Liverpool Councillor Kris Brown has launched his campaign to become the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner election in 2020.
Over 3,000 Liberal Democrat members across Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens will cast their vote ahead of the party's conference in Bournemouth in September for the candidate they want to be Merseyside's next Police Commissioner.
Kris is standing on a platform to abolish the role of Police Commssioner and will lobby government every day to scrap it. Kris believes until that happens that the Police Commssioner should be the voice of the people to the police. Not the other way round.
As Merseyside's next Police Commssioner, Kris will:
- Lobby the government every day, from being elected until he leaves office, to abolish the role of elected Police Commissioner, saving at least £800,000 a year - money that could be spent on front line policing.
- Keep the police accountable by returning to the Neighbourhood Police forum model so that local councillors and residents can feel connected to their local police teams.
- Seek to end knife, gun and other violent crimes - not just through greater enforcement but through tackling the route causes linked to health inequality and education.
- Facilitate an evidence based conversation around drugs reform and reform how police resources are used in this area - in particular relation to the use of cannabis.
- As part of the Liberal Democrats UK wide plan to invest an extra £300 million a year into police budgets, Kris will increase community policing in Merseyside by giving local police forces the funding they need to reverse the increase in violent crime, boost community confidence and increase the flow of community intelligence.
- Maintain, as part of our fight against Brexit, cross-border co-operation in combating serious organised crime, including international fraud and child sexual exploitation, by retaining the European Arrest Warrant, membership of Europol and access to EU information databases.
- Require all frontline officers to wear body cameras on duty, protecting the public from abuse of power and police officers from malicious accusations.
- Work with organisations such as the National Black Police Association to increase ethnic diversity and BAME participation in the police.
- Provide more support for victims of rape and domestic abuse.
- Create a new participation fund to attract more women into the police and its leadership positions.
Launching his campaign, Kris Brown said;
"That said, if I’m elected, I couldn’t abolish the role myself. It’s not in the power of the Police Commissioner - no matter what any other candidate in this contest will tell you.
"So from day one as Merseyside Police Commissioner til the day I leave, I’ll be lobbying the government to scrap the role and give the money back to stopping crime in Merseyside.
"In the meantime, I want to be people’s voice to the police.
"There’s a real disconnect between the role of Police Commissioner and the public. We need strong democratic oversight of the Police that listens to communities and gives them a greater say in how our streets are policed. But we do not need that power given to a single person.
"This election is a chance to talk about the real issues facing local communities in Merseyside.
"I want to get a grip on the fight against violent crime - particular knife crime. Not just through better enforcement but tackling the route causes linked to health and education.
"We also need a serious grown-up debate about drug reform and how police resources are spent in this area.
"Most importantly we need people to feel like the police are on their side, and are visible in local communities across Merseyside.
"So I want to hear from you. Whether you’re a Liberal Democrat member voting in this selection or a Merseyside resident. Tell me what your priorities are for policing in Merseyside.
"Head to my website www.krisforpcc.org.uk, check out my initial priorities and fill out the short survey, which will help me form part of my campaign if selected by my party to stand."