Knowle Councillor Diana Holl-Allen, vice chair of the Police Authority, is the fourth to throw her hat into the ring to become Conservative candidate for the role, with the power to set policing and crime priorities, allocate budgets and hire and fire the Chief Constable.
“We’ve got to be real here. We’re trying to bridge a gap between getting rid of a very large deficit and delivering services across the country.
“I’ll be looking to the private sector, to see where we can make further efficiencies, where we don’t need ‘proper coppers’.
“I will aim to use the funds we do have... where I believe the community want it.”
She said she wanted to see greater use of modern technology and envisages a private sector partner to help the police.
However she insisted: “Core policing jobs, requiring warranted powers, will be done by police officers commanded by the Chief Constable,” she said.
The Balsall Common resident will go head-to-head for the nomination with fellow Solihull cabinet member, Coun Joe Tildesley, the former national chair of the Police Federation, who promised to focus on recruitment and putting crime victims “at the heart of everything I do”.
Also wanting to stand for the Tories is David McGrath, chair of Residents Against Inappropriate Development (RAID), who has led a two-year campaign against the illegal travellers’ camp in Meriden.
“The Meriden experience has galvanised my resolve to work with people and the police to make a difference in cutting crime and protecting our environment,” said Mr McGrath, who is supported by a petition of over 1,000 signatures.
“I will be a campaigning commissioner, working with communities to stand up to gangs and persistent offenders who terrorise neighbourhoods.”
The Conservatives announce their candidate in mid-July.
Labour, who oppose Police Commissioners, have confirmed that Wolverhampton councillor Bob Jones will be their candidate while barrister and former Birmingham councillor Ayoub Khan will represent the Liberal Democrats.
l What do you think? Should the private sector play a greater role in policing?
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