Who will get your vote for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner?

The Argus: Polling stations open for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election at 7am until 10pm Polling stations open for the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner election at 7am until 10pm

The five people bidding to become Sussex’s first Police and Crime Commissioner on Thursday, November 15 share their thoughts on legalising drugs, sharing information about paedophiles, whether Asbos have worked and bringing back the death penalty. Kimberly Middleton reports.

The Argus: Tony Armstrong, UKIP

Tony Armstrong, 65, UKIP

www.pccsussex.co.uk

What problems need fixing at Sussex Police and how would you fix them?

IT systems need to be rationalised and upgraded and there is a root and branch review of the police estate being conducted.

The other big problem is morale. Although I believe the police pay should reflect the dangers they face, 24/7 availability, plus the ever-present willingness to go further than strictly necessary, I also have to balance that pay is a substantial item in the police budget and has to come from somewhere.

Would you support the decriminalisation of some drugs, as top officers and local politicians have espoused in recent years?

Personally I believe that if a drug is illegal, you should not use it, and especially not traffic it. Being soft on ‘minor’ drugs offences might help the police in the short term by taking some people out of criminality, but it ignores the effects on society in the future.

Should we have a right to know if a convicted paedophile lives In our street?

The easy answer is yes, but society has shown, understandably, that it is not ready to allow paedophiles to live among them, especially with children living nearby.

I think the best way is for such people to live apart until they are no longer a danger to anyone, or to be closely monitored.

Have Asbos worked?

Asbos have demonstrably not worked and are treated in some quarters as a badge of honour. Once someone has been told their behaviour is unacceptable to those who live around them, they should be subject to the full range of penalties available to the courts.

Do you believe in the death penalty?

I do not have any difficulty in supporting the death penalty for the worst type of murder, but I do have a practical difficulty, which is how to absolutely guarantee the right person is convicted and executed.

Have you ever been a victim of crime?

Apart from being assaulted a few times while working, not that I can remember. Probably comes from being a police officer and taking reasonable steps not to be a victim.

How many times should a person be offered rehabilitation before they lose the chance of an alternative to prison?

If they have failed once, I would need to be convinced that there were special circumstances before I offered rehabilitation a second time. Continual ‘soft’ sentencing is one reason why offenders do not learn the error of their ways.

The Argus: Katy Bourne, Conservative

Katy Bourne, 47, Conservative

www.katybourne.com

What problems need fixing at Sussex Police and how would you fix them?

I will be a strong voice for local people and a critical friend to the police. I will work hard to identify waste and reinvest any savings found into frontline policing. Efficient budgeting, less bureaucracy and effective procurement will protect numbers and release police back onto the streets where residents want them.

Would you support the decriminalisation of some drugs, as top officers and local politicians have espoused in recent years?

I remain convinced that use of controlled drugs should be illegal. Those advocating liberalisation are, in my view, advocating a very risky experiment with the health of a whole generation of young people.

I will ensure the police prioritise targeting high level drugs dealers and look to sequestrate their assets and profits and divert these into funding treatment and drug education programmes.

Should we have a right to know if a convicted paedophile lives in our street?

The civil liberties of convicted sex offenders should never be put before the protection of our children. I believe that the police should rigorously monitor a convicted sex offender’s whereabouts at all times.

Have Asbos worked?

Asbos don't work because they're too complicated and often impossible to enforce. There were 10,000 incidents of antisocial behaviour every day under Labour and the cost to local authorities was more than £3billion per year. By 2010, the breach rate for Asbos was 56%. This is clearly unacceptable and I am determined to improve the lives of local people.

Do you believe in the death penalty?

The Government is opposed to the use of the death penalty. It is right that the murder of a police officer in the course of duty is specifically listed in the sentencing manual as one of the most serious crimes deserving a very high sentence.

Have you ever been a victim of crime?

I had my handbag stolen several years ago. It contained an item of jewellery that my father, then deceased, had given to my mother on her 21st birthday. She had subsequently given it to me on my 21st. The loss of such a sentimental item was very difficult – I can never replace that.

