Iraq veteran Tim Collins to stand as police commissioner
Iraq War veteran Colonel Tim Collins has revealed he plans to stand as one of Britain's new elected police commissioners.
Col Collins, who became famous worldwide for his inspirational eve-of-battle address to his men in the Royal Irish Regiment, is putting himself forward for selection as a Conservative candidate.
The Belfast-born former Army officer hopes to become a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in Kent, where he lives.
The controversial commissioners will have the power to hire and fire chief constables as they replace the existing police authorities, which are made up of councillors and independent members.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Col Collins said: “This is a job for someone energetic and who is willing to work with the chief constable.
“It is important that it doesn't become just a talking shop for knackered old policemen or a sunset gig for some trough-loving councillor.”
Col Collins, who served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq before quitting in 2004, said he was inspired by the achievements of New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
He also said he wants to make more use of special constables. “I bring an experience of leadership at a high level,” he told the Telegraph.
“I think many of the failings in Kent are down to weak commanders and would seek to bring my military and commercial experience to weed out the weak to make the most of tight budgets.”
Kent Police faces losing the equivalent of up to 1,000 staff and 500 officers as its budget is hit by a 20% reduction.
“I have a good relationship with the police in Kent.
“I have friends there who were very kind to me when I was leaving the Army and wondering what to do,” said Col Collins.
“In general the force is ‘match fit’, but there are a lot of things that can be done better.
“I, like many, get frustrated by the few struggling local commanders who would rather make offences go away than investigate them.
“That is the fault of misplaced enthusiasm for crime figures and people who are determined to be promoted at all costs and don’t want to investigate crimes so that they can keep a clean sheet.
“I take great inspiration from Rudy Giuliani in how he made New York a better place. I don’t see why we couldn’t do the same,” said Col Collins.