Police and crime commissioner election: Rupi Dhanda's manifesto
WITH the Police and Crime Commissioner elections on Thursday, the Echo continues to publish the candidates' manifestos. Today is the turn of Labour's candidate, Rupi Dhanda.
LIKE me you probably think, why do we want to elect somebody to run the police?
Unfortunately this government forced these changes through Parliament.
So, on November 15, Gloucestershire residents will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner.
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In Gloucestershire the thin blue line is being erased, the cuts will lead to the loss of 120 officers (around 10 per cent of our police force) and a third of backroom staff.
Neighbourhood policing is being eradicated; now they've reduced the 'neighbourhoods' to nine, spanning a population of more than 500,000 people.
Since the Tory-led government came into power, 16 of Gloucestershire's 31 police stations have closed. And another five are set to close very soon.
Are we going to let them get away with cutting our police stations from 31 to just 10?
Maybe you'll settle for a Police Point instead of a station? But you won't be happy if you learn that your Police Point is a desk that gets a fortnightly visit from an officer.
I won't be a cheerleader for these cuts. I will challenge the Government for a better settlement for Gloucestershire – something our MPs are failing to do.
I also want to see our county become a champion for restorative justice.
If you smash up a bus shelter, you should be held accountable for repairing it, and that means paying for it.
I want to work with the criminal justice system to give more victims of crime the chance to explain to the criminals the impact of their actions.
As a lawyer, I am alarmed by the watering down of police independence.
Some constabularies are looking to outsource CID work to the private sector and the government has already shut down the world renowned Forensic Science Service and replaced it with private sector providers that don't have the capacity to do the job.
I believe policing should be for public service – not private profit. My knowledge and experience of the police stems from my work as a partner in a law firm, where I have worked with officers on family law issues for many years.
They tell me how cuts and imposed changes are damaging the force and sapping morale.
Perhaps most importantly, as a working mum and as someone who has lived in this county for a decade, I can't bear to see the damage being inflicted by this government on policing.
Our police officers are not plebs. They are heroes.