How many times should a person be offered rehabilitation before they lose the chance of an alternative to prison?

All sentences, whether they are custodial or non-custodial, should aim both to punish and to rehabilitate. Prison is the right place for serious offenders.

The Argus: Ian Chisnell, Indepdendent

Ian Chisnell, 52, Independent

www.ian4pcc.com

What problems need fixing at Sussex Police and how would you fix them?

The morale of officers and staff has been badly dented - I will meet officers and staff after the election, to reassure them of my support.

There are concerns regarding the way complaints are dealt with. I would like to offer a mechanism for people to raise low level frustrations to deal with public confidence and ensure matters are dealt with at the most appropriate level. Public confidence and respect in Sussex Police needs to be raised.

Would you support the decriminalisation of some drugs, as top officers and local politicians have espoused in recent years?

I support the approach being taken by senior officers, focusing on stopping the supply using local and regional intelligence and would encourage readers to help. Secondly we need to prosecute the dealers. The final element is to encourage drug users to break their habits.

Should we have a right to know if a convicted paedophile lives in our street?

I am certainly supportive of Sarah’s Law, however I find this question unhelpful in the context of the Jimmy Savile case. He was not convicted yet his actions carried on despite this. I think we need to renew our focus on protecting children and other vulnerable people.

Have Asbos worked?

I believe they have been very effective, allowing councils, the police and other agencies to work together to help to manage the behaviour of some residents who were acting in a manner that was threatening to other people.

Do you believe in the death penalty?

No.

Have you ever been a victim of crime?

Yes, but only low level incidents such as damage to vehicles.

How many times should a person be offered rehabilitation before they lose the chance of an alternative to prison?

Rehabilitation is not an alternative to prison, but it needs to be part of any sentence. We need to reduce the number of people who are regular visitors to our courts and the current Criminal Justice System needs to become more friendly to victims of crime and deal more effectively with those who are convicted, including rehabilitation.

The Argus: Godfrey Daniel, Labour

Godfrey Daniel, 62, Labour

www.godfreydaniel.org.uk

What problems need fixing at Sussex Police and how would you fix them?

People don’t expect every crime to be solved, but we don’t give victims enough feedback. I think Sussex Police do a good job but officers need to be equipped better – I want all neighbourhood police to have electronic tablets so they can do their work in the community and officers equipped with body-worn video cameras to get evidence of crime scenes.

I am also going to beef up the licensing team so irresponsible licensees are prosecuted for serving people who are drunk, as well as lose their license.

Would you support the decriminalisation of some drugs, as top officers and local politicians have espoused in recent years?

Personally I believe possession of cannabis for personal use should be a civil offence – it should be a penalty but not something that would criminalise young people. My target is the dealers who make money out of misery.

Should we have a right to know if a convicted paedophile lives in our street?

No. Otherwise we would just get vigilantism and that won’t help anybody.

Have Asbos worked?

Yes – they give us a way of dealing with repeated offending for minor crimes which in themselves are not imprisonable and then if people break Asbos they could be imprisoned.

Do you believe in the death penalty?

No, primarily because juries are very reluctant to convict when you have a death penalty. It’s a means of letting more guilty people off – nobody’s ever 100% sure and the consequence of getting convicted would be greater.

Have you ever been a victim of crime?

I have had my house burgled. More seriously my son was the victim of an armed robbery when a knife was held to his throat at a cash point machine and he was kept hostage in his car.

How many times should a person be offered rehabilitation before they lose the chance of an alternative to prison?

Never set up a system with rules because you will only have to break them. When sentencing is done we need to reflect the crime, the victim and the person and come to the best sentence.

The Argus: David Rogers, Liberal Democrat

David Rogers, 60, Lib Dem

www.david4safersussex.com

What problems need fixing at Sussex Police and how would you fix them?

All public services are affected by the current time of austerity. Police officers and staff may well be feeling undervalued and are suffering low morale – not helped by recent notorious events alleged to have happened at the entrance to Downing Street!

The chief constable and I will have a shared responsibility to rebuild confidence as we enter the new arrangements and will need to work hard together to achieve this.

