Gwent candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner Election
On November 15, 2012, elections are to take place to choose a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent.
The new role will replace the existing Gwent Police Authority and is designed to hold the police force to account.
PCCs will also be responsible for setting out local policing priorities, police budgets and producing a police and crime plan.
Households in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Torfaen and Monmouthshire will be voting.
Those wishing to vote in person or by post must have registered by Wednesday, October 31. The deadline for voting by proxy is Wednesday, November 7.
Call 01443 864203 or email email@example.com for further information about registering to vote.
The candidates’ election statements, published on www.choosemypcc.org.uk, are reproduced below.
Ian Brian Johnston
I was born and bred in the County of Gwent. I am a local man. I am proud to still live in the area where I was brought up. I completed 33 years Police Service with Gwent Police in 2004 before moving on to serve as the Vice President and President of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales.
I retired from the Police Service in 2010. In Gwent I served in all ranks from Constable to Chief Superintendent. I have worked in all five Local Authority areas covering the Gwent Police Area. I was a Detective Officer for the majority of my career and was the Head of C.I.D. for five years between 1994 and 1999. I previously served at Newport as a Superintendent. I was the Divisional Commander at Pontypool covering all areas of Torfaen and Monmouthshire and finished my career in Gwent as the Divisional Commander covering the Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Local Authority areas. I know the County of Gwent!
As the first ever full time Welsh President of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales I worked at a National level. I regularly attended meetings with H.M Government, the Opposition and Senior Civil Servants. I sat on various Home Office Committees. I was fully involved dealing with issues concerning Funding; Use of Resources; Accountability; Governance and Public Confidence in the Police.
I am standing as an Independent candidate because I believe we must “Keep Politics out of Policing”. As an independent I am only answerable to the electorate and nobody else. I will work WITH elected politicians but FOR the people of Gwent without political interference or influence.
Prepared by Janet Johnston (Election Agent) 39 Maes-y-Garn Road, Oakdale, Blackwood, Gwent NP12 0NA
Paul Murphy MP describes Hamish Sandison as having “the legal skills, the political experience, the business acumen, and the personal gravitas to make a very formidable Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent”.
As Labour’s candidate, Hamish is campaigning against the Tory-led Coalition Government’s 20% cuts in police budgets, which he believes are putting community safety at risk by taking police officers off the streets. He opposes police station closures in Gwent, and the privatisation of police services. He supports Unison’s campaign against sacking custody detention staff in police stations and removing police officers from the front line to replace them.
If elected, Hamish is committed to ensuring that Gwent Police delivers our local priorities –
- neighbourhood policing;
- visible policing;
- bearing down on the perpetrators of crime and anti-social behaviour;
- tackling the scourge of drug and alcohol misuse;
- putting the victims of crime first, especially the victims of domestic violence and hate crime; and
- acting to secure greater peace of mind for our older people.
Hamish will work in partnership with the Welsh Government in Cardiff, with local government in Gwent and with the voluntary sector to make our communities safer.
As Gwent’s Commissioner, Hamish will be a powerful advocate of the people’s priorities. He has promised that there will be no major changes to local policing without proper public consultation. And he has signed a pledge to protect the police from political interference.
Hamish is a solicitor by profession. He has lived near Usk for nearly 25 years, fought Monmouth for Labour in the 2010 General Election, and has held senior positions in the Labour Party, including 6 years as a member of Labour’s Crime & Justice Policy Commission.
Having an elected Police Commissioner puts control of this vital public service in the hands of the residents.
The Commissioner will replace an unelected police authority with a transparent and accountable individual who is directly answerable to voters. It is not about politicising the police; it is about ensuring that grassroots community views are heard at the decision-making level of Gwent Police.
- Every resident of Gwent aware of a recognisable and approachable police officer who is regularly seen in their area;
- A well-trained force which can spot potential repeat offenders early on, and stop them in their tracks;
- More police on the beat, with fewer officers held back from doing their job by bureaucracy;
- A panel to scrutinise care for victims of crime;
- A police force which is sensitive to people’s values and diversity, without allowing this to blind them from distinguishing between what is right and what is wrong;
- Releasing as much crime and financial data as possible, so that everyone has the power to audit the Police and Crime Commissioner’s work;
- A better career path for Police Community Support Officers;
- Credible management of a tight budget, which balances the community’s needs with responsibility to spend within our means;
- A commitment to keep the police precept down.
I believe we can build on the recent progress made by Gwent Police to provide an even better service which allows people to follow their aspirations without fear of crime.
This form has been prepared by Jon Burns (Agent) on behalf of Nick Webb, of Usk Conservative Club, 16 Maryport Street, Usk, Monmouthshire, NP15 1AB.
Christopher Edwin Wright
I am a true Independent candidate because to politicise policing is simply wrong.
I retired after thirty years of policing; always in uniform and committed to DIRECT community policing but also specialising in planning police operations and community safety plans, indeed in my last week I worked a night duty and I know first-hand what is needed in your community policing.
My real, recent and relevant knowledge of community & specialised, front-line and support to policing makes me the perfect person to analyse the whole of Gwent Constabulary and decide whether,
a) their policies, direction and strategies will work, and
b) whether these are right for the communities of Gwent, then
i. be able to cut crime and deliver an effective & efficient police within our force area;
ii. be responsible for consulting with the public of Gwent to set local policing priorities;
iii. personally ensure these priorities are suitably funded by setting the budget;
iv. ensure your community’s needs are met as effectively as possible, and
v. hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of Gwent Police.
As your Police and Crime Commissioner I will start the full dialogue with partners, like Victim Support and your Council to ensure that once a victim is identified or an offender is brought to justice then a whole gambit of actions will take place to support or reassure the victim and drive home the repulsion our communities feel about criminals and their actions.
I am not a political candidate. I have not sought political support. I want to assure everyone that my full-time goal is to continue the community policing and crime reductions Gwent Police have shown recently even after the Government’s funding cuts.
Prepared by Deborah Wright – 17, Glyn Derwen, Llanbradach. CF83 3PQ