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SOLIHULL residents will have the opportunity to vote in the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections for England and Wales on Thursday, November 15.

Police and Crime Commissioners will replace the local police authority and will be responsible for holding the police to account on behalf of the public.

Police and Crime Commissioners will replace the local police authority and will be responsible for holding the police to account on behalf of the public.

Here is a run down of candidates for the West Midlands.:

Derek Webley (Independent):

Derek became the first independent member of West Midlands Police Authority to be elected Chair in 2009 and he also became the first African Caribbean chair of any Police Authority in the UK.

He said: “As PCC I would flexibly target resources at where they are needed, and my proposed West Midlands crime prevention fund is key to preventing and reducing crime.

“By preventing crime and reducing reoffending, we can make the West Midlands a safer place and I promise that Solihull will receive £1M for initiatives related to community led Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB).”

Mike Rumble (Independent):

Mike joined the West Midlands Police force in 1976 and has served as a dog handler and on the regional crimes squad and regional drugs squad.

He said: “I have decided to stand for election as an Independent candidate to make sure that your voice is heard and acted upon and to ensure that party politics play no further part in controlling our police service.

“I will consult openly and regularly with the residents of the West Midlands and I will be your voice in informing the Chief Constable of your concerns and your wishes.”

Ayoub Khan (Liberal Democrat):

Ayoub is a Birmingham barrister and former council cabinet member.

He said: “My watchwords for effective policing are Prevent, Protect and Re-assure. We need to prevent crime, protect public and property but also re-assure people, especially the vulnerable. Crime is generally coming down but it is still far too high and I am well aware of how the fear of crime can restrict people’s daily life, not just the elderly but young people too.

“I want to engage directly with beat officers on the front line, it is vital that we maintain morale at this challenging time and learn the lessons of local police experience.”

Bob Jones (Labour):

Bob served as Chair of the West Midlands Police Authority from 1995 to 2000 and as national Chair of the Association of Police Authorities between 2005 an 2009.

Bob said: “I want the West Midlands to be safe, which is why, if elected, I will fight for our fair share of funding to keep bobbies on the beat, I will stop the privatisation of our police force and I will put victims - not criminals - first.

“I will protect the people who protect us. You can trust Labour with our police.”

Matt Bennett - Conservative candidate

As a former Stockland Green councillor, Matt, from Sutton Coldfield, said he has worked with local neighbourhood policing teams to reduce crime in his area.

If successful, interim manager Matt pledged; “I will ensure the police spend more time on the streets and at the times and places where crime is highest.

“I will keep local police stations and front desks open.”

Matt also hopes to introduce Zero Tolerance Policing of crime and antisocial behaviour and create a police contract, setting out what the public can expect when a crime is reported.

Cath Hannon - Independent

Starting as a Handsworth beat officer, Cath spent 30 years in the force leading national and international multi-agency teams before retiring as a Detective Superintendent in 2010.

Cath, who has a Masters in Clinical Criminology, has pledged to use her experience to ‘tackle violent crime, abuse and hate crimes head on’ as well as reviewing the criminal justice system to ensure victims and witnesses are at ‘the heart of the process.’

“I am standing in the election because I can offer to you a unique set of skills and abilities that are not available from any other candidate,” she added.

Bill Etheridge - UKIP candidate

The showroom manager said he could bring a fresh pair of eyes to the role of commissioner, coming to it with no experience of the internal working of the police.

Bill has pledged to make policing “for the victim, not the criminal,” by demanding tougher sentencing from judges and introducing Zero Tolerance Policing Zones where all crimes will be investigated “to the highest possible standards.”

He also hopes to cut back on red tape and paperwork, fight privatisation of front-line policing and further change to contracts, as well as providing more ‘visible policing’ day and night through rota restructures.

 

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