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Labour’s Steve Morphew launches his Norfolk police and crime commissioner manifesto

18:00 15 October 2012

Steve Morphew

Steve Morphew

©Archant Photographic 2010

Police commissioner candidate Steve Morphew insists he would be “foolish” to pretend the role is clear enough to be sure he could make promises he can keep.

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But the Labour nominee launched his 10-point manifesto today outlining his aims and ambitions should he be elected as police and crime commissioner (PCC) on November 15.

They include raising the police’s share of the council tax by no more than 10p a week each year, approximately a 3pc increase for band D taxpayers, no privatisation of policing services and fighting against further government cuts.

Mr Morphew says he also wants to make the service more “victim-focused” to serve their needs better, with a senior member of staff appointed to the commissioner’s team with a special responsibility for victim services.

He added today rural, coastal and urban communities are entitled to enjoy “equal peace of mind”, with the police attempting to meet the priorities of different communities.

But Mr Morphew, former leader of Norwich City Council, says in his nine-page manifesto: “I would be foolish to pretend the position is clear enough to make promises I am sure I can keep.

“This is a new role with too many unknowns, a weak economy and uncertain, hostile government policy. But as I am asking people to trust me with their vote I must set out the things I pledge to try to achieve, the values that underpin them and the things I expect to be judged by.

“If I am not going to be able to do the things I say, the Norfolk community is entitled to know and have a say in the alternatives.”

There are three other candidates planning to stand for the PCC role.

They are Conservative Jamie Athill, independent Stephen Bett and Liberal Democrat James Joyce.

A full list of candidates will be published next Tuesday.

One issue the commissioner will have to deal with is cash cuts to the force.

Norfolk Constabulary needs to save £24.5 million by 2015, and made cuts of £22.6m between April 2009 and 2012.

There were 115 fewer police officers serving in the county in March 2012 than in 2010, and 21 fewer Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), according to figures released in parliament.

Mr Morphew said today the cuts were too fast, too soon, but believes it is important to be efficient with the available resources, while also working better with the NHS, councils and voluntary groups.

He said other ideas included setting up an “innovations group” to work with community representatives to find ways of tackling issues, such as providing activities to children without youth services.

Mr Morphew said: “I do think the cuts in policing are false economy. If there are increases in the fear of crime then that’s bad for people’s health and a healthy social outlook.

“If there are increases in crime, police have to spend a lot of money catching people and putting them through the criminal justice system and pay for them to be punished. From the householders’ and motorists’ point of view, it pushes up the insurance.”

Mr Morphew said he thought more people would want to pay a little extra in the police’s share of the council tax to avoid paying more to “clear up the mess afterwards”.

He was joined outside Norwich train station today by Norwich South MP candidate Clive Lewis, Norwich North candidate Jess Asato, East of England MEP Richard Howitt and fellow party activists.

They were collecting signatures for a petition calling for early morning restriction orders to stop shops selling alcohol between 3am and 6am.

Euro MP Mr Howitt backed Mr Morphew’s PCC bid, insisting the party’s nominee was a “thoughtful visionary and responsible politician”.

Mr Howitt said: “We all know rural crime is a huge challenge, as much as problems in our towns and cities at the same time. I spend a lot of time knocking on doors around Norfolk. There’s no demand to cut police numbers or to outsource police jobs, which in reality is privatisation.”

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15 comments

  • We should know this bunch would start by cribbing about cuts,whilst not recognizing the the state of finances we were left in .Their only answer of a solution raise the Community charge .Nothing new , visionary or responsible there then.

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    PaulH

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • ingo wagenknecht - I agree with you totally. Seems we have a choice between carrying on with the same in Mr Bett who hardly covered himself in glory by agreeing to the building of a cell facility at Wymondham of all places. Bringing in this truly awful all black para military style uniform. Rubber stamping several very expensive reorganisations, all of which have been unpicked. Or other candidates who didn`t want PCCs in the first place but are now more than happy to embrace the whole concept. What we need from this bunch is answers as to how they are going to put police officers back patrolling our communities. The only time you see them nowadays is when they are blasting past you with their sirens on at minor incidents which seem to necessitate the attendance of more than the required number of officers. And don`t even get me started on the length of time police close roads nowadays to “investigate,” accidents. Plenty of things to have a real go at rather than taking the easy option and putting up the police precept.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • What a waste of time and money . Everything is controlled in Whitehall , anyway .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • What a turn off. As soon as I saw that cringingly awful Keith Skipper video, promoting this non event, I knew that I would be one of those not bothering.

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    Abraham

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Morphew - the only person I want to scream "SHUT UP" at before it even opens its gob to speak.

    Report this comment

    Urbancommander

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Is it Wllie WONKER

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    Albert Cooper

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • I will most certainly vote - to keep Morphew out. The man's a joke. He has suddenly started telling people he confronts yobs who drop litter. Yeah, right. And I certainly would never support a party for which Clive Lewis is a candidate. I have never met anyone so rude.

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    Jane

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • Steve Morphew is the only candidate to oppose the likes of G4S taking over police services.The Olympics security failures showed private is not always best.He deserves support for this reason alone.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • It looks like being a being a record turnout (not), In fact I don't know anybody who is going to bother to vote. At what level of turnout will it be declared null and void?

    Report this comment

    Twig Stevens

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • So Mr Morphew says: “I would be foolish to pretend the position is clear enough to make promises I am sure I can keep." Glad to see he is keeping true to past form then.

    Report this comment

    Ne Absiste

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Would the new police commissioner be allowed to privatise all or part of Norfolk police if he so wished?

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • So he is making it up as he goes along .It is no surprise then as he is on record as saying he does not believe in the position No doubt it gives his political party a platform for what ?They dont want the role to be there either Honest people would not take part

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    No to tory boy

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • He hasn`t a clue. Police and civilian support staff are at still at historic highs and reported crime has been falling year on year mainly as a result of demographics within the population. What has happened is that the police service has developed into a myriad of specialists and jobs worth departments. That has severely diminished the availability of police officers, in particular traffic officers, to patrol our streets. Which is why you can drive from one end of the county and not see a police officer. We need a return to the all round officer capable of doing most things. Specialism has its place but what we don`t need is a force full of jobs worths.

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    BG

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Urbancommander

    Monday, October 15, 2012

  • The choice is dire, they are all party politicians, despite their desperate attempts to look and sound independent, they will be told what to do by Whitehall's whips. Steve has been a councillor all his life, has not done very much apart from that. I agree with Agnes on Clive lewis, he's arrogant and one wonders why he wants to leave the BBC when he has no people skills, keep the day job. Stephen Bett has failed to tackle the 1.13 billion pension hole deficit in Norfolk police authority, but he seems to think that he owns that position, the ire of his turning to become a default Independent. Jamie Athill is a text book Conservative, loyal and listening, he will not put a foot wrong by listening to us all. Which leaves us with no choice, not a single real Independent, just as the Coalition of minority parties wanted it.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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