Open letter to Police and Crime Commissioner
27th September 2013
Dear Mr Surl,
At the time of your election we supported your candidacy as an independent and the following statement appeared on our website soon after your election:
The Green Party did not stand a candidate in the November 2012 election of a Police & Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire. We believed it was a distraction from the serious reduction in the police authority's budget at a time when serious questions are being asked of many forces' performance and integrity.
We hope that our support for the winning independent candidate will not be a matter of regret as we look forward to his efforts to minimise the impact of cuts, improve the image of the force as impartial and implement a non-party political strategy.
We write an open letter to you now on two matters:
1. We are concerned to hear that you are in favour of further intrusions into private electronic communications. We do not believe that the essential work of the security services and police in protecting us from terrorism will be sufficiently advanced by this measure to justify the infringement in privacy entailed.
2. We wish to know what you intend to do about the Chief Constable who could face criminal charges for her role in witness handling while at Staffordshire police in a conviction for murder which had to be overturned. We appreciate that she should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but cannot see how the circumstances of this particular case allow her to enjoy the confidence of the force or the public while her prosecution is under consideration.
Martin Whiteside and Carol Kambites
Joint external coordinators - Stroud Green Party