Sunday, 26 March 2017

John Botting – Prospective Kent Police & Crime Commissioner

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From November, the Government is introducing outside London, forty-one Police & Crime Commissioners that will replace existing county police authorities. They will set priorities, oversee the budget and hire the Chief Constable for the local force. This is a radical departure in policing for England & Wales for it introduces an elected position with little or no police background necessary. The Coalition says that Police Authorities had no real public accountability. Whether an elected Commissioner will either (given our experience of MPs) remains to be seen. Policing is of course a very serious matter and electing an impartial, professional and effective Commissioner is paramount. So much so that our Kent representative John Botting has put himself forward as a prospective candidate. Here is his manifesto.

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John Botting – Prospective Kent Police & Crime Commissioner

I have lived, worked and owned businesses in Kent for the majority of my life I was a special constable for 3 years in Maidstone during the 1980’s before relocating for a period of time to Dorset, where I continued as a special. In April 1990 I joined the British Transport Police and relocated back to Kent, but based in London with the BTP. I worked as a PC through to 1997 when I resigned to go back to the business world. During my time in the police I carried out several roles, from working in a public order unit where I also had responsibility for anti-terrorism work, to a local beat office, to working under-cover on a special project, to an admin role, to eventually being a training officer.

One of the main reasons I left the police was due to the very negative environment I found myself in, particularly in training where officers with 10 years’ service were counting down the remaining 20 years service they had to retirement! The frustration with officers allegedly on long term sick due to stress, the political manoeuvrings of senior officers in one-upmanship games to get the next promotion, witnessing regular homophobic treatment of individuals and racist behaviour. All this started to take its toll plus the frustrations of officers not really doing what they were paid to do which was POLICE!!!

Reason For Standing – Since the 1990’s my attitude to policing and society as a whole has changed. When I look at how the police service has changed, I don’t see it as being for the better. I believe that I am uniquely placed as a previously active front line police officer and also special constable to understand the police officers in Kent. However, I have also been a victim of crime on numerous occasions, burglary, my car stolen, vandalised and broken into. Also during my period on the public order unit I was a victim of bullying by the unit’s Sergeant, who was ultimately dismissed from the force. Therefore, I feel I am well placed to understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of crime. I also feel that the Kent PCC should not be a career politician, standing merely to raise their profile in their party. I want to decentralise the power of policing back to the people from the county HQ, recognising the importance of the local area, local families, local businesses and local issues.

Politics – Although I am a member of a political party I am in no way a career Politician. As a National Liberal (note I am NOT a LibDem!) my political ideology is a combination of classical Liberalism and Libertarianism. In other words, freedom of the individual and personal Liberty, opposition to Big Brother Governments and political correctness, and policing only with the consent of the general public.

If you would like to read my detailed Manifesto please click here HERE. If you would like to support my campaign please e-mail me a pledge of money (I need over £5k for the campaign) at natliberal@aol.com.

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