Voters go to the polls in Northamptonshire this week to elect the new police and crime commissioner.
Voting takes place on Thursday, with the successful candidate taking the post for the next four years, replacing outgoing commissioner Adam Simmonds. Mr Simmonds is not seeking re-election.
According to information about the election published by the Home Office, police commissioners play an important role in the community.
“Police and crime commissioners are elected by you to ensure the policing needs of your community are met as effectively as possible and to oversee how crime is tackled in your area,” the statement said.
“The PCC in your area holds your police force to account for delivering the kind of policing you want to see. Their aim will be to cut crime and to ensure your police force is effective,” the statement added.
However, the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been strongly criticised by the Labour Party. In Northamptonshire, the Liberal Democrats say they are not putting forward a candidate for a number of reasons including on the basis that the party does not agree with the role in principle.
Ahead of the election, each candidate has put forward their pitch for votes through their election statements. They are, as follows:
Kevin McKeever, Labour Party
We all want to keep our families secure and our streets safe. That’s why I’m standing to be your Police & Crime Commissioner.
As a qualified lawyer, I’m intimately familiar with the police and wider criminal justice system. And as a parliamentary candidate in Northampton last year, criminal justice issues were high on my agenda.
We’ve lost over 100 police officers and PCSOs in the county since 2010 and the government wants to cut our police force by a further 10% by 2020. As your PCC I’ll work with colleagues in Parliament to secure a better deal for policing – ensuring we get the protection we deserve.
I’ll cut the cost of the office PCC here in Northants. Out will go the legions of spinners and advisers and in will come more uniforms on our streets. Those extra officers will help to stem the rising tide of violent crime, which has doubled over the past two years, soaring to levels seen in the inner city estates of London and Manchester.
I’ll prioritise the protection of our county’s young people from exploitation, ensuring no stone is left unturned in ensuring the grooming scandals of recent years are not repeated in our county’s towns and villages.
And I’ll be a PCC who focuses solely on policing, criminal justice, victims and witness services, bringing back the Hate Crimes Unit to help those communities marginalised in recent years.
On day one in office I’ll do everything in my power to halt the sale of Wootton Hall, part of a ridiculous free school vanity project, and stop the closure of Kettering and Corby police stations.
Under my leadership together we’ll fight crime and protect Northants.
STEPHEN MOLD, CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Northamptonshire deserves a strong Police and Crime Commissioner with the right experience that listens to you, who will set out the right policing priorities over the next four years.
As an experienced businessman and a father of three I wanted to see a Safer and more secure Northamptonshire, I have the skills needed to oversee a £120 million pound organisation and 2,000 staff and police officers.
I understand how important the role of the Commissioner is, I believe we have a dedicated police force and I trust them. I will do all in my power to protect, and if possible, increase frontline police numbers.
I have been listening to the views of many residents and believe I understand what matters most to you and your family.
I will clamp down on burglary and rural crime to ensure that victims get justice.
I will address the problem with alcohol and drug fuelled crime across our county, as well as working to end domestic violence. I want to make sure that our towns and villages are safe for our children and grandchildren, free from those who wish to harm them either physically or online.
Your priorities are my priorities and I will:
• Maintain frontline policing
• Tackle rural crime
• Keep victims at the heart of justice
• Clamp down on burglary
• Increase safety for our children
• Zero tolerance to domestic violence
You deserve a hands-on Commissioner, with the right skills, vision and experience to deliver your policing priorities.
A powerful advocate, who understands and upholds the principals of law and order in Northamptonshire. This is why I am asking for your vote on Thursday 5th May.
SAM WATTS, UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY
It is time for the people of Northamptonshire to have a true voice when it comes to the policing of our communities. As your UKIP candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner I will bring my experience and passion for fighting crime to help make Northamptonshire safer.
I am a former Police Constable and have over 10 years’ experience within the security industry. I am a recipient of the 2001 Northamptonshire Police Authority Unsung Heroes Award.
A father of three and a Town Councillor for BurtonLatimer in Kettering.
I do not see the role of PCC as being political and will serve Northamptonshire with impartiality and transparency. I will put aside political agenda and resign as a Councillor if elected.
My main priorities are to tackle anti-social behaviour, rural crime, cybercrime and child exploitation. I also wish to bring a greater degree of public engagement to the role of PCC.
I would like to see the return of community policing and will drastically cut OPCC spending.
I will seek the views of local residents so that they can help to ensure resources are put into tackling areas of crime that matter to them most. It is time for Northamptonshire Police to restore its links with our communities and focus on fighting crime as opposed to putting resources into pet projects and gimmicks.
It is time to get back to basics and fight crime head on through working in partnership.
Together we can make Northamptonshire a safer place by introducing firm but fair policing. Together we can make a difference to our communities. Together we will stand up for victims of crime.