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Published on Monday 24th September 2012 by Northumberland Lib Dems
Newcastle City Councillor Peter Andras has been chosen by Liberal Democrat members in the Northumbria Police area to be the party’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner.
Speaking after his selection as candidate was confirmed, Councillor Andras said:
“Northumbria Police cover a large rural area, several market towns, and an extensive metropolitan area. It is important to provide appropriate resources for each of these, considering their specific needs and tailoring the provision of the policing service to meet separate and legitimate local expectations.
“I am committed to improving the responsiveness of Northumbria Police to local preferences. In the coming weeks I will find out what the people served by Northumbria Police think of the service they’re getting, and how they think it could better reflect the needs of their communities – from the border with Scotland to the border with Durham.
“Working closely with the police, Liberal Democrats in Newcastle have demonstrated nationally-recognised excellence in dealing with crime and promoting community safety. Thanks to this partnership, Newcastle is now one of the safest city centres in the UK and local safe neighbourhood teams have been introduced, which are a model for the involvement of local politicians and other public agencies in intelligence sharing and targeted local action. If elected, I will promote the defence and extension of best practice such as this.
“I am strongly committed to Liberal Democrat values - I believe that the defence of civil liberties and freedom rights is of primary importance.
“My party has been concerned from the outset that the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners risks being seen as a politicisation of the police. This must not happen - the operational independence of Chief Constables must be preserved.
“However, I believe that the improvement of the accountability and transparency of the police force is a key priority. We should not let our very natural sympathy and support for the police in their battle against crime and anti-social behaviour blind us to this need. This is the great challenge and opportunity for the new Police and Crime Commissioners.
“I think that the local police should focus more on the prevention and elimination of petty crime and anti-social behaviour, which can seriously undermine the local sense of community.
“It is important that the actions of the police make victims of crime feel that the law and police are on their side and can effectively protect them, while also making possible the clear and appropriate punishment of those who commit crime.
“In an era of spending cuts, from which the police cannot be immune, I want to see the fullest possible protection of frontline services.”
Councillor Andras, 41, lives in Newcastle with his wife and young son and daughter. He has university degrees in computer science and related fields and works as a Reader at the School of Computing Science of the University of Newcastle.
Councillor Andras stood as a Parliamentary Candidate in the constituency of Washington and Sunderland West in the 2010 general elections. He represents North Jesmond ward on Newcastle City Council and has previously been a party executive committee member in Newcastle and in Gateshead East.