Would you support the decriminalisation of some drugs, as top officers and local politicians have espoused in recent years?

Legislation in this area should be based on real scientific evidence of potential harms. In my campaign I have drawn attention to the effect that alcohol has on levels of violent crime, including domestic violence - there are issues to be tackled with legal drugs too.

Should we have a right to know if a convicted paedophile lives in our street?

In general terms, no, as events in some areas have shown that this, or mistaken identity, can lead to the creation of yet more victims as a result of vigilante action. We should also remember that many sexual assaults on children are carried out within families.

Have Asbos worked?

In some cases they have, but they are not a panacea, and are regarded by some as a badge of honour. I am a supporter of acceptable behaviour contracts, putting the onus on potential repeat troublemakers to act responsibly, and also of restorative justice approaches to anti-social behaviour.

Do you believe in the death penalty?

I would campaign against any such proposals. Both in my childhood, when it was still available to the courts, and since this was abolished in our country, there have been too many miscarriages of justice for this to be an acceptable approach.

Have you ever been a victim of crime?

Yes, but many years ago.

How many times should a person be offered rehabilitation before they lose the chance of an alternative to prison?

In my view, for serious offences, a prison sentence is always the most appropriate sentence. Otherwise, the circumstances will determine whether alternatives to prison can be justified and that is why we have magistrates and judges.

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Comments (15)

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2:38pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Chieftain11 says...

Sorry Argus, nothing that an existing Chief Constable and his senior officers don't seek to address or answer in the general course of their duties. Except of course the daft question about the death sentence. Grow up and read our terms and conditions for membership of the EU ! You will learn something.

Apart from that, no candidate has addressed any of my concerns. .Published earlier:

1st reason for me not to vote: The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) can't influence sentencing of criminals in any way whatsoever.

2nd reason for me not to vote: Nobody has a clue what the true cost is for the PCC, DPP, pensions and support staff.

3rd reason for me not to vote: We have no idea how the DPCC will be selected. It appears the PCC can pick who he or she wants. In other words, the political parties will select their man or woman as they put the £5, 000 deposit up for their candidate.

4th reason for me not to vote: The PCC can delegate full powers to the DPCC. In other words, a person we have never heard of.

5th reason for me not to vote: This is just another expensive layer of unwanted management.

You guessed, I will certainly not be voting.
Sorry Argus, nothing that an existing Chief Constable and his senior officers don't seek to address or answer in the general course of their duties. Except of course the daft question about the death sentence. Grow up and read our terms and conditions for membership of the EU ! You will learn something. Apart from that, no candidate has addressed any of my concerns. .Published earlier: 1st reason for me not to vote: The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) can't influence sentencing of criminals in any way whatsoever. 2nd reason for me not to vote: Nobody has a clue what the true cost is for the PCC, DPP, pensions and support staff. 3rd reason for me not to vote: We have no idea how the DPCC will be selected. It appears the PCC can pick who he or she wants. In other words, the political parties will select their man or woman as they put the £5, 000 deposit up for their candidate. 4th reason for me not to vote: The PCC can delegate full powers to the DPCC. In other words, a person we have never heard of. 5th reason for me not to vote: This is just another expensive layer of unwanted management. You guessed, I will certainly not be voting. Chieftain11

3:11pm Wed 14 Nov 12

pwlr1966 says...

Does anyone know where we actually go to vote? will it be our usual polling station?
Does anyone know where we actually go to vote? will it be our usual polling station? pwlr1966

3:18pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Morpheus says...

I'm not convinced about this and did think about not voting or spoiling the ballot paper. But there is a vote and we should use it. I will vote independent because I do not think these appointments should be driven by the political parties and that will be my protest.
I'm not convinced about this and did think about not voting or spoiling the ballot paper. But there is a vote and we should use it. I will vote independent because I do not think these appointments should be driven by the political parties and that will be my protest. Morpheus

4:25pm Wed 14 Nov 12

RAS Putin says...

