Torbay Liberal Democrats are set to propose a motion of no confidence in Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez at the next meeting of Torbay Council on October 19th.
The motion requests that Torbay Council’s Chief Executive, Steve Parrock, should contact the Home Secretary requesting she use whatever powers may be available to remove Mrs Hernandez from office and for members of Torbay Council to show their lack of support for the Police and Crime Commissioner by voting “no confidence” in her office.
Since her election to the post of Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016, Mrs Hernandez has found herself subject to severe criticism on several occasions, such as when she posed for a ‘selfie’ at the scene of a hotel fire in Exeter and after she suggested that gun-owning members of the public might defend rural areas against terror attacks.
The Liberal Democrat councillor for Tormohun, Nick Pentney, who is proposing the motion, said: “Our Police and Crime Commissioner’s behaviour has raised more than one eyebrow since her election in 2016. But the main issue for me is the way that – under her watch – police and PCSO number’s in Torquay continue to be reduced whilst accounts of crime and anti-social behaviour in our town centre is rocketing. That cannot be right and accountability must fall at the door of Mrs Hernandez.”
Fellow Torquay Liberal Democrat councillor, who is seconding the motion, Cindy Stocks added: “I’ve been told by those serving in the police that numbers of front line PCSOs have been reduced from over 30 to just 8 in the space of only a few years. Meanwhile, crime, anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and alcohol abuse is plaguing our streets and our hardworking but overstretched police simply cannot cope. We need our streets reclaimed and for that we need extra policing resource.”
The motion is as follows:
Notice of Motion – Council 19 October 2017
Crisis in Front Line Policing in Torbay
Torbay Council is extremely alarmed that under the watch of the current Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez, there has been a drastic reduction in the number of PCSOs, the eyes and ears of the force in Torbay.
Torquay town centre has just come through a summer season that was marred by anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse and intimidation of the public. The cuts to our PCSOs have exacerbated these problems.
An overwhelming majority of respondents to a crime survey conducted by the Torbay Liberal Democrats said that they did not think there were enough police on patrol in Torquay.
Additionally, there is a general concern that the Police and Crime Commissioner is unfit and unsuitable for her job after making tactless comments about being “really interested” in licensed firearm owners being allowed to act during terrorist incidents. We endorse Deputy Chief Constable Paul Netherton’s view that “Under no circumstances would we want members of the public to arm themselves with firearms.”
In October 2016 the Police and Crime Commissioner was heavily criticised for taking ‘selfies’ whilst a huge fire ripped through one of Britain’s oldest buildings.
This Council believes that the Police and Crime Commissioner is wrong to propose reductions in neighbourhood policing, that proposals to utilise domestically-owned firearms are a crass and inadequate response to mounting concerns about police cuts and that her proposal to appoint a Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner is an appointment that is just not needed in these cash-strapped times.
We therefore request the Chief Executive to contact the Home Secretary requesting she use whatever powers may be available to remove Ms Hernandez from office allowing Devon and Cornwall Police to continue the fight against crime at all levels and that members of Torbay Council show their lack of support for the Police and Crime Commissioner by voting “No Confidence” in her office.
Proposer: Councillor Pentney
Seconder: Councillor Stocks
Contact Cllr Nick Pentney – 07507787501
Cllr Cindy Stocks - 07787766544