Lincolnshire Police’s newly elected voice of the public has promised to secure a fairer deal for the county after years of ‘shabby’ treatment and under funding.
Police and crime commissioner Alan Hardwick believes his new role will give Lincolnshire ‘more clout’ in lobbying the government for change, despite the election’s poor voter turn out.
In the first of his monthly interviews, which can be viewed on this page, he said: “I don’t see how any government can turn its back, ignore or sideline someone who speaks for the entire county - they’ve never been in that situation before.
“I’m utterly confident that I can make the government listen and that I can make inroads into what I said in my pre-election speeches, which should be a fairer deal for Lincolnshire - Lincolnshire has been dealt with shabbily in so many ways.”
Focusing on public concerns highlighted during his time canvassing for the election, Mr Hardwick said his most pressing issues were the budget and retaining frontline police officers.
He said: “The people of Lincolnshire are extremely concerned about the future of the thin blue line.
“With the help and cooperation of the chief constable, though adult conversations, not held behind closed doors, we can preserve, at least, the thin blue line, preserve numbers of front line officers, preserve the neighbourhood policing teams and then, hopefully, in the not too distant future, start to build on these numbers - I don’t think that’s impossible.”
Anti-social behaviour and street drinking will also be high priorities, which he has pledged to take a firm stance against.
“I’m very clear on this - I will adopt a zero tolerance policy to street drinking,” he said.
Following his narrowly won election victory on November 15, Mr Hardwick has already appointed his support team and will visit Whitehall on Monday to begin ‘fighting’ for a better budget, which he must set by December.
As the democratically elected public voice of Lincolnshire, he has urged the county’s residents to raise their ‘views, observations and suggestions’ with him to help him set police priorities.
“Only by finding out at a local level what sort of policing this county needs can we hope to target resources to the areas where they will do most good,” he said.
The first meeting of the new Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel took place at East Lindsey District Council’s Manby HQ on Tuesday, November 27, marking the beginning of a new era of public accountability for the police.
Following the election of the new Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Hardwick, the panel is tasked with scrutinising key elements of his work including the precept, the Police and Crime Plan and the Annual Report.