Meet the candidate: Ron Hogg

Ron Hogg, the Labour Party candidate for the upcoming police and crime commissioner (PCC) election on November 15th, met with student activists from the Durham University Labour Club last week.

Ron-Hogg-1-Mr Hogg used the opportunity to explain the role of the PCC and to field questions on issues such as potential privatisation and politicisation of the police force.

He told the meeting that he would act responsibly if elected and would not unnecessarily raise fears about crime. Mr Hogg also pledged to protect the operational independence of the police and improve links with the public.

After the meeting I asked Mr Hogg the following questions:

Q. Why do you want to be a PCC?

A. I’ve worked for all of my life in the public sector providing a service to our community and I see this as a real opportunity to use the skills that I’ve gathered in my thirty years of policing to give a further service to communities. I will help to re-engage them with the police and improve the service to them.

Q. What do you think are the key crime issues in County Durham?

A. I’ve been out campaigning and talking to people on their doorsteps and the main issues are around anti-social behaviour, around behaviour caused by drunkness and drug-taking etc. Those are the key things that cause uncertainty in our communities. And another thing which often comes up is speeding. These are the areas we need to work on and that’s what I’d want to develop in consultation with our communities.

Q. What areas of Durham police provision would you like to see improved?

A. I think we need to improve our service to victims and witnesses of crime. I know our force already does a tremendous amount on that but again what I’m picking up on the doorstep is that it isn’t quite what it should be. But what I find to be very positive is that when I pick up issues and feed them into the force they get back to me and they deal with them. So there’s a sign that the force is really committed to taking things forward which is very encouraging.

Q. What is your philosophy on law and order and preventing crime?

A. I think it has to be a mixed economy. If you commit a crime you have to accept there’ll be an element of punishment but, fundamentally, unless we allow criminals to be rehabilitated, unless we assist criminals to stop them from re-offending, then we’re never actually going to beat crime at all. So it’s about working with partners in and around the community to help those who would commit crime to move out of that chaotic lifestyle and to remove the drivers of crime.

Q. So it’s tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime?

A. Absolutely, and David Cameron appears to be getting the message at last.

Information on all the candidates standing in the PCC election on November 15th can be found here.

Published in Palatinate Online, Durham’s Official Student Newspaper, 30th October 2012 – http://www.palatinate.org.uk/?p=28529

Students support candidates ahead of Police Commissioner elections

Students from Durham’’s political societies have been campaigning with their local candidates ahead of the police and crime commissioner elections on November 15th.

PCC300200Members of the Durham University Conservative Association (DUCA) recently campaigned with the Tory candidate, Nick Varley, in Market Square, whilst also canvassing voters in nearby Ingelby Barwick.

Meanwhile the Durham University Labour Club (DULC) has campaigning planned for the next month and will meet its candidate, Ron Hogg, at an event on Friday 26th October.

The election for Durham’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) is just one of many being held across the UK which will see the creation of a new role in the community that is intended to make the police more accountable to the public.

PCCs will aim to cut crime and deliver an efficient police service within the force area. They will also have powers to hire and dismiss the chief constable and set the force’s budget.

Also standing in the Durham election are Kingsley Smith, an independent, and Michael Costello, the UK Independence Party candidate.

Speaking of the importance of these elections, Jonathan Duell, Political Officer of DUCA, said, “‘The upcoming PCC elections are an invaluable opportunity to reinvigorate the relationship between public and police. From local residents to students, we all have important safety concerns, and these can now be taken right to the heart of local policing authorities by an empowered, efficient and accountable PCC.’”

Daisy-Rose Srblin, Co-Chair of DULC, also spoke of the significance of the election. She said: “An awareness of any local political cause is an important step in understanding the issues of the residents with whom we share this city, and the election of Durham and Darlington’’s first PCC, though not necessarily seeming to affect students directly, is no different.

At DULC we’’re very much behind the Labour candidate Ron Hogg who after three decades of service in the region is a fantastic candidate for the position.”

For more information on all the candidates click here.

Published in Palatinate Online, Durham’s Official Student Newspaper, 24th October 2012 – http://www.palatinate.org.uk/?p=27727