Morpheus wrote:
I'm not convinced about this and did think about not voting or spoiling the ballot paper. But there is a vote and we should use it. I will vote independent because I do not think these appointments should be driven by the political parties and that will be my protest.
Well said, Morpheus. I shall do likewise.
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: I'm not convinced about this and did think about not voting or spoiling the ballot paper. But there is a vote and we should use it. I will vote independent because I do not think these appointments should be driven by the political parties and that will be my protest.[/p][/quote]Well said, Morpheus. I shall do likewise. RAS Putin

4:25pm Wed 14 Nov 12

puddinghead says...

Not one of these individuals will get my vote as not one of them has bothered to provide me with information as to why I should support them.

Not one leaflet has dropped through my door. Yes, I have internet access, I can trawl through their fancy websites with videos from ex Bill actors and get the information but that's not the point. They're supposed to be convincing me to vote for them. They should put some effort in. I won't even start on the fact my elderly neighbour had no clue it was even happening untill I mentioned it to him,

As a very recent victim of crime not one of these candidates has provided me with hope that they'll be able to stop what happened to me happening again. That makes them failures before they've even gone to the polls.

An utter waste of time and money for a role paying thousands of pounds that would be better spent putting more police officers on the streets of Sussex
Not one of these individuals will get my vote as not one of them has bothered to provide me with information as to why I should support them. Not one leaflet has dropped through my door. Yes, I have internet access, I can trawl through their fancy websites with videos from ex Bill actors and get the information but that's not the point. They're supposed to be convincing me to vote for them. They should put some effort in. I won't even start on the fact my elderly neighbour had no clue it was even happening untill I mentioned it to him, As a very recent victim of crime not one of these candidates has provided me with hope that they'll be able to stop what happened to me happening again. That makes them failures before they've even gone to the polls. An utter waste of time and money for a role paying thousands of pounds that would be better spent putting more police officers on the streets of Sussex puddinghead

5:11pm Wed 14 Nov 12

mustaphaLeeko says...

Such a load of old nonsense, ONE DAY before the vote and only a single candidate the Liberal, has bothered to leaflet my road, absolutely nobody else has, and the woefully inadequate mission statement of each of them on the choosemypcc.org.uk website is just dreadfull.

I can't tell the difference between any of them with their vague, reduce crime, reduce wastage, tackle domestic violence and hate crime babble, more PCSO's on the beat they all spout utter nonsense!

This is the worst publicised election I have EVER come across.
Such a load of old nonsense, ONE DAY before the vote and only a single candidate the Liberal, has bothered to leaflet my road, absolutely nobody else has, and the woefully inadequate mission statement of each of them on the choosemypcc.org.uk website is just dreadfull. I can't tell the difference between any of them with their vague, reduce crime, reduce wastage, tackle domestic violence and hate crime babble, more PCSO's on the beat they all spout utter nonsense! This is the worst publicised election I have EVER come across. mustaphaLeeko

7:08pm Wed 14 Nov 12

keeshond8 says...

No leaflets received from any of them. I was thinking of voting for the Conservative candidate until I read of her complete opposition to Asbos, the only even partially successful crime prevention measure that has been introduced to "improve the lives of local people", as she puts it. The fact that national crime figures were at a certain level under Labour is no answer to the question that is being asked and it reinforces my view that this exercise is no more than a sinecure for the greedy, rather than protection for the needy.
No leaflets received from any of them. I was thinking of voting for the Conservative candidate until I read of her complete opposition to Asbos, the only even partially successful crime prevention measure that has been introduced to "improve the lives of local people", as she puts it. The fact that national crime figures were at a certain level under Labour is no answer to the question that is being asked and it reinforces my view that this exercise is no more than a sinecure for the greedy, rather than protection for the needy. keeshond8

9:17pm Wed 14 Nov 12

Thatsjustyummy says...

I wholeheartedly agree with Morpheus on this.

there is NO place for party politics in this decision. I don't actually believe there is a need for this PCC anyway. The only person a Chief Constable should report to is the Home Secretary or the PM.

BUT, as this vote has been forced upon us then the only viable candidate for Sussex is Mr Chinsall as the only independent candidate.

I will use my vote, as an ex Sussex Police officer, if anything to keep "Party" politics out of Policing in Sussex.

