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Summary

  1. Updates on Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thanks for joining us

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

That's it for our special police and crime commissioner debate live feed.

We hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have!

We'll be back bright and early tomorrow for a look at the latest news for the county.

What are our candidates going to do first?

If they get elected, what's the first priority for our candidates? 

  • Bob Spink - UKIP: I'll put more bobbies on the beat and fight the cuts
  • Martin Terry - independent: I will restlessly pursue more funding 
  • Roger Hirst - Conservative: It's about cracking down on anti-social behaviour and domestic violence
  • Kevin McNarmara - Lib Dems: I would look at tackling the county's domestic violence problem
  • Chris Vince - Labour: Support and protect Essex Police officers

The final question for our five candidates....

Time has flown by - we're on to the final question of the programme. 

Our five candidates are now being asked: What are their priorities? 

Candidates
BBC

Labour candidate also wouldn't take whole salary

Labour's Chris Vince also says he wouldn't take the whole salary. 

He says he's value for money because he can be "that front face for police in Essex". 

The studio scene

As the answers continue to come in, here's the scene in the BBC Essex studio in Chelmsford where the debate is being held. 

As you can see, it's pretty cramped with all five candidates in one room!

BBC Essex studio
BBC

Lib Dem wouldn't take the £80k salary

Kevin McNamara, Lib Dem, says he wouldn't take all the £80,000 salary. 

"Is it a wise amount of money to spend in the current climate? I don't think so". 

Conservative: Current PCC has 'proven' the role is worth the money

Roger Hirst, Conservative, says Nick Alston (the current PCC) has proven the role is "worth the money". 

£80,000 'not a lot to pay' for Essex's top job, says UKIP candidate

Bob Spink, UKIP, is first to get us under way on this one:

"I don't think £80,000 is a lot to pay for one of the top jobs of the county".

He also says the alternative would be a police authority that would cost "just as much". 

Next question: Is the PCC really worth the money?

Candidates now being asked if they'd be worth the £80,000 salary and why.

UKIP: Make people feel 'happy' and criminals 'threatened'

Bob Spink says the job is about making people "happier and safer", and making criminals feel "threatened". 

Labour candidate wants to 'work and learn from police officers'

Labour's Chris Vince says he wants to "support" and "listen" to the officers and wants to work and "learn" from the police themselves. 

Lib Dems questions if PCC is even the 'right model'

Kevin McNamara, Lib Dem candidate, said he wasn't sure a PCC was even the "right model" for the police - he also said he wasn't sure if merging police and fire services was a "good idea".

Conservative: Being a PCC is a 'big and difficult job'

Conservative, Roger Hirst, admitted the role of being a police and crime commissioner will be a "big job and difficult job". 

He also said merging police and fire building was a "good idea". 

Independent: I want to work with the police

Martin Terry, independent, says he wants to make "informed decision" so the police are "with me and not against me".

How do candidates see the role as police and crime commissioner?

As we enter the last half hour - the next question. Over to Dave Monk, who asks: How do you see the role of police and crime commissioner? 

BBC Essex presenter Dave Monk
BBC

Fact: Candidates must put down a £5,000 deposit to stand

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here's an interesting fact... 

In order to stand as a police and crime commissioner candidate you must put down a £5,000 deposit. 

To get that back, you then must get at least 5% of the total first preference vote. 

Money
Getty Images

Essex Police is not the only cash-strapped force

Essex Police has a budget of £263.3m for the next financial year but is facing additional costs of £12.4m. It is not the only force struggling for cash.

As this graph shows, funding for police forces has been dropping steadily in recent years.

Police funding graph
BBC

What is happening to police numbers?

We're currently talking about PSCO numbers in Essex. Here's some more information on the picture nationally.

BBC web page
BBC

Conservative: Specials are 'more flexible' than PCSOs

Conservative Roger Hirst says: "I have a lot of respect for our PCSOs... but the reality is a special is more flexible than a PCSO". 

Lib Dems: Would 'love to bring back PCSOs'

Kevin McNamara, Lib Dem: "I would love to bring back PCSOs" but "we can't dance around the funding situation". 

Independent would also bring back PCSOs

Martin Terry, Independent, would bring back the PCSOs but pointed out an "unfair funding system" when questioned how he would pay for it. 

