MP Ian Lavery: Elect a "people's police commissioner"
Voters will go to the polls on Thursday, July 18 to elect a new Police and Crime Commissioner to serve the Northumbria Force area for the next four years
To elect a new Police and Crime Commissioner to serve the Northumbria Force area for the next four years, in a by-election caused by Dame Vera Baird leaving the job to take up a national role as the country’s Victims’ Commissioner.
We have been fortunate to have someone like Vera a former barrister, Queen’s Counsel and Solicitor General, doing the job for us since 2012, making sure we had the best possible police force despite draconian Government funding cuts which meant we have 1,000 fewer officers than 10 years ago.
She is going to be a very hard act to follow, but the Labour Party believes we have the best possible candidate to do that in Kim McGuiness.
Kim has been a Newcastle City councillor and cabinet member since 2015 and after talking with her I have been impressed by her determination to become what she terms as a ‘people’s commissioner’ - not merely a second Chief Constable but someone who is embedded in the communities she would represent.
Someone who would work with the police to ensure resources are maximised and put to the best possible use to cut crime and disorder as well as being prioritised to prevent people from being at the mercy of the criminals whether that be on the ground or increasingly cyber-related. Someone who will fight situations of inequality and injustice wherever she finds them.
Like Vera Baird, Kim McGuiness would promote the interests of victims and witnesses to make sure their voices are heard as well as holding the Government to account so that we can all live in a society where crime does not have the upper hand and we can go about our daily lives without living in fear of become victims of crime.
So on July 18, I would urge to elect someone determined to really make a real difference in ensuring all our communities are safer places to live and work. That person I believe would be Kim McGuiness.