Chalk another one up Ian. (You'll probably only need a small blackboard and a couple of pieces of chalk...........are we even allowed to say 'blackboard' anymore or is that racist???)
I wholeheartedly agree with Morpheus on this. there is NO place for party politics in this decision. I don't actually believe there is a need for this PCC anyway. The only person a Chief Constable should report to is the Home Secretary or the PM. BUT, as this vote has been forced upon us then the only viable candidate for Sussex is Mr Chinsall as the only independent candidate. I will use my vote, as an ex Sussex Police officer, if anything to keep "Party" politics out of Policing in Sussex. Chalk another one up Ian. (You'll probably only need a small blackboard and a couple of pieces of chalk...........are we even allowed to say 'blackboard' anymore or is that racist???) Thatsjustyummy

12:56am Thu 15 Nov 12

gnarlychaos says...

No one gives a toss.
What a waste of public funds.

Bring back batman and commisioner Gordon.
Searchlight in the air Robin.
To the batpole Batman, no Robin to the polling station.
No one gives a toss. What a waste of public funds. Bring back batman and commisioner Gordon. Searchlight in the air Robin. To the batpole Batman, no Robin to the polling station. gnarlychaos

8:59am Thu 15 Nov 12

Nosfaratu says...

How are these PCC's going to be replaced when they retire, fail to do the job required or through political expediency are removed.

Not by another election I bet.

They will be replaced by the stooges of the Govt. Political control over the Police.

The Police should show allegiance to the Queen and Country. Not to any political party. Like the Army.
How are these PCC's going to be replaced when they retire, fail to do the job required or through political expediency are removed. Not by another election I bet. They will be replaced by the stooges of the Govt. Political control over the Police. The Police should show allegiance to the Queen and Country. Not to any political party. Like the Army. Nosfaratu

9:15am Thu 15 Nov 12

The Heretic says...

Under any other circumstances, I'd agree with Morpheus 100%. Trouble is I've got real concerns about the whole PCC process.

If it's just about shoehorning political parties into the heart of the legal process - where they have (in my opinion) no business being, then it's a power grab by factions who have already had input at the legisltive stage. If the laws they've passed in Parliament don't have the desired effect on the ground, why should letting more of them into the process improve things? If the legislation is flawed - FIX IT.

What happened to the much vaunted seperation of powers? The independance of the legal process? Sacrificed on the altar of expediency for a few more soundbites? One of the thngs the UK has repeatedly critisied in other countries is political interference in the legal process, and here we are being asked to rubber stamp precisely the same thing here !

Look at the interviews above. Are these candidates responsible for passing law? No. Should anyone be choosing which laws ge enforced, and which effectively ignored? No. So what's the point?

The whole thing is at best a gimmick, and at worst another trojan horse for further limiting our hard won liberties. Remember Bliar's 'terrorist' legislation? Against who and by who was it deployed in practise? Mainly householders putting their bins out on the wrong day !! Legislation sold on the premise of national security used by local authorities as a snoopers charter. That's the machine also responsible for this process . No 'No thanks' option, no minimum turnout to legitamise the result.

If PCC legislation is merely to grab yet more headlines so that the parties can bombard us with more of their brand of 'Look at us, we're doing a great job, but they're doing a bad job' bearpit politics, then it's a very expensive way of gong about it.

I can't see that this has ANYTHING to do with advancing democracy. If it's as ineffectual as what's being sold to us, then it's not worth engaging with. If there's more hidden in the fine print of the legislation which is deliberately being downplayed, then registering a turnout gives legitimacy to further deception.

