Nigel Farage predicts UKIP surprise in police polls

Godfrey Bloom UKIP candidate Godfrey Bloom has vowed to get rid of speed cameras in Humberside

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UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has said his party could spring a surprise in November's police and crime commissioner elections.

UKIP plans to field candidates in the "majority" of November's contests across England and Wales and could take advantage of an expected low turnout to win in some areas.

He said it was "time we put the victims of crime ahead of the perpetrators".

He was speaking at the launch of Godfrey Bloom's campaign in Humberside.

Mr Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and Humber for the past eight years, is taking on Labour's Lord Prescott and two other candidates for the £75,000 a year post.

Mr Bloom, a former Territorial Army officer, has promised a team approach to the job if elected, with retired Deputy Chief Constable of Humberside Mike Speakman standing as his deputy.

'Political correctness'

He has vowed to scrap all speed cameras in the region, arguing that they sour police relations with law-abiding citizens and fail to cut road accidents.

"If speed killed people there would be no Formula One racing," Mr Bloom told BBC News, arguing that it was "speed in the wrong place that kills people".

He said UKIP was "the real party of law and order" and he vowed to continue campaigning for the repeal of the Human Rights Act and to end the "revolving prison door of repeat offenders".

He would also not be bound by what he called "political correctness" on issues such as the eviction of traveller camps.

Lord Prescott pledged to be the "champion of the people on policing matters" in the region and has said tackling anti-social behaviour will be one of his key priorities.

Conservative candidate Matthew Grove said his top priorities would include cutting crime, freeing up police officers and supporting tougher community sentences.

Independent candidate Paul Davison, a former chief superintendent, has said his 30 years with Humberside police had given him an "understanding of what local communities want from the police".

The Lib Dems also plan to stand in Humberside but have yet to select a candidate.

'Transparency'

Nigel Farage, who described his candidate as "the voice of Middle England", predicted a "very lively" contest in Humberside, adding: "I think this has the potential to be the most exciting campaign there is anywhere in the country."

He said UKIP planned to fight the majority of seats, although he could not give precise figures at this stage.

He predicted a low turnout which meant "the people that go out to vote in these elections will be people that are very strongly motivated," something he suggested could work in UKIP's favour.

Police and crime commissioners will be tasked with cutting crime and delivering an effective and efficient police service in their force area.

The Home Office said the new role would provide "stronger and more transparent accountability" to the police and make forces answerable to the communities they serve.

Opponents say the new system risks politicising the police.

The police and crime commissioner elections take place across England and Wales on 15 November.

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