South Tyneside councillor David Potts has thrown his hat in the ring for the job of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. His candidate statement is here on the TopOfTheCops.com blog, and it makes for interesting reading.
“I will clean up the streets of our region, make people feel safe in their homes, and tackle drug dealers and other scumbags with a firm hand”
Very commendable ambitions, but the ‘firm hand’ seems out of tune with the David Potts who exhibited a less than firm anti-crime stance when he offered himself as a character witness for a man who assaulted his ex-partner and her new partner. One of the victims of the assault was less than satisfied after the conviction:
“I think the sentence is a bit lenient”
It seems odd that David Potts thinks he has the kind of character to handle the job. On Twitter, he’s a bit of a maverick, to put it kindly. He put South Shields in the national press after calling MP David Miliband a wanker. A couple of weeks ago he hit the local press again after offering to meet up with a constituent at a ‘bunga bunga‘ party. And he hasn’t been shy in offering his very low opinion of public sector workers, despite being classified as a council employee himself to justify the wodges of council tax-payers cash being thrown at the hunt for the elusive Mr Monkey.
And he’s no stranger to the Police himself either. In March he was on the receiving end of a police caution for the unauthorised disclosure of personal data, an incident which may see him in front of South Tyneside Council’s Standards Committee.
But to be fair to him, he has some thrilling ideas for beating crime. He proposes setting up a special task force called the ‘Rangers’, which will do all kinds of busting and suchlike. Whether this branding idea was inspired by the Texas Rangers or the US Rangers is unknown. It all sounds very exciting and dynamic.
It is quaint to note that despite the tools of 21st Century policing – high tech equipment, helicopters, fast cars and weaponry, Potts still sees a role for traditional policing; one of his key proposals is more mounted officers. No doubt they’ll prove invaluable when the Mongols descend from the Mongolian steppe to pillage the streets of the North East.