Police and crime commissioner election 2021: Ex-cop wants to be the Jürgen Klopp of policing and give Milton Keynes officers a hug
Independent candidate Al Robinson wants to get politics out of Thames Valley Police and give officers the right to use their discretion to serve the public.
Liverpool fan Mr Robinson, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, served on the front line for 25 years before retiring as a sergeant leading a team of 10 constables in 2018.
“I knew when I retired I would be running for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC),” said Mr Robinson, who has paid £5,000 out of his own money to stand for the election on May 6.
“The police service has become inefficient and ineffective,” he said.
“Officers are demoralised and can’t serve the public because they are not allowed to make their own decisions and use their own common sense and discretion.”
He explained that before he retired the force introduced “demand-led policing” which meant fewer officers during the night.
“But the people who introduced it didn’t understand that people reported crimes when they woke up, and not when they happened at 4am,” he said.
Mr Robinson added that officers have to increase their detections so “a politician can stand up in Parliament and say the numbers have gone up.”
He added: “If you see two lads fighting on a Saturday night, you can’t step in, break them up and make sure they shake hands and go for a pint.
“Officers are under pressure to arrest them which ends up criminalising people.”
He added: “I wouldn’t mind finishing at the bottom of the detection rates if the public could see a policeman.”
Mr Robinson is standing on a platform of sorting out problems of morale in the force so officers can better do their jobs.
He sees his three party political opponents as military generals who are “ordered to take the hill.
“They would take the hill but it would cost a huge number of casualties and they would take the wrong hill. I would take the right hill, with fewer casualties.
“The police service is broken and we have got to get back to officers using their common sense and discretion,” said Mr Robinson, who has written a book on the subject.
Mr Robinson said he wants to be a PCC in the mould of Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp, who is famed for giving his players a hug.
“I would give my officers a hug,” said Mr Robinson. “They are incredible people and it is about time they are given a voice.”
Whether officers support Mr Robinson isn’t likely to be known as they aren’t allowed to express political opinions.
And that’s one of the issues hampering his campaign, as he doesn’t have the same volunteer army as the party candidates, and can’t afford to get leaflets delivered.
Mr Robinson who is married with a 16 year old step daughter, runs a one man electric courier business called Another Load Off Your Mind.
Candidates in the Thames Valley PCC election are: Matthew David Barber (Conservative); Laetisia Carter (Lab and Co-op); John Orrell Howson (Lib Dem); and Alan Gordon Robinson (Independent).