A CRACKDOWN on antisocial behaviour will form the cornerstone of Conservative candidate Michael Winstanley’s plans for Bolton.
The Wigan councillor has strong ties with the borough’s Tory party having stood for them unsuccessfully against Labour’s Bolton North East MP David Crausby in 2001, and is a member of Bolton North East Conservative Association.
A councillor for the last 11 years he served as mayor of Wigan from 2010-11.
Cllr Winstanley, aged 41, is a data analyst for the NHS, where he has worked since leaving school and lives in Ashton in Makerfield.
He said: “When you’re a councillor for 11 years a lot of your work with residents is based around Crime and antisocial behaviour, and I’ve built up good relationships with Greater Manchester Police, Inspectors, police officers and Police Community Support Officers.
“From talking to David (Bolton Conservative leader David Greenhalgh) a lot of the problems in Bolton are about town centre drinking late at night, and the problems associated with that, other issues include anti-social behaviour.”
Some critics claim the role of Crime Commissioner could lead to candidates who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of modern day policing taking on what is a hugely influential role in the criminal justice system.
Cllr Winstanley claims the situation is no different now.
He said: “We’ve got to remember there are a lot of people that don’t know about policing that are on the police authority.
There are 10 councillors and from one year to the next that can change and your average person in Bolton would struggle to tell you their names.
“But by the end of November and in four years time they will know exactly who the commissioner is for Greater Manchester.”
In his campaign he has pledged to focus on frontline and community policing, ‘putting the needs of victims first’, tackling high value offences and anti-social behaviour.
He is also a firm believer in “broken-windows theory”, the philosophy that allowing an area to deteriorate by tolerating vandalism and minor disorder — such as anti-social behaviour — can lead to worse crimes being committed.
Cllr Winstanley wants to see a zero tolerance approach to low level crime.
He said: “I hope that people will see through party prejudices and look at what people stand for.”