Thank you and congratulations

On Friday afternoon we had the final count of votes and I congratulate Jane Kennedy on her re-election.  I have said throughout that my pitch was based on what I would do differently rather than what, if anything, she was doing wrong.

I am pleased that, whenever we were able to put our case, we found that people would support it.  It is no accident that the PCC vote did best in the wards where Green councillors and activists are known well.  We have more to do in future to increase the reach of Green ideas.

The argument for better enforcement against road traffic crimes was well received and the Green Party can continue to press for action on this front.

In Liverpool we had over 10% of the vote, 8.92% across Merseyside.  That gives us a strong base to start campaigning for a Green candidate for the city region mayorality next year.

I would like to thank all the people who voted Green, whether first or second preference.  I thank all the Green Party activists and supporters who helped with the elections – it was a shared project this year with local and PCC elections together.

Thank you, also, to all the people who took the trouble to read this blog.  I will shortly resume my other blog here, if you wish to continue reading.

Best wishes,

John Coyne

 

 

Five pence for safer roads

I have responded to some overlapping questions about safety for walking and cycling from local and national organisations.

The national president for Cycling UK is the Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow and he asks a very simple question: will the PCC find the money to reverse the cuts to roads policing?

The full email exchange is here – cycling-england

My answer is consistent with the launch of my election campaign.  To tackle road danger at its source we need to get serious about enforcement against road traffic crimes.  To pay for additional policing we need to find the money and if elected as PCC I would propose an increase in the police precept on the council tax, unless we can find the money in other ways.

Mandate for a 5p Tax Increase

Cycling England are asking for a series of 2% plus inflation increases in the precept to pay for roads policing. However, that programme might run into difficulties if the government forced a referendum each time the precept was increased above 1.99%: much of the tax revenue would be lost to pay for the referendum each year.  Therefore I am seeking a mandate for a single 10% increase.  It may be less than that, but 10% is the figure I am asking voters to accept.

How much is that going to cost each household?

The police precept works out at about £3 per week, or less, for most households in Merseyside.  So a 10% increase is about 30p per week – less than 5p per day to pay for safer roads for our children.  That increase would yield an extra £5m per year and reverse most of the cuts to traffic policing we have seen since 2010.

Vision Zero – A Target for no more Road Deaths and Serious Injuries

The Wirral Pedestrians Association has asked all PCC candidates to sign up to the ambitious target of Zero deaths and serious injuries (KSIs) on Merseyside’s roads.

I agree with this target and I would work with the Chief Constable to make sure Merseyside Police does all it can to assist its achievement.  With better police enforcement of road traffic law it would be more likely that local authorities (the councils) will sign up too.

The email exchange with Wirral Pedestrians Association is here – wpa-mcc

The “Vision Zero” document, produced jointly with Merseyside Cycling Campaign, is here – vision_zero_merseyside

 

 

 

 

Stalking and violence against women

On stalking, I have responded to questions from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.  I know that stalking is a major threat, particularly to women, but also to men.  I take the point that stalking is often a precursor to physical violence so it makes sense to prevent that violence by tackling the stalking.

From a quick look at the figures, it appears that Merseyside Police are doing a better job than some forces in encouraging victims to report stalking, but there is probably a majority of offences which do not get reported and that is a problem that needs attention.  To see the text of the email exchange, please use the link below.

stalking

Stalking is one aspect of violence against women and girls and I have responded to a set of questions from the End Violence Against Women Coalition, please see the following link

violence

 

Prostitution

I’ve been asked by Feminism in London to comment on the topic of prostitution and what a PCC should do.

My general approach is to focus on harm reduction rather than on penalising prostitutes and I would lead an awareness campaign on the theme that it’s not OK for men to pay for sex.

To see the questions and answers within the full email exchange please follow the link below.

prostitution

Nasty smear against Tory candidate

Until today the election for Merseyside PCC has been a very civilised race, but the timing of an allegation against the Conservative candidate and the willingness of Liverpool’s Labour Mayor (of all people) to rush to judgement tell me that we are seeing a smear campaign.

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/revealed-tory-who-wants-85k-11270594

I don’t think the Labour PCC and candidate, Jane Kennedy, would have had anything to do with this smear and I hope voters can concentrate on the different policies being put forward by candidates when they cast their votes.

 

Stop and Search

I have responded to the Criminal Justice Alliance about their concerns over police use of Stop and Search.  They referred me to a recent inspection report.

I said

… There can be a risk that excessive use of Stop and Search can be oppressive and can be or be seen to be discriminatory. The HMIC report you refer to shows that Merseyside Police were found to be in compliance with Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme in all respects except for publishing monitoring data.  That deficiency should be easily remedied.

I would go further, though, and seek to identify any occurrences where people believe they have been subjected to a stop and search without the fact being formally recorded.  My proposal to conduct randomised survey exercises, along the lines of the Crime Survey for England and Wales, should help us see if that is a problem.

To see the full email correspondence, please use the link below.

stop_and_search

Quad bikes on our green spaces

I have had an enquiry via Twitter:-

@Green_JohnCoyne @LiverpoolGreens as PCC what would u do to tackle the scourge of scramblers/quads on our green spaces john

This is a tough problem and if there was a simple answer it would have been solved before now. Currently Merseyside Police are issuing alerts about scrambler/quad bikes seeking information to identify where they are being kept.

There are two proposals in my programme so far which would help.

Firstly, the illegal bikes have to travel through the roads to reach the parks and green spaces.  I am proposing to reverse the cuts to traffic police.  That would increase the chance of intercepting illegal vehicles.

Secondly, I have written here about better communication between the neighbourhood police and the local population so they have confidence always to report crime.  I would go on from that to say that active citizens recording each occurrence of illegal quads/scramblers will increase the chances of finding out where the bikes are stored.  Realistically, we can’t always expect police to respond immediately to each sighting and also there may be a problem managing a large amount of information, images or video coming in from the public.  As PCC I would look for new ways to handle that information, perhaps with volunteer assistance.

Thirdly, I would look for best practice to see what other police forces have done and find out if there have been/are any barriers to adopting those practices on Merseyside.