NEWLY-ELECTED Police and Crime Commissioner for Notts Paddy Tipping has said the fight to re-open Worksop’s custody suite is one of his ‘key priorities’.
Mr Tipping, who won last Friday’s elections, took 43 per cent of the Bassetlaw vote - beating off his three opponents Raj Chandran, Malcolm Spencer, and Tony Roberts.
The former Labour Sherwood MP said he delighted with his win and vowed to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Bassetlaw head on.
“I am really pleased to have received the majority of the votes across the county and I am determined to make sure the needs of both urban and rural areas in Bassetlaw are met,” he said.
Mr Tipping said he has held true to his promise to voters that he would fight to re-open the custody suite at Worksop Police Station.
“When someone is arrested in Worksop they have to be taken to Mansfield which means we have officers out of the town for a considerable amount of time and leaves the town short of police,” he said.
“It’s a cost-saving measure but in the long term I am not convinced it is the most effective measure for people in the Worksop area.”
He added: “I had my first formal meeting with the Chief Constable on Monday - the custody suite is on the agenda and we are talking about how we can do it.”
“I will also be having formal discussions with key stakeholders to take the matter further.”
Mr Tipping said he is also keen to work with Bassetlaw Council to cut anti-social behaviour by 50 per cent.
“People don’t want yobbish and loutish behaviour on their streets and this is something we must tackle,” he said.
“I am also keen to get more priority in tackling domestic violence. There have been seven domestic homicides in the county over the past 18 months annd I want to ensure that women and children are safe.”
He added: “I also made it very clear that I would recruit extra police officers and PCSOs and we are working hard on how to do that.”
Mr Tipping won 5,082 votes in Bassetlaw against the Conservative candidate Tony Roberts who gained 2,189 votes.
Independent candidates Malcolm Spencer and Raj Chandran got 2,415 and 2,320 votes respectively.
The voting turnout in Bassetlaw was 14.25 per cent and 16.77 per cent county-wide which Mr Tipping said was ‘disappointing’.
“This is what happens when you have an election when you don’t normally have one. It’s not easy to get people out on a cold dark night to vote,” he said.
“The government didn’t do what it normally does in a general election and allow candidates to send a mailshot to all householders.”
Mr Tipping said he now has a tough job to convince those who did not vote of his role.
“The Electoral Commission spent £35m producing a booklet on how to vote but didn’t include any information about the candidates. We also had a new way of voting which confused some people,” he said.
“It has put more pressure on me to try to persuade people that the Commissioner is going to make a difference, but I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Mr Tipping will remain in post for the next three and a half years before the elections are held in May 2016.