Former Special Constable selected as Kent Labour Police & Crime Commissioner.
Labour members across Kent have nominated Medway councillor Tris Osborne for the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May.
Tristan is in his early-30s and works in the private sector for a small business in London and commutes daily. Educated and raised in Medway, he was previously a Cathedral Chorister at Rochester. He was formerly a Special Constable with the Metropolitan Police and currently manages the Policing and Community Safety agenda for the main opposition group.
Tristan represents one of the most deprived areas in Kent and has campaigned tirelessly for increased CCTV cameras, an extension of the Chatham Alcohol Control Zone and for the use of Dispersal orders to campaign against anti-social behaviour. He has also proposed to increase support to Medway-serving special constables via reductions in council tax. He has also supported Trade Union campaigns to increase safeguards and rights for shop workers as part of the ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign.
Tristan is a long-standing member of the USDAW Trade Union, Kent Co-Operative Party and a number of charities in Medway including the Cathedral Foundation and is proud to represent a diverse area in Chatham. On his selection Tris stated:
Kent can’t risk the election of a Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner who will back Tory government cuts to our Police that has already seen £61m cut from the frontline with the loss of 500 bobbies. We can’t risk our thin blue line stretched even further or the privatisation of back-office services to companies like G4S which has let people down.
The Labour plan for Kent Police is clear. We are calling for a doubling of special constables and working with local authorities increase partnerships on CCTV. We want to ensure neighbourhood or local policing is reinforced not undermined and we need to have a stricter policy on licencing and ensuring communities are served in rural areas. We also need to increase the diversity and inclusiveness in the Police through outreach with community groups.
Cllr Tris Osborne is being supported by the Labour leaders for the two principal local government authorities in Kent.
Gordon Cowan, Kent Labour Group Leader, said “In Tris, we have someone who has a track record for standing up for the community and defending services from Conserative Cuts. It is good to see his focus on community policing and making sure the 1.8 million residents across Kent have a strong champion.”
Vince Maple, Medway Labour Group Leader, added “I know as a ward councillor Tris has been an outstanding advocate for his community. His experience as a special constable will mean he can bring his personal frontline experience into policy making as Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner.”
On why he is standing Tris Osborne has stated:
I am honest about my politics, honest about my experience as a former Special Constable and honest about the direction I will bring to the role. It is essential Kent has a new, Labour, Commissioner to put Kent first. I am putting myself forward because I have the experience to deliver.
Over the next few years we must ensure we fight against further cuts to front-line policing and moves to privatise further services. We need to maintain popular neighbourhood policing and work locally to stand up and speak up to government, not just accepting the Conservative Party line from Westminster. My priority will be working with communities and groups across Kent and ensuring that the office is not subject to the ridicule brought upon it by the current incumbent.
The Commissioner exists to hold the force to account on behalf of the people. Anne Barnes has failed in part because of PR gaffes that have put our force on the map for the wrong reasons; the failed Youth Tsar, Anne-Force One and the mis-judged Channel 4 documentary have all been self-led errors.
We need better than this miserable record, and I believe a fresh start can mean a better police for the people of Kent.
The challenges today are significantly different to the challenges of 20 years ago and only through collaboration will we succeed in our attempts to reduce crime at all levels. Policing doesn’t stop at borders and we need a collaborative approach to dealing our unique pressures as the border county with Europe.
I am putting forward a bold offer on 5 May, for a better PCC and a better police force for Kent.
I hope you will join me,
On his website Tris Osborne has outlined his vision:
It’s time to bring experience and dynamism to deliver better for Kent
As your Labour Police and Crime Commissioner, I will use my experience as a councillor and former Police officer to work with residents and councils to deliver for Kent. I promise I will always put Kent first.
The Tories have cut 500 front line Police officers and cut PCSOs from our communities since 2010. They have presided over an aggressive and unworkable attitude towards the Police; with the Home Secretary seeking conflict as opposed to partnership.
It’s clear from the low election turnout that everyone needs to better understand the role of their Police and Crime Commissioner.
I will be an active and visible Labour Commissioner, with regular meaningful public engagement programmes, more power for the Police and Crime Panel and the establishment of a Young People’s Police Forum using existing Youth Parliament structures.
I will also give a greater voice to local magistrates who’s direct experience and knowledge of the justice system is invaluable and often not properly recognised.
We need a dynamic and hands-on Commissioner with a sensible and professional public profile, holding the force to account on behalf of people and explaining the work he does with regular communications to the public using both face to face meetings and digital communication to be as accessible as possible.
I commit to holding surgeries alongside Councillors and be an active and visible presence across Kent. But I also want to be a strong voice speaking up for our area in Kent in Westminster and in the South of England, representing the aspiration of many of our residents to make Kent a more tolerant and safer place to live, work and play.