POLICE COMMISSIONER: ‘I can take on the political parties and win’

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A CRIME reduction expert reckons he has a formidable campaign team in place to topple the Conservative Party in the police and crime commissioner election.

Mervyn Barrett spoke to The Standard about the challenge of trying to win votes from the public as an independent candidate.

Mr Barrett (pictured) has experience working with offenders for a crime reduction charity, and was awarded the OBE for his work in the field in 1999.

He admits it will be a big challenge taking on the Conservative Party, which dominates the county’s electoral scene, but believes he is up to the challenge.

He said: “I fully accept that the Conservative Party in particular are strong in Lincolnshire and they are going to be formidable but I have got a fairly formidable team behind me and I think I will represent a significant challenge to them.”

He added: “The police need to be democratically accountable to the people they serve.

“I think you get a better response to crime and anti-social behaviour if the local police are trying to address the concerns of local people rather than dictacs from London.”

He believes the role needs to be kept away from party politics and says he is standing to be an independent voice.

Mr Barrett was raised in south Lincolnshire, with most of his family living in the Spalding area.

As well as his charity work, he used to edit the journal Safer Society.

He said: “I think you would have to go some way to find somebody with the same breadth and depth of experience, certainly in terms of crime reduction.”

He says he is aware of the different challenges affecting the different parts of Lincolnshire, including Boston.

He said: “I am aware that there has been a rapid population growth in Boston and that has meant rapid change which is always very difficult for people and makes people feel insecure.

“I am aware that there are a whole range of problems, particularly as a result of that growth, and there are problems with anti-social behaviour and people drinking in the streets.”

For more on his campaign visit www.mervynbarrettobe.co.uk