Labour's new Lincolnshire police commissioner candidate vows to 'change failing system'
The Labour candidate vying to become police commissioner for Lincolnshire has vowed to do whatever it takes to change the "failing police system".
Boston borough councillor Paul Gleeson has been named as the Labour party candidate for the role to oversee the work of police after Phil Dilks, known as Fair Deal Phil, was forced to step down after breaking the law when he was a teenager.
Mr Gleeson, who has also served as a statutory clerk responsible for giving legal advice to tribunals in four counties, said it was a "real privilege" to receive the candidacy.
The previous candidate Mr Dilks announced his decision to step down after it emerged he had broken the law during a "schoolboy prank" involving a stolen crash helmet in 1968, when he was 16.
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He said: "I never dreamed when I was selected as Labour's choice to be Lincolnshire's first Police and Crime Commissioner that a school-boy prank more than 44 years ago would rule me out as a candidate," he said.
In June, the BBC reported that Mrs May said legislation around police commissioner candidates was not aimed at barring someone who had a conviction at the age of 16.
It came after Falklands veteran Simon Weston's candidacy for one of the roles was thrown into doubt because as a teenager he was convicted of being a passenger in a stolen car.
Mr Dilks said: "Theresa May has said she wanted to make it clear that anyone with a minor issues from when they were a teenager, must be able to stand in the elections.
"This offence would not even preclude me from being Home Secretary.
"When do you stop judging someone on something they did when they were a kid?"
"This minor offence committed 44 years ago would not preclude me from being an MP or even Home Secretary in charge of every police officer in the country – and responsible for every Police and Crime Commissioner.
"I've tried to improve my local community as an elected councillor for 17 years and member of Lincolnshire Police Authority for almost eight years. I'm deeply disappointed at not being able to stand for election to this new role to help make Lincolnshire a safer and better place to live.
"But I trust those who know me will judge me on my work over a lifetime rather than what resulted in a £5 fine in the 1960's."
Mr Gleeson said: "My experience as a councillor means I will do everything I can to stand up for every one of Lincolnshire's communities.
"Crime and disorder, antisocial behaviour, fly-tipping and low morale are priorities.
"I've seen first-hand where the system is failing and what needs to be done to change it.
"This Tory government is making the wrong choices on crime, taking frontline police off the streets, weakening powers to deal with antisocial behaviour and opening the door to the privatisation of core services.
"In Lincolnshire, we are already seeing the impact of these wrong choices with 32 fewer officers since the general election and a prediction that Lincolnshire could lose 138 officers by 2015.
"I will put fighting the impact of these reckless changes at the heart of my campaign."
The PCC elections have been a low key affair up to now but it is thought that the Home Office is planning a multi-million pound advertising campaign for October.
The elections for Policing and Crime Commissoners take place on November 15.