WHEN you are asked to summarise why some should ‘lend you their vote’, I, like many of you, have become a little jaded by the response of mainstream politicians – it seems to be one cliché after another, shrouded in party political messages.
How refreshing then, that the elections for the Police and Crime commissioner should be free from the constraints of party politics – or at least they should be.
I was born in Congleton and live in the town with my two daughters, aged eight and 10. During my years as a councillor, it became apparent that the crimes that affect people on a regular day-to-day basis are the low level, signature crimes – anti social behaviour, vandalism, graffiti, public order offences. They have no place in our communities.
I believe in a zero-tolerance approach to all anti-social crime. Send out the message that these behaviours are not acceptable, and then you can begin to put into place the boundaries which the majority of people adhere to.
Our police service should always have the wellbeing of the victim at its heart – I would stand for the victim and the community – not the criminal. Wider and more visible use of community payback schemes, lobbying for harsher sentencing and victim-led restorative justice programmes would link in to this approach.
Cheshire should be a county safe for us all, free from the fear of crime that debilitates so many of our older residents, and safe for our young people, so that they can enjoy their leisure time without fear of intimidation and violence by the offenders who are not adequately punished by the system.
I am standing for my children, your families, your children and the communities in which we all live – resources should be about justice for the victims, not ‘understanding’ for the criminal.