PCC candidates are quizzed in Spalding

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Crime and disorder, police numbers and punishment for offenders were three of the issues aired at a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) hustings event in Spalding.

About 40 people attended the Question Time-style meeting last Thursday at St Paul’s Church where four of the five candidates vying to be in overall charge of policing in Lincolnshire faced questions from the public.

Conservative candidate Richard Davies and Labour candidate Paul Gleeson were joined by Independents David Bowles and Alan Hardwick as their ideas for the role were put under the microscope, while English Democrat candidate Elliot Fountain did not attend.

The meeting was organised by Spalding East Estates Panel and was one of the first PCC events held after Independent candidate, Mervyn Barrett, dropped out of the race over allegations about his campaign being funded by companies pushing for police privatisation.

Rev Mike Chesher, who chaired the meeting, said: “It was quite a successful evening and the candidates said it was the best turnout they’d had at any of the PCC events.

“All four candidates acquitted themselves very well, not knowing what questions they were going to be asked, and gave quite comprehensive replies.

“There was no shortage of questions from the general public who were there and there was no sense of frustration or disappointment about the answers they got.”

Mr Chesher said the audience wanted to know how each candidate would try to ensure a greater police presence on the streets of South Holland.

They were also asked how they would deal with anti-social behaviour and whether offenders should be imprisoned or given community sentences.

“Most of the candidates tried to say they would listen to the public before forming their own opinions and make themselves accessible to people,” Mr Chesher said.

“It was a well-natured meeting with four strong candidates and I was very pleased that St Paul’s hosted it.”

Meanwhile, readers have been commenting about the PCC elections on our Lincolnshire Free Press Facebook page.

Aimee Meade said: “I’ve received a voting card, but no leaflets or info on candidates.

“If we’re to make an informed decision, there needs to more publicity on (the candidates’) ideas.”

Louise Meachen said: “I’ve heard nothing about who the candidates are or what they’re promising.”