I'll be back to vote - or spoil my ballot - come the next local or national election, but this is a farce I'll have no part in.
Under any other circumstances, I'd agree with Morpheus 100%. Trouble is I've got real concerns about the whole PCC process. If it's just about shoehorning political parties into the heart of the legal process - where they have (in my opinion) no business being, then it's a power grab by factions who have already had input at the legisltive stage. If the laws they've passed in Parliament don't have the desired effect on the ground, why should letting more of them into the process improve things? If the legislation is flawed - FIX IT. What happened to the much vaunted seperation of powers? The independance of the legal process? Sacrificed on the altar of expediency for a few more soundbites? One of the thngs the UK has repeatedly critisied in other countries is political interference in the legal process, and here we are being asked to rubber stamp precisely the same thing here ! Look at the interviews above. Are these candidates responsible for passing law? No. Should anyone be choosing which laws ge enforced, and which effectively ignored? No. So what's the point? The whole thing is at best a gimmick, and at worst another trojan horse for further limiting our hard won liberties. Remember Bliar's 'terrorist' legislation? Against who and by who was it deployed in practise? Mainly householders putting their bins out on the wrong day !! Legislation sold on the premise of national security used by local authorities as a snoopers charter. That's the machine also responsible for this process . No 'No thanks' option, no minimum turnout to legitamise the result. If PCC legislation is merely to grab yet more headlines so that the parties can bombard us with more of their brand of 'Look at us, we're doing a great job, but they're doing a bad job' bearpit politics, then it's a very expensive way of gong about it. I can't see that this has ANYTHING to do with advancing democracy. If it's as ineffectual as what's being sold to us, then it's not worth engaging with. If there's more hidden in the fine print of the legislation which is deliberately being downplayed, then registering a turnout gives legitimacy to further deception. I'll be back to vote - or spoil my ballot - come the next local or national election, but this is a farce I'll have no part in. The Heretic

10:14am Thu 15 Nov 12

Juleyanne says...

Would be interested to find out which of the candidates is most animal welfare friendly?
Would be interested to find out which of the candidates is most animal welfare friendly? Juleyanne

3:28pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Terry K says...

Utter waste of public funds, all this job is for is for someone to take the flak when things go wrong, then they leave the job with a handsome pay off and get replaced, then it will be a case of.. meet the new boss.... same as the old boss lol.
Utter waste of public funds, all this job is for is for someone to take the flak when things go wrong, then they leave the job with a handsome pay off and get replaced, then it will be a case of.. meet the new boss.... same as the old boss lol. Terry K

7:13pm Thu 15 Nov 12

sbiscorrupt says...

I'm looking forward to see the non turnout figures...

The only way to attack the 'establishment' is to show up their attempts to claimthat we are a democracy as the sham it really is!
I'm looking forward to see the non turnout figures... The only way to attack the 'establishment' is to show up their attempts to claimthat we are a democracy as the sham it really is! sbiscorrupt

10:43pm Thu 15 Nov 12

martyt says...

puddinghead wrote:
Not one of these individuals will get my vote as not one of them has bothered to provide me with information as to why I should support them.

Not one leaflet has dropped through my door. Yes, I have internet access, I can trawl through their fancy websites with videos from ex Bill actors and get the information but that's not the point. They're supposed to be convincing me to vote for them. They should put some effort in. I won't even start on the fact my elderly neighbour had no clue it was even happening untill I mentioned it to him,

As a very recent victim of crime not one of these candidates has provided me with hope that they'll be able to stop what happened to me happening again. That makes them failures before they've even gone to the polls.

An utter waste of time and money for a role paying thousands of pounds that would be better spent putting more police officers on the streets of Sussex
too true if the lack of effort shown so far is the same amount of effort they are willing to put in too the job none of them are fit for the job
[quote][p][bold]puddinghead[/bold] wrote: Not one of these individuals will get my vote as not one of them has bothered to provide me with information as to why I should support them. Not one leaflet has dropped through my door. Yes, I have internet access, I can trawl through their fancy websites with videos from ex Bill actors and get the information but that's not the point. They're supposed to be convincing me to vote for them. They should put some effort in. I won't even start on the fact my elderly neighbour had no clue it was even happening untill I mentioned it to him, As a very recent victim of crime not one of these candidates has provided me with hope that they'll be able to stop what happened to me happening again. That makes them failures before they've even gone to the polls. An utter waste of time and money for a role paying thousands of pounds that would be better spent putting more police officers on the streets of Sussex[/p][/quote]too true if the lack of effort shown so far is the same amount of effort they are willing to put in too the job none of them are fit for the job martyt

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