Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire candidate: John Dwyer

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The candidates for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire for next month's Local Elections have been announced.

Cheshire residents will have the choice of four candidates when they go to the polls on Thursday, 6th May.

The candidates are:

  • Jo Conchie, Liberal Democrat
  • John Dwyer, The Conservative Party
  • Nick Goulding, Reform UK
  • David Keane, Labour and Co-operative Party

I am publishing brief interviews with each of the candidates, in the order in which I receive a response to my request.

John Dwyer, The Conservative Party

Please tell me about yourself - occupation, where you live, interests, family?

I live in a village close to Nantwich. I am a married man with a daughter who is a police officer.

I retired in 2001 as Assistant Chief Constable in Cheshire after a 30 year police career, having been stationed in Nottinghamshire and West Midlands before arriving in Cheshire in 1994.

On retirement I set up my own management and security consultancy and had a network of retired officers across the UK. I also became a councillor n the Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council from 2003 until 2009, being the Cabinet member portfolio holder for Safer Communities from 2006 to 2009. I was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire from 2012 to 2016.

I enjoy walking in our wonderful surrounding countryside and reading. I am currently in the process of writing my police biography entitled 'Plodding to the top - the journey from Police Constable to Police and Crime Commissioner'.

Are you a member of any local groups or societies?

I am the Chair of the Nantwich and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, the President of the Chester and Nantwich Branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, and President of the Air Training Corps 146 Squadron based at Northwich.

Why have you decided to stand again for election as the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Cheshire Police Area?

I have decided to stand again for election to the post of Police and Crime Commissioner because I believe the public and police officers of Cheshire deserve better than the deal hey are getting from the current incumbent. He has increased the policing precept (tax) by 40% in the 5 years he has been in post.

However he only started to increase the policing establishment in the autumn of 2019 after the Government declared its intention to recruit 20,000 extra officers across England and Wales. Although I had started to build up the establishment whilst wrestling with the austerity measures he did not continue with that development. He allowed the police numbers to stagnate despite being left a budget to recruit 70 more officers during 2016/17, and that stagnation continued until the autumn of 2019.

What do you consider to be the important issues facing Cheshire?

The important issues facing Cheshire are the public need to feel safe on our streets and roads and to achieve this we need to see more patrolling officers. Crime is now at a high level but the detection rate is at a very low 11% overall, and as low as 8% for domestic burglary. There are also issues around cybercrime which are causing concern, particularly in the older members of our population.

What do you hope to achieve and how in the next 3 years?

My aim in the next 3 years (the term of office has been reduced by 12 months as a result of the current term being extended by 12 months due to Covid) is to rectify these issues and I will do this by setting out my ambitions in a series of Police and Crime Plans, the delivery of which I will be holding the Chief Constable to account for.

What experience and personal qualities will you bring to the role?

My track record as the first Police and Crime Commissioner Cheshire speaks for
itself – I am an achiever and the public can rest assured that I will deliver on my
pledges.

Why should Cheshire residents vote for you?

My focus will be on the needs of the public, not on politics!

Tags:
2021 Police & Crime Commissioner Election
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Sally Hoare
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 9:07 am
Thankyou for this Lisa. I was thinking that I had no idea about the Police and Crime Commissioner candidates and their views.
Lisa Reeves
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 9:10 am
You are very welcome Sally, I have contacted all 4 candidates so hopefully they will all respond so I can publish a piece for each of them.
Bob Bracegirdle
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 9:34 am
If he is dedicated to the needs of the public and not politics why is under the Conservative banner?
Gemma Evans
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 10:49 am
Having first hand knowledge of what the police do is good but being too close to Cheshire Police defeats the main objective of the PCC position.

Interesting that five years ago Mr Dwyer is now talking about cyber crime, that's something other candidates were talking about as a priority prior to the previous election when Mr Dwyer wasn't focusing on it. Therefore, it seems Mr Dwyer has been a bit slow to react to cyber crime.

