After speaking with the Conservative Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidate, Caroline Henry, last week, Gedling Eye reporter Adam Toms asked Labour’s Paddy Tipping about his past record and what he plans to do if re-elected in May.
Mr Tipping said that he “know[s] Gedling well”.
“I’ve got an office in Gedling, I shop regularly in Arnold and in Carlton Square”.
“I’ve got family who live in Netherfield”.
“I’m in touch with local residents”.
Tipping said he is proud of the local Operation Reacher Team, which responds to local concerns, and two dedicated burglary teams – an issue prominent across the county.
Nonetheless, Mr Tipping stated that incidents are declining and crime overall in Gedling has gone down on his watch.
Emphasis on Race
The most conspicuous gulf between the Conservative and Labour PCC candidates has been their emphasis on race.
Mrs Henry has said that “actually racism is not a huge problem in this area”, as her black husband had been elected as an MP in “a constituency which is 92% white”.
Conservative Arnold North council candidate, Kevin Doyle, added, “I’m not sure if Derek Chauvin is totally relevant to Gedling”.
Mr Tipping, on the other hand, stated that the death of George Floyd gives us another impetus… for change”.
Highlighted his past record, he said that he “go[es] back a long way on this and it’s been a priority for me”.
He stated that he had worked with Jack Straw – Labour Home Secretary between 1997 and 2001 – following the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 and was involved in the resulting Macpherson enquiry.
It concluded that the Metropolitan Police was institutionally racist.
“It’s always been my priority to work with the black and Asian community”. “25% of all new officers coming into Nottinghamshire are from a BAME background
“We will be the first force in the country to have a workforce that reflects the wider community”.
“The number of BAME officers… has doubled over the past two years”.
This figure seems to be debatable.
In 2020, a maximum of 6.5% identified as BME.
Mr Tipping also believes that stop and search is a significant issue in this regard. “There’s no point stopping and searching people if you’re not stopping and searching the right people”.
“Our positive outcome rate, finding something… is nearly 40%. It’s the best in the country”.
In 2017-18, 37.8% of searches resulted in an arrest or positive outcome.
Mr Tipping then described the importance of advice provided by a local “steering group composed of people from the BAME community”.
Sometimes this resulted in “challenges” and “difficult conversations”.
On the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ recent report into institutional racism, Tipping – interviewed himself by its authors – repeated his past criticisms of the document.
“It is clear to me that people from a BAME background, particularly a black background, face… real structural difficulties with big organisations”.
Although, he also acknowledges parts of the report which describe “some good practice”. Nevertheless, this is still “well short of the mark”.
In November 2020, Nottinghamshire’s PCC Office stated that 25 percent of 50 new officers came from BAME backgrounds, with more than half of the new cohorts women.
Mr Tipping said that “50% of all new recruits” were women, and Nottinghamshire’s was the “first [force]… to identify misogyny as a hate crime”.
“Earlier this year, in the House of Lords… Home Office Minister, Baroness Williams, said she was going to take Nottingham’s example and promote it nationally”.
“It shows women that we’re on side”.
“The vast majority of women have been subject to verbal and physical abuse”.
He said that he wants to “change the climate and the atmosphere”.
“More street lighting and CCTV” will also help, but this is about “changing attitudes towards women”.
Finally, Mr Tipping – adding an extra layer to the election as his chief rival is a Notts County fan – released his “dissatisfaction” at not seeing his beloved Nottingham Forest play for “over a year now”.
He followed Forest when they won the European Cup “not once but twice”. “Brian Clough would be turning in his grave if he knew about the Super League”.
“Forest and Leicester are both prime examples” of clubs who “worked their way up” and “deserve to be in the top flight” who “would have been excluded from the now de[b]unked proposal”.