Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Voting for first police and crime commissioner draws near
WIRRAL residents will soon get their chance vote for the area’s first police commissioner as the election draws closer.
Six candidates will go head-to-head on November 15 to be chosen as Merseyside’s police and crime commissioner (PCC).
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, which was passed by Parliament in September 2011, pledged to introduce the role of an elected police and crime commissioner for each of the 41 police force areas in England and Wales outside London.
If picked by the people of Merseyside, they will replace the police authority and will be responsible for overseeing how crime is tackled in the area and ensure the police force is effective.
Each candidate has had to put forward a £5,000 deposit, drawing criticism from some quarters that it deters independent citizens from entering the ballot as in most cases only organised political parties could afford to risk such a sum.
Among the new crime chief’s duties will be regularly engaging with the public, setting the budget and appointing, appraising and if necessary, dismissing, the chief constable.
Under the plans, the chief constable will still be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the force but will be accountable to the public via the commissioner.
Merseyside’s candidates are as follows:
Geoffrey Gubb – Conservative
Hilary Jones – UKIP
Jane Kennedy – Labour
Kiron Reid – Independent
Paul Rimmer – English Democrats
Paula Keaveney – Liberal Democrats
Tory candidate Geoffrey Gubb, chairman of governors at Meadowside Special School, says his priorities are to “focus less on the rights of the criminal and more on justice for victims of crime.
He wants to work to ensure that crime hotspots are “tackled quickly and effectively” and that money is being spent properly across communities.
UKIP’s Hilary Jones, a former Wirral councillor and serving Wirral magistrate, says she wants to “restore confidence in the relationship between the police and public” and is looking to treat low-level crime with the same importance as other crimes.
Labour’s Jane Kennedy, a former Wavertree MP, says she wants to fight privatisation of the police and win local people’s support.
She promises to win local people’s backing and call for more resources for Merseyside
Kiron Reid, a law lecturer at the University of Liverpool and former Anfield councillor, promises to work with directly with the police and public on the ground rather than sitting in committees.
He has pledged to put cash into youth and community projects while using expertise from universities to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
English Democrats candidate Paul Rimmer, who has had a career in finance and journalism, would ensure officers are properly trained and believes police forces should be more democratically responsible than they are now.
Liberal Democrat candidate Paula Keaveney, a former journalist, says she would prioritise frontline work and make communities safer.
The Edge Hill University lecturer promises to make tackling hate a crime a priority and says she will donate the difference in pay between what she earns now and what the police commissioner role would pay, to victims of crime.
Adults over the age of 18 who are on the electoral roll are eligible to vote using the supplementary voting system, meaning they will select a first and second preference.
For more information visit www.choosemypcc.org.uk