want to ensure that our excellent local policing is improved further by listening to the needs of our communities more closely.

"The job is far wider than policing. Victim support, community safety and crime reduction will all be part of the Commissioner's work. Working in partnership with the public, local authorities and the third sector is essential so that the whole community is involved in keeping itself safe, protecting the most vulnerable and cutting crime.

I'm looking forward to the campaign ahead."  

Ends

Editor's notes:

1. Labour’s candidates in the North East & Cumbria media area:

Northumbria – Vera Baird
Vera Baird served as Solicitor General in the last Labour government and was Deputy Regional Minister for the North East. She served as Member of Parliament for Redcar between 2001 and 2010. A campaigning QC, she studied at Northumbria University and started her law career as a solicitor on Tyneside and Wearside. She is currently Chair of the Labour Party’s commission on women’s safety. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Durham – Ron Hogg

A serving police officer for over 30 years, Ron Hogg rose through the ran ks to become Assistant Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary and Deputy Chief Constable of Cleveland Police. Ron Hogg won national recognition for his expertise in policing football. Now retired from the police force, Ron lives in Chester-le-Street and works in Children's Services.

Cleveland – Barry Coppinger
Barry Coppinger is a member of Middlesbrough Council and serves on the Executive of the authority. He has previously held the Community Protection portfolio for the Council and served on the Cleveland Police Authority for 8 years. Barry lives in Middlesbrough and currently works for Redcar & Cleveland Council.

Cumbria – Patrick Leonard

Patrick Leonard lives in Cockermouth and is currently a Director of a Housing Association in Carlisle. A former Chief Executive of Allerdale District Council with extensive experience of senior management in local government, he is an honorary Treasurer of Cumbria Council for Volunary Service and has served as Chair of Carlisle Fairtrade Steering Group.


North Yorkshire – Ruth Potter

A Councillor in the City of York, she has served on North Yorkshire Police Authority. Currently works as a manager for a Community Transport organisation in York.


2. Reductions in police numbers 


Force

HMIC estimated cuts by 2015

Police offices lost March 2010 to Sept 2011

HMIC est PCSOs to be cut by 2015

Cleveland

224

156

10

Durham

192

121

9

Northumbria

627

175

190

North East

1043

452

209

Cumbria

88

83

6

North Yorkshire

150

54

15



3. The first ever Police & Crime Commission elections will be held on Thursday 15 November 2012. Police & Crime Commissioners will replace the current Police Authorities. 


4. Labour candidates for Police & Crime Commissioner are today signing up to five key pledges that they will deliver: 



·Stand up for communities against the Tories’ 20 per cent cuts to policing and the loss of 16,000 police officers.


· Keep police on the beat with neighbourhood policing, not hand it over to private companies or leave it only to PCSOs.


·Back a strong and swift response to antisocial behaviour. Victims should get a response within 24 hours.


·Be tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime. We will work in partnership with police, local people and councils to tackle and prevent crime.


·Protect the police from political interference. Our candidates have signed a contract to respect the independence of the Chief Constable.