Letter to the Editor, printed in The Times of Tunbridge Wells, February 2019. Written by Bjorn Simpole, Chair, Tunbridge Wells Branch Labour Party
I write as the prospective Labour candidate for Rusthall in the May local elections regarding your article on former police Borough Commander Dave Pate.
I endorse the comments of Cllr Mark Ellis quoted in the piece. How Mr Pate is going to ensure police resources are re-focused to Rusthall and Tunbridge Wells as one of 48 Borough Councillors does not appear to be clear. Indeed how standing for election for the political party that has slashed our police nationally by at least 21,000 officers since 2010 and presided over rising crime levels in recent years is also not explained.
If Mr Pate were standing as an independent in order to prioritise community safety and crime prevention it would be more understandable.
But he isn’t. He’s standing for the political party which has cut police to the point that people do not feel safe and which according to last weeks Police Federation survey found that nine out of 10 police officers thought there were too few officers to meet the demands on police which had left 79% of respondents feeling stressed or anxious in the last 12 months.
Instead of complaining that our limited police resources are now based out of Tonbridge, he should be focused on holding a Conservative government to account for cutting vital police resources, not seeking to join them as a Borough Councillor.