It is essential we elect a new Labour Commissioner to put the case of Kent. I am honest about my politics, honest about my experience as a former Special Constable and honest about the direction I will bring to the role.
Over the next few years Labour must lead the fight against further Tory cuts to frontline policing and moves to privatise further services. We need to maintain popular neighbourhood policing and work with Labour PCCs and MPs to stand up and speak up to government, not just accepting the Conservative Party line from Westminster. My priority will working with communities and groups across Kent and ensuring that the office is not subject to the ridicule brought upon it by the current incumbent.
The Commissioner exists to hold the force to account on behalf of the people. Anne Barnes has failed in part because of PR gaffes that have put our force on the map for the wrong reasons; the failed Youth Tsar, Anne-Force One and the mis-judged Channel 4 documentary have all been self-led errors.
Labour only succeeds when it is a party that represents all our diverse communities across our county; be that rural villages and inner urban centres; from Dartford to Dover.
Policing doesn't stop at borders and we need a collaborative approach to dealing our unique pressures as the border county with Europe.
The challenges today are significantly different to the challenges of 20 years ago and only through collaboration will we succeed in our attempts to reduce crime at all levels.