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Derbyshire PCC candidate – Stan Heptinstall, Lib Dems

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We are providing all the candidates seeking election as Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) with the opportunity to tell our readers what their priorities are, and to tell us a little more about themselves.

We’ve asked the same four questions to each candidate, for straightforward comparison, and we have invited candidates to supply social media and website links if they choose to.

In this article we speak to Stan Heptinstall, standing for the Liberal Democrats.

 


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(1) Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was a senior academic in the Nottingham University Medical School until I retired.

I was also a local borough and county councillor for many years and thoroughly enjoyed representing my local community.

I have always been prominent in organising things – conferences, fairs,  and community activities of all kinds for which the Queen gave me an MBE.

I am also involved in the life of the church and am currently a churchwarden.

My wife Lillian is a priest in the Church of England. We have four children and ten grandchildren and we are very proud of all of them.

 

(2) What do you feel are the policing priorities in our area?

Since I became the Liberal Democrat candidate I have taken every opportunity to listen to the people I would like to represent and also to talk to the police themselves including the Chief Constable.

The following are areas of concern:

  • police visibility, or lack of it, especially in rural areas;
  • the relative inaccessibility of the police compared with times gone by with some police stations stated to be not fit for purpose;
  • fewer than expected prosecutions of those engaged in relatively low level crime;
  • difficulties in communicating with the police (except in emergencies)
  • a general lack of feedback when crimes are reported.

 

(3) What initiatives would you seek to implement if elected on 6th May?

I want people to be able to see and know their local community officers and be prepared to go to them with any concerns they may have.

This means better visibility and greater accessibility. I want any concerns to be dealt with efficiently and effectively. 

I want the police to be respected for the good service they provide. 

The way police do things needs to change – we need police officers, PCSOs and support staff working more locally.

The way police work and the premises they work from need to be re-thought.

A new “friendly face” of policing should encourage the reporting of crime and people having no inhibitions in seeking the help they need.

 

(4) What skills/experience would you look to bring to the role?

The job of PCC in Derbyshire is two-fold.

  1. to provide a link between Derbyshire people and the Chief Constable to make sure that she is aware of the people’s priorities;
  1. to work with the Chief Constable and others to ensure that policing in Derbyshire is as good as can be. 

I have developed two skills that I believe will enable me to do both jobs effectively.

  1. I am good at representing the views of others. I was a councillor for 26 consecutive years and was good contact with the electorate at all times. I will be the same as the Derbyshire PCC. 
  1. I am good at getting on with and working with other people. This stood me on good stead as a senior academic, as a local councillor and latterly as a churchwarden. It will be the same with the police service.

I will be enthusiastic, encouraging and successful in changing the face of policing in Derbyshire. That will be my legacy at the end of my term of office.

 

 

 

 

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