Herts police and crime commissioner candidates get set for election day
- Credit: Archant
Voters in Hertfordshire will go to the polls next Thursday to elect a police and crime commissioner for the next four-year term.
The Conservative incumbent David Lloyd faces three challengers – Kerry Pollard (Labour), Chris White (Lib Dem) and Mark Hughes (UKIP).
Common themes in the candidates’ respective election statements were the police budget and the number of stations.
Mr Lloyd said: “In Hertfordshire crime is low and satisfaction with policing is high. If I am re-elected I intend make sure it stays that way.
“My focus has been on delivering a top quality service and doing so more efficiently. By collaborating with neighbouring forces and investing in new technology, I have met the savings targets set by the government, cut the amount that local people pay for policing and maintained a top performing police force.
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“By improving efficiency I have avoided the cuts seen in other areas and protected local policing, keeping officers on the frontline.
“I have put victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. The Beacon Victim Care centre is funded by money raised from offenders through the courts and has provided support to thousands of victims of crime. Sadly it remains the case that many victims are let down by their experience of other parts of the criminal justice system including the courts and this is something I am determined to tackle.”
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Mr Pollard and Mr Hughes both stressed the drop in the number of police stations during Mr Lloyd’s tenure, with Mr Pollard condemning what he called ‘penny-pinching austerity’.
Mr Pollard said: “I believe that people are more important than money. Justice and social equality require good public services funded by the principle of, ‘To each according to needs, from each according to means’. The police service is one such public service, and we must fund the police so that they can tackle crime effectively.
“Elected as your PCC, I promise to work full-time as commissioner, and will take the new ‘living wage’ as pay.”
Mr Hughes said: “As an independent member of the Herts Police Joint Audit Committee, I have gained a very useful insight into what is wrong with policing in the county.
“The number of operational police stations has nosedived from 15 down to just four. Many Hertfordshire residents now find themselves miles from their nearest police hub.
“Our greatest resource in tackling crimes is the professionalism of police officers and the dedication of support staff. We need to ensure that this is not jeopardised for short term political expedience.”
Mr White said: “While it is fashionable to treat this election as of little importance, policing involves a multi-million pound budget and affects all our lives.
“I pledge that as police and crime commissioner I will avoid gimmicks, make sure I am visible across the county to ordinary residents and that crimes against women and minorities are given their proper place in the policing plan.
“It is important that policing remains local – that while we work with other forces, it remains a Hertfordshire force focused on Hertfordshire issues.”
Alex Longmore (Green Party) will not be on the ballot after he was unable to raise the £5,000 deposit. A spokeswoman for the Greens’ North Herts branch called the high cost of the deposit ‘unfair and undemocratic’ and called for reform.
More information on all the candidates on the ballot is available at choosemypcc.org.uk/area/hertfordshire.