Ex-copper pledges: Policing and politics should be entirely separate

Torbay Weekly

Brian Blake: An ex-copper standing for Police and Crime Commissioner

Brian Blake is a former police officer in the Devon and Cornwall Police who is standing to be the region’s next Police and Crime Commissioner.

During a career of more than 30 years, he worked in nine stations across the two counties, starting in uniform before moving on to CID, Special Branch and the regional and national crime squads.

He retired with the rank of detective chief inspector and then worked with the MoD and NATO, mainly in Europe, in security-related roles.

His expertise was such that he was invited to address the Chief Constables' Conference on international crime issues. He spoke on the same subject at Interpol conferences in Lyon and Madrid.

Brian Blake is particularly keen to stress that, although standing as a Liberal Democrat, he regards the role of PCC as that of a public servant, and as such the holder should be entirely impartial.

He says: “If elected, I will have to swear an oath of impartiality, something which, as a former copper, I take very seriously. Policing and politics should be entirely separate.

"There’s nothing political about having your house burgled or having our young people surrounded by drug dealers.

"If elected, I pledge that I will work for everyone across the region, regardless of their race, religion, gender or politics.”

The PCC is required to work with the chief constable to produce an annual police and crime plan.

If elected, Brian Blake says his plan will be underpinned by Sir Robert Peel’s definition of policing: 'The prevention and detection of crime'.

The issues may have evolved but policing still has the same fundamental objectives.

He says that he has seen at first hand the damage that crime does to individuals, families and communities, will argue strongly in favour of:

  • visible police patrols, which has a deterrent effect on criminals and bad drivers, and reassures us that we are being kept safe
  • improve on the 30 per cent of investigated crimes where no suspect is identified, because the more offenders who face trial, the fewer victims in the future
  • a robust and ongoing programme to fight cyber crime
  • fighting the modern scourge of hate crime, particularly online
  • rigorous pursuit of drug dealers, and re-hab programmes for addicts
  • fairer funding for the police.

Brian Blake will work diligently to fulfil the PCC’s statutory duty of working closely to work with victim support services and charities, including rape crisis centres, domestic violence support organisations, and military veterans’ charities.

Brian Blake has lived in Yealmpton for 30 years, and is married to Elinor, a former nurse. He has three sons and a grandson, and his interests include military history and dragging himself to the gym. He also maintains an allotment which he says has developed into a self-service canteen for crows and rabbits.