The Police and Crime Commissioners Election for the Thames Valley takes place on November 15 and six candidates want your vote. Here, each candidate gives a short introduction to themselves and their policies, to help you decide.
Anthony Stansfeld (Conservative)
Anthony has had two careers, first in the Army, joining at 17. He spent much of his time commanding helicopter squadrons, as well as being in the infantry worldwide.
He has also had a career in industry, much of it as a Managing Director of a well-known aircraft manufacturer. He has an MSc and has studied terrorism and global security at University.
Anthony was a member of the Police Authority for six years and understands the issue that Thames Valley Police face and is fully aware of how Police budgets are structured.
With this experience and knowledge Anthony is in a good position to represent the residents and businesses in the Thames Valley as their first Police and Crime Commissioner.
If elected as the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony pledges:
• To reduce crime and drive up detection rates.
• To maintain the balance between urban & rural policing.
• To ensure that the Police budget is targeted effectively.
• To protect vulnerable people.
• To ensure the Police act firmly and fairly, using good judgement to deal with the public politely, gaining their respect and acting with integrity.
If you want more information about Anthony’s pledges please visit www.anthonystansfeld.org.uk
Barry Cooper (UKIP)
UKIP has long held reform to the criminal justice system, including introducing an element of democracy, as a key part of its domestic policy platform.
Unlike the three old parties, we do not come with decades of ideological baggage, an overbearing central party system or a legacy of failure to deliver
what the public sees as priorities.
As PCC I will begin my time in offce with some immediate alterations to police strategy. I will adopt a “zero-tolerance” approach to anti-social behaviour and so-called “gateway” or “petty” crime. I promise to improve detection rates across the board, especially with regards burglary.
I will move to raise police morale by cutting needless paperwork and making sure that the officers on the front line know that their PCC will insulate
them from further cuts, ensure that all current cuts will be applied in the most rational way, and generally give them the tools and support to get on with their job.
If you want to vote for a mouthpiece for the old, failed parties, that is your choice. If you want a PCC who will bring actual democracy, fresh ideas and common-sense to the role, then the only viable choice is UKIP.
Patience Tayo Awe (Independent)
I will be honoured to have your vote because the PCC position is nonpartisan. I am an independent candidate, not affliated to any political party, completely independent of the Police, not a former bureaucrat from the Police Authority. I will represent you, without conflicting political party
policies/ police authority pressure or any hidden agenda.
I have relevant, transferable skills and experience, worked in various sectors. I have Masters in IT and PRINCE2 qualifications. ICT is crucial in fighting crime and ensuring safer community.
I am passionate about people, volunteering and serving the community. I served as RVA Trustee, a charity that supports Reading’s voluntary and community sector also provides advisory services and training. I am a member of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
I just joined the Reading Criminal Justice Association and the Women’s Institute.
Party politics and policing will create avenues for partiality, unfairness and all the associated social imbalances and compromise the integrity of the police.
Party politicians cannot be trusted, made countless ‘U- turns’, expenses scandal, £14m train fiasco, G4 scandal, out of touch with the local people, even insult the police.
Where were the party politicians when resentment and frustration against the police reached boiling point and there was a nationwide riot last year?
Tim Starkey (Labour)
For over 11 years Tim has worked with people in the frontline of the criminal justice system : both as a prosecutor and a defence lawyer; in police stations, courts and prisons and, above all, in bringing perpetrators of human traffcking to justice. He understands the system, and its failings, and wants to make it work better.
Top priorities include :
• Fighting the 20% cuts that put at risk the police ability to respond to 999 calls and keep us safe.
• Create a more efficient service: less paper and fewer layers of management.
• Better communication: developing a website which victims can log into securely to track the progress of their cases at a time convenient to them.
• Investing in Individual Domestic Violence Advisors to support people fleeing domestic abuse.
• Working in partnership with Thames Valley’s flourishing IT industry to combat internet fraud and keep our children safe online and free from cyber
• Work with mentoring charities to provide young people with positive alternatives to anti-social behaviour and gangs.
• Protect the operational independence of the police. Decisions over police numbers and priorities will be for the PCC, decisions over who is investigated and arrested must always be for police offcers.
John Howson (Liberal Democrat)
As Police & Crime Commissioner I would:
• Emphasise improved detection rates – For years Thames Valley did not solve enough crimes
• Ensure support for victims of crime is funded
• Protect frontline policing including bobbies on the beat
• Work with other agencies to ensure cases are progressed to court quickly
• Consult the public, community groups and elected representatives
• Listen to young people who cannot vote, but need a say about both crime and policing issues
• Ensure value for money – but protect services to the public.
My key tasks as Police & Crime Commissioner:
• Reduce crime and the fear of crime;
• Improve police accountability, visibility, and work to raise public confidence in the police;
• Target resources on detecting crime and cutting offending rates
• 22 years a Magistrate in Oxfordshire
• Financial experience in the public, voluntary and private sectors, including running my own company.
• National experience of criminal justice system. Led demands to stop police using out of court disposals that prevented cases coming to court.
• Expert on licensing law & effects of the night time economy.
• Been a victim of crime, including a stabbing and several burglaries.
Geoff Howard (Independent)
I see this very important role, primarily, as being the ‘Voice of the People’, being the link between local communities and local police with the focus on making communities safe and holding the police to account.
I believe that my vast experience in teaching (Honours Degree), as a Slough Borough Councillor responsible for four years for the Council’s £100million budget, 20 years’ as a Berkshire Magistrate and Chair of several business and community organisations makes me the ideal candidate for such a role.