Next month, UoN students will have the chance to head to the polls once again, this time to elect Nottinghamshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
The job of the Commissioner is to oversee all policing across Nottinghamshire, providing a voice to the people by ensuring there is police accountability.
Three candidates are running for the role, with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats each vying for the position.
Impact’s News Editor Lauren McGaun caught up with Labour’s Paddy Tipping and the Liberal Democrat’s David Watts to find out more about why they were running for the role.
The Conservative’s Caroline Henry was also contacted for comment but Impact received no response. Information on her campaign can be found here.
The Liberal Democrat candidate David Watts has a long standing history of tackling crime and engaging with the local community, having worked in criminal law for 30 years and previously been the leader of Broxtowe Borough Council. He believes his experience as a solicitor will provide him with the evidence based approach needed for policing, “looking at what works rather than just repeating tired and discredited dogma.”
If Watts was elected as the next PCC, he said his main priority would be forming “a partnership between the police and the community, rather than an us and them approach.” This would mean having officers committed to working with different communities, so that there is a better understanding between the police and local citizens.
I genuinely believe I am the best candidate to be the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Notts. This video sets out why. pic.twitter.com/WJtRi0T2sw— David Watts (@DavidWatts12) April 11, 2021
When questioned on making students feel safe following the death of Sarah Everard, Watts said: “The message needs to be given very clearly that this isn’t acceptable.”
David Watts fully supports the organisers behind the Kill The Bill demonstrations
“I have two teenage daughters and I would hate anything to happen to them, so this is a key area for me if I get elected as PCC.”
David Watts fully supports the organisers behind the Kill The Bill demonstrations and believes that the government’s interference in protests is threatening fundamental democratic rights.
Whilst voter turnout amongst students has been historically low, Watts stressed the importance of policing for students.
“If you want a fairer, more democratic system, and if you want to send a message to the government that this is the sort of country you want, a vote for the Liberal Democrats is the best way to do that.”
“I don’t believe that the PCC post should exist, but whilst it does I want to make sure that it has a Lib Dem occupant.”
Paddy Tipping, is also running to be Nottinghamshire’s PCC.
Having served as commissioner since 2012, Tipping is re-running for the position he views as a huge privilege, “making the county a safer place for all communities.”
Tipping has reduced knife crime in Nottinghamshire by 11%
Tipping’s campaign sets out several priorities, including boosting neighbourhood policing teams, increasing support for victims of violence against women and working with partners to safeguard young people, both online and on the streets.
As PCC, Tipping has reduced knife crime in Nottinghamshire by 11% and hopes to build on this work if re-elected, ensuring that safer communities are built across the region.
WATCH ?: @PaddyTipping & Shadow Home Secretary @NickTorfaen on a visit to @ThePythianClub.— EastMidsLabour (@EastMidsLabour) April 8, 2021
Knife crime is down 11% in Nottinghamshire – despite being up nationally. It is vital that we re-elect Paddy on 6th May. pic.twitter.com/hCbPhAXyDy
When asked about protection for young women, Tipping notes that Nottinghamshire Police was the first police force to declare misogyny as a hate crime.
“It’s wrong that women should be rubbed and touched up in pubs and clubs and we’ve worked hard with venue owners to tackle that.”
Paddy sees the local elections as a hugely important part of the student voice
Like Watts, Tipping also opposes the new proposals related to protests in the Policing and Crime Bill, and has made it clear to the Home Office of his objections.
Having been both a graduate and post-graduate of University of Nottingham, Paddy sees the local elections as a hugely important part of the student voice.
“It’s a great asset to the City and we need to work together to build a stronger and safer Nottingham.”
More information on Paddy Tipping’s campaign can be found here.
The local election will take place on Thursday 6th May with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm. You can find your nearest polling station here.
In-article images courtesy of Paddy Tipping and David Watts. No changes made to this image.
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