Merseyside PCC profiles: Independent Kiron Reid - 'We need an alliance to crack cross-border crime'
INDEPENDENT Kiron Reid believes Merseyside's new crime-fighting boss needs to be at the forefront of a police commissioner alliance to tackle cross- border gun and drug running throughout the North west.
Mr Reid, a law lecturer and expert on police powers, said there needed to be greater working across police forces to crack down on organised criminal gangs whose networks spread far and wide across the region and beyond.
Although the role of the commissioner would not be involved in operational policing, he said it would be his task to sharpen the focus of law and order priorities.
"We need that co-operation across the region, which has been encouraged for some time. But we need to get wiser to that.
"Crime does not stop at the borders of Merseyside. I think we need closer links with Cheshire and Greater Manchester. I know most of the drugs in Scotland come to or from Liverpool and I know there are criminal pathways between here and Amsterdam where guns are coming in from."
But he stressed there needed to be a local focus, too, adding: "My job will also be helping the chief constable - who will be running operations - to work more effectively with all partners, health and transport and voluntary sector, but also ordinary residents groups, which was not really done by the police authority.
"It's also about saying to the Government 'We need this or that', in order to do things better on Merseyside."
Mr Reid, who was a Liberal Democrat councillor for Anfield for nine years, quit the party in order to stand as an independent because he - unlike his former party, he claims - believed the role should be removed from party politics.
And also a recent national poll suggested 30% of voters said they would not vote for a party candidate.
He said: "I think a lot of people have been put off by the fact that it's become so party political. It's a big gamble for myself to stand, but I've got the expertise."