Col Tim Collins in race for Kent police commissioner
Colonel Tim Collins has confirmed he plans to enter the
race to become Kent’s first elected police commissioner.
The Iraq war veteran used an unscheduled appearance at the
Conservative party conference today to declare his hand, saying
that elected police commissioners would transform
He was introduced on stage by Home Secretary Theresa
He said: "I believe they will change people’s lives and
transform policing. Why? When the bureaucrats are in charge, the
police stop doing what the public wants them to do."
He added: "There is more social work done than policing
and that has to change. That is why we need the public in charge
and that is why we need elected police commissioners. We need to
introduce rat catchers who are going to change things and are
accountable to the public. Policemen need to be energetic and
accountable and above all they need to be motivated."
He revealed he had spoken to Kent chief constable Ian
Learmonth yesterday about his decision to run for the job next
Autumn, when commissioners will replace police
"It is a police force for which I have huge admiration. I
want to make Kent a more accountable police force. It is a good
force, it is match fit and it is going to get better."
The job would not be one for a "sunset councillor" he said
or a retired police officer with an axe to grind.
Urging others to stand for election, he told the
conference: "If you care about your community and think things can
be done better, do not stand on the touchline and complain – stand
in the elections."
Kent Police Federation said Colonel Collins had made
politically naive’ comments.
KFB chairman Ian Poynton said: "I think he has to learn
that he is not going to be leading the police force. He will be
acting for the governance of the police - he won’t be making an eve
of battle speeches. He’s obviously a great military figure and I
have the greatest respect for him but his comments show an a level
of political naivety. I do not think he has fully grasped the
"I do not think that it is helpful for him to be making
ill-informed policy ideas. My tip to him would be to go and find
out what policing is about, what the job entails from top to
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