AN INDEPDENDENT candidate has urged people not to let the political parties use the police and crime commissioner role as a ‘job for the boys’.
Former Lincolnshire County Council chief executive David Bowles launched his campaign last week for the position – which will see an elected figure form the public face of the force.
Mr Bowles (pictured) told The Standard: “The commissioner role should be independent of politics but by putting forward their own party political candidates they are treating it as just more ‘jobs for the boys’.
“The Conservative Home Secretary originally wanted to encourage independent candidates to stand.
“Yet as we get closer to the elections her own party is selecting party political candidates up and down the country.”
The Conservative Party has a shortlist of three potential candidates while the Labour Party has chosen Phil Dilks.
Mr Dilks told The Standard he believes the commissioner role is a ‘daft idea’ but vowed to stand to fight cuts to the force.
Mr Bowles said: “The Labour Party were vehemently opposed to the creation of Police Commissioners rightly warning it would politicise the police.
“Nevertheless they are also putting forward party political candidates.”
Mr Bowles has hit out at the fact that commissioners can pay to appoint their own politicial advisors and at cuts to Lincolnshire’s force which have already seen 49 frontline officers cut in the past two years.
Mr Bowles said: “I know from my own experience, not just through living in Lincolnshire, but from actually running much of Lincolnshire’s local government and NHS, that the county’s public services including the police are grossly underfunded.
“We face further massive cuts. Will a Conservative commissioner stand up to the Home Secretary?
“In recent years elected politicians have demonstrated that they consider themselves above the law.
“No wonder there is such low public support for politicians to run the police. That is why I intend to stand to be an Independent police commissioner.
“This role is too important to be tainted by political allegiances.
“I have never belonged to any political party and as an Independent Police Commissioner would be able to work across the political divide with all civic, political and community leaders.
“It is vital that we elect a Police Commissioner who knows the county and will put the interests of the people of Lincolnshire first, not their party or their own political career.”
Mr Bowles helped uncover misconduct during his time at the county council and was also chairman of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.
He quit that role and accused bosses of bullying him into agreeing targets that would have jeopardised patient safety.
For more on his campaign visit www.independentcommissioner.org.uk