I’m not keen on the concept of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners, but I am keen on the idea that if there is to be a publicly elected post, a political party such as the Liberal Democrats should contest the post.
Fighting elections is a significant part of what political parties do and what makes them different from local community organisations. Any locally minded group can point at potholes, protest against cuts or get more recycling. Political parties are something more than that.
It is also quite possible to combine putting up a Liberal Democrat candidate for one of these posts with putting up someone with relevant experience and knowledge, as Brian Blake – the Lib Dem candidate for Devon & Cornwall – demonstrates:
I served for 31 years in the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, retiring in the rank of Detective Chief Inspector. Eight of those years were spent in uniform.
I served in all ranks from DC to DCI including periods on general CID Special Branch the Regional and National Crime Squads.
I had a lot of experience in international investigations ranging from Japan, the Middle East, Canada and Europe. I chaired two international Interpol conferences on international crime in Lyon.
On retiring I went to work for the Ministry Of Defence, for 3 years in the UK and 10 years in Europe involving personnel vetting of military, NATO and UK Government employees working abroad. Whilst in this role I had an input into Europol and fighting terrorism.