It's worth noting with the voting system for the PCC election you don't have to vote Conservative to get rid of the Labour PCC or Labour to prevent re-election of the former Conservative PCC. If you vote Lib Dem 1st choice & Labour 2nd choice or Reform UK 1st choice & Conservative 2nd choice and Lib Dem and Reform UK finish 3rd and 4th in the first round counting, then your vote transfers to your 2nd choice for the second round counting, unless one candidate gets over 50% of the 1st round votes (which is unlikely.)
Nick Jones
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 1:33 pm
The current PCC is a joke... Wasted hundreds of thousands dealing with Simon Byrne and lost magnificently being found out spinning the truth ... Brought in his cronies, wasted a fortune opening up preiously closed Stockton Heath station filling it with admnistartors and more cronies .. and we have to pay year on year for increase to policing precept to pay for his folly that has not ealt with parking problem or antis social behaviour in Wilmslow and has not been of any value to residents or businesses paying for his folly. John Dwyer was 1st appointed PCC and kept the cops in check. Thats what it needs and he appears the only sensible choice to save money and improve PCC role . It a pity the role is politically affiliated because the job it entails isn't.. its to serve the public. Immediate cost saving shut Stockton Heath, get rid of excess staff move back into Cheshire police HQ where presence felt and accessible. Additionally it wont be a second job for JD as it is for Keane who the local cllr.
Gemma Evans
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 2:28 pm
Nick Jones - David Keane is not mentioned on the Warrington Borough Council candidate list so he is obviously standing down as a local councillor. 5 years ago he didn't expect to get elected as PCC, he thought he was there just so Labour had a name on the ballot paper, so much so that Cheshire Police wrote a statement congratulating John Dwyer on re-election, which they had to tear up and write a new statement once they found out the public had voted John Dwyer out.

I recall there being parking problems in Wilmslow before 2016 with the 88 bus regularly getting stuck on Chapel Lane. If you think that is the police's issue to resolve that then why did they not resolve it before David Keane was elected as PCC? It sounds like you're clutching at straws in trying to find excuses for re-electing John Dwyer.

My only experience of the police while John Dwyer was PCC was when one cop who decided to harass a work colleague claiming he had been annoying local residents while leaflet dropping, when he was actually an office worker who had just gone out for a lunchtime walk.

While David Keane was PCC there was an attempted break-in at my house and after phoning the non-emergency number on a Friday night the police were round straight away. They then sent forensics around first thing on the Saturday morning to take fingerprints.

So I'm not sure what your evidence is for John Dwyer keeping cops accountable and the police not resolving problems while David Keane has been responsible for keeping them accountable.
Terence Burgess
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 4:03 pm
I'm disappointed that there isn't an independent candidate standing.
I believe that this position would be better held by someone who isn't attached to a political machine & could just get on with the job without party politics holding them back.
Stuart Redgard
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 4:49 pm
Nick Jones.

You are entitled to your opinion and to share it, and this post isn't meant to belittle it in any way. It’s just that I don't seem to see things as you do and I want to share my own perspective.

I know very little about John Dwyer or David Keane and absolutely nothing about the other two candidates standing for election as PCC. Unlike the vast majority of the electorate, I did vote in the PCC elections in both 2012 and 2016. But I did not vote for either JD or DK or any of the other candidate standing that represented a political party.

With regards to:
“Wasted hundreds of thousands dealing with Simon Byrne and lost magnificently being found out spinning the truth”.

All of the relevant documents relating to the charges and findings can be found on the website of the Office of the PCC for Cheshire at https://tinyurl.com/nuyj9v85

The investigation was carried out by North Yorkshire Police. Not the PCC. As far as I am aware the PCC did not make any allegations against Simon Byrne. They were all made by employees of Cheshire Constabulary.

With regards to:
“and we have to pay year on year for increase to policing precept to pay for his folly that has not dealt with parking problem…...”

Parking enforcement in Cheshire hasn’t come under the responsibility of the police since 2008. Under the Traffic Management Act 2004 from 31st March 2008 Decriminalised Enforcement is known as Civil Parking Enforcement and is carried out by the appropriate local authority. The local authority for Wilmslow is Cheshire East Council.

With regards to:
“Additionally it wont be a second job for JD as it is for Keane who the local cllr.”

