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Alan Charles: Acceptance Speech

 

Thank you.

First of all, I would like to thank the Returning Officer and his/her staff and the police for the smooth and orderly conduct of these elections; my Campaign Manager, Mark Spencer; the members of my Campaign Team and my opponents for a courteous campaign. I hope there are no sour grapes.

Very special thanks of course to Diane and my fantastic family whose unfailing help and support has been crucial to our success today.

I’d like to tell them that they’ll now see a bit more of me than they have done over the past few months – but I think I’ll have to disappoint them yet again - because my work has only just begun! I will be in the office tomorrow morning with the Chief Executive Helen Boffy.

Keeping Derbyshire safe as Police and Crime Commissioner demands no less than 100% commitment, energy and effort as it should do and will do. That is my pledge to Derbyshire.

I make no secret of the fact that the Labour Party didn’t want these elections and the 100 million spent nationally on them could have been put towards protecting frontline officers.

Having ignored the views of millions of UK citizens the government should have at least ensured that the democratic process was conducted in a proper and fair way. Turnout in Derbyshire of just 14.75% is extremely worrying but has been reflected across the country.

The reason for this is threefold; a great many electors do not believe in the concept; a vast number have received no literature and no information on the candidates. Every campaign worker will have heard this repeated time after time.

And finally the arrangements for this election have been shameful and heavily criticised by the Independent Electoral Commission. In response to not allowing candidates the usual facility of a free mail shot the Government has this morning desperately responded by saying the candidates should have worked harder in delivering literature. I have had an unbelievably fantastic hard working team supporting my campaign lead by Mark Spencer. They have delivered over 250,000 pieces of literature, but I don’t think the Tories realise there are 440,000 homes in this great county!

Nobody could have worked harder than these fabulous people. Like so many other policy areas this Tory Government is completely out of touch with the British people and just have no idea.

But they are important elections because the safety of people, families and communities is important. We have sent a message to David Cameron during the course of this campaign – the people of Derbyshire don’t want cuts to the police force and they don’t want privatisation in any part of police services.

They want to keep the police public!

As the new Commissioner; I have been elected on a pledge to oppose these damaging proposals, and together with other elected Labour Crime and Police Commissioners, we will make our voices heard loud and clear, to David Cameron’s Government.

But it’s important that the new post works.

I fought this campaign on a Manifesto of the People’s Priorities - containing the issues that Derbyshire residents have told me matter most to them.

So I’ll make victims and people who have suffered domestic abuse and hate crime my priority.

I’ll ensure that resources are spent wisely. The 20% cuts, inflicted by the Tories are too far and too fast and are having an impact on Policing In Derbyshire.

Our balanced plan of keeping police budget cuts to 12% would have achieved our aim of protecting the frontline.

I’ll ensure that community and neighbourhood policing continues so that we keep Police and Community Support Officers where they should be – at the heart of local communities.

I’ll ensure that cruelty to animals and wildlife has no quarter in Derbyshire and I’ll work with professionals, voluntary organisations and the police to keep our roads safe for all users.

And I’ll support the police in the work that they do; making Derbyshire Police a great place to work and a service that is accountable to the public and transparent in all its practices.

The Tories pushed through this legislation as a way of weakening the link between the police and local communities; cutting the funds available to them and encouraging private companies, like G4S that nearly wrecked the Olympics, to have a say in our safety.

Yesterday, people up and down the country have rejected Tory candidates and rejected Cameron’s vision – preferring that of Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the police who said: ‘The police are the public; the public are the police.’

That’s my vision too.

I will be a strong voice in this role; supporting our Labour policies that oppose draconian cuts and privatisation, and always putting the needs of Derbyshire first, last and foremost.

It will be an honour to serve our county and our communities as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire.

Derbyshire – you have placed your trust in me.

I will serve you to the very best of my ability and I will not let you down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Friday 16th November 2012
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