POLICE COMMISSIONER: Labour contender brands the role a ‘daft idea’ but vows to fight frontline cuts

ONE of the contenders for the title of Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire admits he still believes the role is a ‘daft idea’.

Former Police Authority member Phil Dilks pipped Boston borough councillor Paul Gleeson to the Labour Party nomination for the role, which will be selected by an election in November.

The Deeping St James councillor says that, nationally, the ballots will cost £100 million and called for the cash to be spent on police officers instead.

He told The Standard: “I still think it’s a daft idea to spend £100 million when we have lost frontline police in Lincolnshire.

“I think there’s still time to see sense and put this on ice but if it does go through I am not prepared to stand by and watch somebody get elected who would be a cheerleader for more cuts to our police.”

The commissioner roles will create a publically-elected figurehead to help set policing priorities for the county.

Coun Dilks says people should have had more say in the decision to award a big contract to security firm G4S to handle back office police business.

He says he is aware of some of the issues affecting Boston, but said an elected commissioner would have to listen to the views of each town and village to understand the needs of all the county’s different areas.

He said: “A big part of the role is not sitting in a head office in Lincoln but going out and listening to what people are saying.

“I don’t think there’s enough of that at the moment. I would want to be a people’s commissioner.”

Coun Gleeson told The Standard that there was ‘only a fag paper’ between himself and Coun Dilks at the Labour hustings and welcomed his selection.

Coun Gleeson wants more ‘robust policing’ and for greater use of special constables and said he will work with Coun Dilks to raise Boston issues.