I do not consider being a local councillor a job. The vast majority of Parish and Town Councillors don't receive or claim a penny for the councils on which they serve. At local authority level (Such as David Keane), it is different. See https://tinyurl.com/v4u9bwyt

As a councillor David Keane does not receive a salary, nor is he entitled to any statutory employment rights. He does receive an allowance and details of this are available on the Warrington Council Website. https://tinyurl.com/8ycvb3su

I don’t know if John Dwyer was still involved with the management and security consultancy that he set up on his retirement when he acted as PCC between 2012 and 2016. But if he was would you then consider that being PCC was his second Job?
Nick Jones
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 5:11 pm
Fully Concur Terence
Raymond Walker
Thursday 29th April 2021 at 5:26 pm
When in October 2020 we all received a card "Introducing your Community Policing Team" in October 2020 I did not know whether to be impressed or whether this might be seen to be window dressing. Mention was made of David Keane as our Police Commissioner, a person whose name I'd never come across before. I decided to make contact to give feedback about the polices's presence in the community and telephoned. His secretary asked that I email to receive a call which I did. I never received a response and rang a month later. I was told he was intending to put together a Zoom meeting for interested people, but to me that by grouping everyone together it would minimise his contact time with each and some wouldn't wish to discuss within a group. I asked again for a telephone call and have waited now for over half a year for a response that has never been received. The man believes he can keep himself hidden. This will not do.

It seems that this is a game being played with little interest in working with the community or using his time responsibly. The Commissioners were set up as independent people by Cameron in 2012 to replace the Police Authorities to monitor the Police. They clearly cannot be independent when occupying accommodation next-door to the Police headquarters at Winford so this model was an expensive and disastrous mistake. Meanwhile each year East Cheshire ratepayers are expected to pay more for services that dwindle and aren't transparent. I should want to see full details of outside interest of anyone who believes they are right to occupy such a position and stand in next week's elections.

Priti Patel has just announced that she is going to pay for an extra 20,000 police to put them on our streets. I remember Michael Howard doing the same years ago; it never happened. The Police took the money, but did not supply police to monitor the community. Howard's mistake was in not asking the money back again. This is what Ms Patel must now do.
John Harries
Friday 30th April 2021 at 11:44 am
Gemma Evans is deluded suggesting David Keane was just a notional Labour nominee 5 years ago, there was a significant campaign to get him elected so please don't try to sway history (and perhaps along the way, surreptitiously influence the present incumbent's efforts of re-election).
I too had a similar experience as related by Raymond Walker having written to David Keane almost immediately following his appointment and heard nothing in return, not even an acknowledgement and, more publicly, very little else in the intervening 4 or so years; I would suggest that if it doesn't happen in/around Warrinton then it's of no importance/interest - until perhaps it's time for re-election. IMHO the PCC post is a waste of (is it £75K basic plus I would imagine substantial expenses/allowances) public expenditure if the objective is to keep policing focused on the 'local'/relevant issues. I look forward to reading here the pitch by the other two candidates - for me, David Keane can sling his hook.
Gemma Evans
Friday 30th April 2021 at 5:03 pm
Stuart Redgard, you could not have voted Independent in 2016 as the choice was Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem or UKIP. In 2012 there was an Independent candidate - Sarah Flannery who also stood against George Osborne in the General Election.

John Harries, in 2012 the Labour candidate was 10,000 votes behind John Dwyer in the PCC elections, with John Dwyer only get 40,000 votes. Labour needed a massive swing to take the seat so they might have thrown everything they could at it but no-one expected David Keane to win. I think it the end it boiled down to the people of Warrington knew Keane as a local councillor and liked him so voted for him as PCC, given they didn't really know what John Dwyer had achieved in his 4 years as PCC. Warrington is the largest town in the Cheshire Police area so it would be unwise for any PCC to ignore it.
Stuart Redgard
Friday 30th April 2021 at 6:02 pm
Gemma
You are absolutely correct. But I did vote. By that I mean i put a mark on the ballot paper and it was counted.
Robert Stewart
Wednesday 5th May 2021 at 3:54 pm
Police and Crime Commissioner. Who cares? A totally unnecessary layer of beaurocracy. And why are they affiliated to political parties? Absolutely nuts!

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