Labour Man for Police Commissioner

17:18 Monday 18th June 2012
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: Labour has unveiled its list of candidates for elections to appoint new police commissioners in England and Wales. Here in Cambridgeshire it’s Ed Murphy, a Peterborough City councillor and former Chair of the Joint Cambridgeshire District and County Crime Reduction Panel. Elections in 41 forces’ areas will take place in November, when the current police authorities will be scrapped. The new commissioners will have the power to hire and fire chief constables, hold them to account, and set the forces’ budgets. The Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper says any of their candidates who are selected will first try to reverse some of the cuts in police numbers. .. Ed, good evening to you.
ED MURPHY: Good evening.
CHRIS MANN: So you want to be the face of policing in Cambridgeshire.
ED MURPHY: Yes. I want to be the representative for residents in Cambridgeshire, to make sure that they feel safer where they live, and they continue to feel safe where they live.
CHRIS MANN: Do you think they don’t feel safe now?
ED MURPHY: I think things have been getting bad. We’ve seen 107 police officers’ jobs go in Cambridgeshire already. And we’re predicting that over 1,000 ¬†police jobs will be lost by 2015, under the Conservative cuts, which are too extreme, a 20% cut in policing. Bear in mind that Cambridgeshire is the fastest growing county in the country. If anything, we need more resources in policing, because we’ve got more people living here.
CHRIS MANN: More people than where?
ED MURPHY: Than other counties in the country, and other places in England. Our population is growing at a staggering rate, the birth-rate in Peterborough and new towns developing throughout Cambridgeshire.
CHRIS MANN: What do you think qualifies you for the job?
ED MURPHY: Well I have had ten years experience in the private sector, and prior to that I was the force spokesperson for Cambridgeshire, when in fact we ran the police authority the last time the Tories lost an election significantly in Cambridgeshire, appointing the Chief Constable and Deputies, setting the policing priorities in those years.
CHRIS MANN: Not attracted by the £70,000 a year salary perhaps?
ED MURPHY: Well actually I won’t be taking the full salary. We can talk about that more later. I’ll be using some of that to finance crime reduction measures, ordinary people can bid in for it, and to engage other people to represent, for example, pensioners’ groups.
CHRIS MANN: Well let’s talk about it now. What do you mean? You’re not going to take the salary?
ED MURPHY: I won’t be taking the full salary, no. I stood for a general election on a line not to take the full expenses. I think we need more people in politics that live in the real world, and know the price of things in the places they live.
CHRIS MANN: Do you think the Chief Constable will welcome you being there?
ED MURPHY: I think the Labour candidates have made it quite clear that we will support the Chief Constables in their independence in operational matters. And I think he will understand that the electorate will give us a mandate on the policy matters, and what our priorities should be.
CHRIS MANN: Would you agree with Andrew Sinclair our political correspondent from BBC Look East, that the public aren’t exactly excited about it, and there may be a very low turnout?
ED MURPHY: Well you know what, the public hasn’t been excited by politics in recent years at all. Low turnouts at European and local elections. The Labour strategy is to engage with people at all levels, to make sure that people who don’t normally vote, vote at elections, not just these elections, but at the following European, local and general elections. It really is important that we get people actively involved in the decision making that goes on in their communities. And voting is the way of doing that.
CHRIS MANN: Ed Murphy, thank you for joining us. The first man to declare he’s going to be a candidate to be Police Commissioner for Cambridgeshire on behalf of the Labour Party.