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Candidates set out their stalls

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

  • William Morris: 'All sorts of questions about how the force is run.'

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A CRACKDOWN on under-age drinking and early intervention and support for young people are issues being championed by two of those hoping to become the region's new police boss.

William Morris from Ludgvan has announced he is standing in the election to choose the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall.

Also campaigning for the job is Tony Hogg, the Conservative candidate, who has been canvassing support in Penzance this week.

Mr Morris, 62, said he believed more needed to be done to reduce social deprivation in the area, and he would use his role to support people living in west Cornwall.

"There are huge social pressures down here and pockets of child poverty," he said.

"I think crime is related to this. When my children were growing up here in Penzance my own daughter used to go to a local pub and get served when she was under age."

A former farmer, Mr Morris says his interest in crime prevention developed during ten years living and working in South Wales. He volunteered as a prison visitor at Swansea jail, visiting inmates in the young offenders' unit as well as on the adult wings.

"Devon and Cornwall Police has a very bad reputation and there are all sorts of questions about how the force is being run," he said.

"The local police are very good but the police authority is at the root of the trouble."

Mr Hogg, who lives in Helston, said he believed there should be a stronger focus on addressing low-level crime, an increase in visible policing and measures to boost the morale of police staff.

"The job requires a strong sense of leadership to deliver what local people want from their force," he said.

"I love challenges and this is a serious challenge."

The former commanding officer of RNAS Culdrose, he was announced as the Conservative candidate in July but said he believed the right person for the job would not be swayed by any political party loyalties.

"The whole job is about listening to the public," Mr Hogg said. "I'll be asking people all the time what they think: if they feel safer today than yesterday."

The elected commissioner will replace the current appointed police authority and will have a wide range of powers including the ability to hire or fire the Chief Constable and set policing targets and budgets.

So far there are five prospective candidates to fill the position in Devon and Cornwall, with the Liberal Democrats expected to name their hopeful later this month.

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  • Lafrowda  |  September 20 2012, 12:37PM

    That is a bit lopsided. What about the other three candidates ? Not even named.

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  • josdave  |  September 20 2012, 12:23PM

    This whole procedure is a waste of time and money and will not improve or make any difference to policing. Taxpayers money could be far better spent.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  September 20 2012, 11:37AM

    If Mr.Hogg will not be 'swayed' by party political loyalties, why is he standing as a Conservative? His party in government (together with the Liberal Democrats) are presiding over cuts in police numbers and their terms and conditions. The £85,000 salary that they are chasing and the cost of running the elections could be better deployed.

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