UKIP would 're-employ' PCSOs

UKIP's Bob Spink would "re-employ the PCSOs" which would be paid for a re-prioritising spending in Essex.

Labour 'can't make any promises'

Dave Monk first asks Labour's Chris Vince if he'd reverse cuts on numbers of PCSOS from 250 to 90,

He responds: "I would like to do that, but I can't make any promises." 

BBC Essex listener asks: Will you save the PCSOs?

Jeremy from Little Baddow calls in and asks if the candidates would reverse cuts to the number of PCSOs in Essex.

PCSO
BBC

Here's some more information about PCSOs, which is short for a Police and Community Support Officer. In short, they do the jobs that police officers aren't needed for.

Lib Dems 'already campaigning' to save Brentwood police station

Kevin McNamara, Lib Dem, is next to respond: "I've been campaigning against the closure of Brentwood police station... I can't promise to reopen every one".

Independent also offers 'alternative facilities'

Martin Terry, independent, says: "There's some building that aren't in a good state of repair... But I would offer alternative facilities". 

UKIP pledges to 'get the front desks reopened'

UKIP's Bob Spink says they weren't well used because the "PCC discouraged people from using them".

He pledges to get the front desks reopened if he wins. 

Labour: Tough decision but 'would have to support front line policing'

Labour's Chris Vince is next: "I don't want to see front counters closed... but the reality is to support front line policing". 

Conservative: Police 'front counters' were not visited

Roger Hirst, Conservative, is first to respond: "We need the police out on patrol" and "police front counters were not visited". He would put a front counter in the town hall.

And we're off for the second hour...

Essex Police recently embarked on closing buildings and front counters at its police buildings - what will our candidates do about it?

Here's some more information about the subject, via the Essex Police website. But as this article shows, some people fear staffing from counters takes officers off the frontline. Read more here.

BBC website
BBC

Get involved: Pat emails...

Thanks to Pat who dropped us an email via essexlive@bbc.co.uk.

She writes...

What goes on behind the scenes in a radio studio?

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in a debate like this, here's our Op's Room next door to the live studio.

Gavin and Ian are busy taking calls and helping guide the programme while it's on-air. 

Producers
BBC

Half time!

An hour down - our five candidates will take a short breather to gather their thoughts.

If you haven't had a look already - you can watch a live stream of the debate on the BBC Essex Facebook page.

Our updates will continue.

Candidates
BBC

How will you make Essex safer? The candidates respond

Chris Vince, Labour, said working with schools and community groups to prevent crime was a way forward. He said crimes should be prevented at source and ensure officers were "fully trained", "fully equipped" and work with charities more.

Kevin McNamara, LibDem, said police needed to collaborate more with the NHS, especially in terms of domestic violence and sex offences.

police car
BBC

Martin Terry, independent, said: "If we want Essex to be safer, we need more money. We are dancing around."

Bob Spink, UKIP, said: "You will get more boots on the ground. It will make people feel safer and it would make sure officers are out there where crimes are committed. We would turn the street lights back on."

Roger Hirst, Conservative, said special constables and being part of the community were key to tackling crime. I would be interested in getting the budget "re-adjusted".

Get involved: A 'bad workman always blames his tools'

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Just before the debate, the current Police and Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston, told Dave Monk that Essex Police was "underfunded by every measure". 

Jim wasn't convinced though... He tweeted us: "A bad workman always blames his tools!."

How will the candidates make Essex safer?

We're on to another question - and it's one that matters most - how do the candidates plan to keep us safe?

Lib Dems would save money by cancelling rebuild of HQ

Kevin McNamara, Lib Dem, said he wanted to protect the front line: “I would have to look at every big ticket item, but I don’t think the money is there... I would have to cancel some projects, such as the HQ (rebuild).”

Labour would ask the taxpayer for more money

Labour candidate Chris Vince told Dave Monk he would asked the taxpayer for more money.   

Saving money: Conservative would look for new technologies

Roger Hirst, Conservative, said he had experience in budgeting.“The way forward is new technologies…a lot in terms of partnership working. I would like the police and fire service working more closely together.”

We're live on the BBC website, on Facebook and on air.

We're running a live stream of the debate on our Facebook page, as well as live coverage on air. Here's Dave Monk posing the latest question.

Dave Monk
BBC