BCfm’s weekly politics show presented by Tony Gosling
For all the shows back to Easter 2009 visit the Friday Drivetime archive page.
This week we invite all four Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidates to explain how they will oversee the force in this newly created US style role as Police Authorities are abolished across the UK. BCfm Police & Crime Commissioner candidates’ discussion – with Peter Levy (Liberal Democrat), Ken Maddock (Conservative), Sue Mountstevens (Independent) and John Savage (Labour).
First Hour: Introduction of candidates and their vision for the role of PCC. Peter Levy is a former Ministry of Defence policeman, Ken Maddock questioned about Conservative minister Lord Green’s responsibility for money laundering, Sue Mountstevens bakery business failed, so will she succeed? John Savage a member of the Merchant Venturers who financed the transatlantic slave trade. Question from Gus Hoyt, Green Party councillor for Stokes Croft & St. Paul’s, Ashley Ward, on Easter 2011 riots in Stokes Croft – how would they have policed it? Riot found to have cost £465,000 and employed resources from 12 different police forces including 160 riot police. Should the police use firearms in potential riot situations? What would policing priorities of the four candidates be: drugs; more police on the street; antisocial behaviour; rural policing or equipment? London police in Stephen Lawrence case were taking two salaries, one from organised criminals and one from public purse, how would the candidates deal with that kind of corruption within the force – most agree root it out. Marina Morris out on the streets of Bristol to ask what you think about the election of Police & Crime Commissioners and how you will be voting. General lack of knowledge of, interest in and enthusiasm for the vote or the process. Could be the lowest turnout ever. Gus raises the question, do we actually need a PCC? Police increasingly using high-voltage Tasers but do candidates think they are ethical?
Second hour: Tony Gosling and Martin Summers run through this weeks news: Conservative backbenchers and Labour MPs line up together to vote saying UK should pay less to the EU, Northern Ireland prison officer David Black shot dead yesterday, the first prison officer killed for 13 years in the province. Japanese Hitachi firm buying into UK Nuclear Power stations at Oldbury and North Wales, Tunisia – state of emergency extended into the new year, democratic failings in the first state to move in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. US presidential election next week discussed, Attorney General Dominic Grieve decides it is unlawful for the US to use their UK air bases in any pre-emptive attack they wish to conduct on Iran. Is the UK a ‘soft touch’ when it comes to Serious Organised Crime? Author of ‘Shadow World, Inside the Global Arms Trade, Andrew Feinstein introduces a London based, German owned firm, Marine Force International (MFI) which the German parent firms MAN Ferrostaal AG and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) plan to use to pay arms deal bribes out of the jurisdiction of German courts. PCC candidates return to a question about declaration of senior police officers’ interests and freemasonry, commenting that masons are attracted to senior police roles and that the characteristic police chequerboard is also found on the carpet of Masonic temples. Tony asks a question on crime and poverty, including the issues of cuts, the closure of mental health facilities, the criminalisation of squatting and how the police are forced to pick up the pieces. Tony asks the candidates on how they would deal with the other end of the scale, rich people’s white collar crime and complex frauds, for example selling public property at lower than market prices. John Savage takes exception to the question wondering whether the question is being asked about the sale of Bristol General Hospital which he oversaw as chairman of UHB NHS Trust. Rural versus urban policing, will the candidates be able to balance the two properly? Whistleblowing, do the candidates they take the issue seriously and how will they ensure whistleblowers are not sacked.