Congleton: find out about the Cheshire East PCC candidates

By Belinda Ryan - Local Democracy Reporter

17th Apr 2024 | Local News

Congleton voting takes place at Buglawton Scout & Guide Headquarters, St Johns Road, Congleton, CW12 2BD. Image credit: Google Maps.
Congleton voting takes place at Buglawton Scout & Guide Headquarters, St Johns Road, Congleton, CW12 2BD. Image credit: Google Maps.

Cheshire East residents will get their chance on May 2 to vote in the election for the county's next police and crime commissioner.

The job of the police and crime commissioner (PCC) is to hold the police to account.

The responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • securing efficient and effective police for their area;
  • appointing the chief constable, holding them to account for running the force and, if necessary, dismissing them;
  • setting the police and crime objectives for their area through a police and crime plan;
  • and setting the force budget and determining the precept.

Three candidates are standing for the role of PCC in Cheshire.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked each of the candidates to explain why they deserve your vote.

John Dwyer (Conservative)

Since I was re-elected as the police and crime commissioner for Cheshire in 2021, we have seen significant improvements across the force, proving my plan is working.

My background is in policing, working my way up over a 30-year career to become assistant chief constable for Cheshire, and I previously served as PCC so I know what it takes to do this important job.

Working with the current chief constable, we have provided the police with much needed stability, experience, and a relentless focus on improving performance. This has paid dividends.

Cheshire now has more than 2,400 police officers – the highest number of officers in the force's history.

This includes 322 extra police officers, thanks to the Conservative Government's commitment to deliver more police – that's more officers on our streets and in our communities.

The time taken to answer the phone has significantly improved since 2021 and is now less than five minutes for 101 and under 10 seconds for 999 numbers.

The police are getting to emergencies faster, and they're doing more about it when they get there.

Arrests are up by 30 per cent and Cheshire has the highest charge rate for crime of any police force in the country.

We are also putting the brakes on dangerous driving, with drink driving arrests up 8.3 per cent and almost 13 per cent for drug driving – keeping people safe on Cheshire's roads.

We've turned the corner on policing, with crime falling significantly. But the job isn't done yet.

We need to keep tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across our towns and villages. And take on the scourge of rural crime that affects too many farms and businesses.

We need to focus on tackling fraud, theft, and cybercrime to protect vulnerable people.

And we will continue to make sure that 101 and 999 calls are getting answered quicker, with reports responded to faster, so criminals know they won't get away with it.

My plan for Cheshire will deliver more police and safer streets – but now it's down to you.

Will you help me to deliver more police and safer streets?

Vote for me, John Dwyer on May 2, and together we can make Cheshire even safer.

Dan Price (Labour)

When Conservatives tell you 'crime is falling', don't fall for it.

Over the last 14 years, crime up, charges down, and prisons full. That's the Conservatives' record.

Home office data shows that in 2012 there were more than 57,000 recorded crimes in Cheshire.

In 2023 this surpassed 86,000, up more than 50 per cent.

On top of this failure, nationally the percentage of crimes recorded that lead to someone being charged has dropped to 5.5 per cent. which meant in 2022, two million crimes went unsolved.

All too often crimes are committed, and nothing is done.

I've lived in Cheshire all of my life and I've spent over a decade being a local councillor, bringing new ideas and energy to public service.

I see the challenges we face daily, and I know what we need to feel safe.

Cheshire can't afford more of the same from this Conservative commissioner, with his failure to act on shoplifting, his outdated views and recent comments about schoolgirls "wearing short skirts". We deserve better than this.

I'm standing to be your police and crime commissioner so we can protect all communities and make Cheshire safer.

If elected, my priorities will be:

  • More police, faster response – we need more police officers than ever before and PCSO numbers are continuing to fall. More officers in our communities will be my top priority.
  • Prevention focussed – I'll commission more early intervention services in schools and youth organisations across Cheshire, preventing young and vulnerable people becoming tomorrow's criminals.
  • Community-led policing plans – Cheshire is huge and our communities are diverse. I'll introduce neighbourhood police and crime reviews, giving each community the chance to define their policing priorities.

Learn from victims – I'll establish a Cheshire victims of crime board, so that we learn from victims, support them, and increase trust in policing and criminal justice.

Reforming and modernising – Crime has changed and too often criminals are one step ahead. By learning and collaborating with other forces, whilst pioneering new technology, we will take back our streets.

To deliver the change Cheshire needs, on May 2, vote Dan Price for police and crime commissioner. Vote Labour.

Paul Duffy (Liberal Democrats)

Paul Duffy is the Liberal Democrats candidate for Cheshire police and crime commissioner.

The top five areas he will focus on are:

  • Let the police, police. This involves removing politics out of the police.
  • Reduce violent crime – especially knife crime and violence against women and girls.
  • Promote prevention and restorative justice initiatives.
  • Tackle the epidemic of shoplifting in Cheshire.
  • Increase visibility in the streets with more PCSOs.

Under the banner of 'Let the police, police', Paul pledges unwavering commitment to combating crime in all its forms.

Recognising the pressing issues of violent crime, particularly knife crime and violence against women, Paul vows to prioritise these critical areas, ensuring that our streets are safe for all residents.

Drawing on years of experience and a deep understanding of local dynamics, Paul will work tirelessly to implement targeted strategies to address these specific challenges head-on.

But the Liberal Democrats know true progress requires more than just reactive measures.

With a focus on prevention, Paul aims to reduce crime at its roots, investing in community initiatives, youth programs, and early intervention strategies.

By addressing the underlying factors that contribute to criminal behaviour, Paul is committed to creating lasting change and building a safer, more prosperous future for Cheshire.

Central to Paul's platform is the implementation of restorative justice practices, offering a compassionate and effective alternative to traditional punitive measures.

By fostering accountability, healing, and reconciliation, restorative justice not only reduces re-offending but also strengthens community bonds, promoting a sense of trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the public.

With deep roots in the community, Paul has a wealth of experience.

Married and a parent-of-two, Paul understands the importance of building a secure environment for families to thrive.

Moreover, Paul's tenure as a town councillor reflects a proven dedication to public service and a keen understanding of local governance.


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