Police Commission candidates make their pledgesBy Linda Fort
November 14, 2012
Tomorrow is polling day for the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections and Thames Valley voters have six candidates to choose from.
As well as Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates, there are two independents and a UKIP member.
This is what the candidates say about themselves.
Barry cooper - UKIP
Barry Cooper’s aim is to provide a democratic voice for the law-abiding majority, giving them a say in how they are policed.
He said: “After 13 years of Labour mismanagement, we are faced with the reality of public service cuts.
“The Liberal Democrat/Conservative Government has decided it should cut funding for the police while raising the foreign aid budget and squandering billions on vanity projects like HS2.
“It is essential that a PCC be put into office who will not only battle against further cuts, but will apply existing cuts in the most sensible and rational way.”
He said he would strive to give the police the resources to do their job with a minimum of bureaucracy, paperwork and interference.
Geoff Howard - Independent
Geoff Howard is a former head of department in a Slough secondary school, has been a businessman for 27 years and magistrate for 20 years.
He was a Slough borough councillor for 13 years.
He said: “I strongly believe that politics should play no part in this role.
“An independently-minded person with the relevant experience is needed, who does not have to answer to a party leader or follow a party agenda.
“I see my main role as being the voice of the people – the link between people in the community and their local police by concentrating on tackling crimes that affect people locally.”
John Howson - Liberal Democrat
John Howson was a magistrate in Oxfordshire for 22 years and is an expert on licensing law and effects of the night time economy.
- ensure support for crime victims is funded and not cut
- protect front line policing, including bobbies on the beat
- work with other agencies to ensure cases are progressed to court as quickly as possible
- consult the public, community groups and elected representatives including town and parish councils about local policing priorities
- listen to young people who cannot vote
- ensure value for money – but protect services to the public
Anthony Stansfield - Conservative
Anthony Stansfeld was a member of the police authority for six years.
If elected as the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, he pledges
- to reduce crime and drive up detection rates
- to maintain the balance between urban and rural policing
- to ensure the police budget is targeted effectively
- to protect vulnerable people
- to ensure the police act firmly and fairly.
Tim Starkey - Labour
Tim Starkey has worked with people in the frontline of the criminal justice system, as a prosecutor and a defence lawyer, in police stations, courts and prisons.
His priorities include fighting budget cuts, moving from paper filesto digital systems, reducing management layers and ensuring victims of domestic or sexual violence aren’t passed between agencies.
He is against the privatisation of key police functions and will protecting the operational independence of the police.
Patience Tayo Awe - Independent
Patience Tayo Awe has been a teacher, insurance marketing executive, banker, software tester, capacity planner and project manager.
She served as Reading Voluntary Action Trustee and a member of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
She said: “As an independent candidate, I am not affiliated to any political party, completely independent of Thames Valley Police and not a former bureaucrat from the police authority.
“If elected, I will be a viable link between you and the police, commit to all PCC responsibilities without being hindered by political party policies or influence.
“Party politics should be kept out of policing.”