WITH the Police and Crime Commissioner elections tomorrow, read all the Gloucestershire candidates' manifestos below in alphabetical order:
Victoria Atkins, Conservative candidate
"I want to make Gloucestershire safer, while securing value for taxpayers' money.
I believe that the commissioner can be a real force for good in Gloucestershire.
My background as a criminal barrister means that I understand how the criminal justice system works, I lead teams of police officers in fighting crime and I speak up for the decent, law-abiding majority.
I want to use my experience to represent the public and help the police do an even better job. I have visited every corner of the county, listening to people.
I believe we should do more for victims of crime. I want to encourage people to report crime, to make the legal process easier for victims and to ensure that justice is done.
I pledge to hold the police and CPS to account in their treatment of victims, and to ensure that victim impact statements are used when appropriate.
Too often, rural communities are overlooked. I will introduce parish constables, special constables who work with their neighbours to look after our villages and farms.
I also want to build on the success of rural watch to tackle cross-border crime gangs.
Our urban areas should be thriving and safe. I want to build on the success of Neighbourhood Watch, Paws on Patrol and Operation Scorpion, to encourage residents to help detect and deter crime.
Drunken, yobbish behaviour will not be tolerated. Too many people endure anti-social behaviour night after night.
I want to build on the success of Project Solace and The Aston Project to target those who make others' lives a misery.
The fear of crime can be as corrosive as crime itself. I think more can be done to improve police visibility, getting them out of their cars and talking to residents and businesses.
I want to secure value for taxpayers' money. I will use my commercial experience to ensure taxpayers' money is spent wisely, and to lead effective crime prevention and community safety strategies.
This is a wonderful county; I want to work with you and the police to make it safer."
Alistair Cameron, Liberal Democrat candidate:
"I have lived in Cheltenham for 28 years and have spent most of my career in human resources in Gloucester.
I have served as a Cheltenham Borough Councillor for Hester's Way, including as leader of the council, and a Gloucestershire County Councillor.
I work as a clerk to the governors of Millbrook Academy in Brockworth and am also a voluntary English teacher for adults.
My priorities include ensuring that the recent reductions in crime continue, such as burglaries, and working with the police to improve detection rates.
Detection rates for some crimes such as robbery, domestic burglary and vehicle crime have been low at 9.4 per cent.
I am concerned to ensure victims of domestic abuse feel able to make complaints. The police have good specialist officers in the police domestic abuse unit and it is important that victims have the confidence that their complaints will be dealt with.
Tackling anti-social behaviour must be a priority.
This involves councils, housing associations and the voluntary sector. A good example is Project Solace in Gloucester where the city council, city homes and the police all work hard to tackle it.
Young people are often victims of crime. We must improve the relationship between them and the police so they feel confident in reporting crimes.
£18 million of cuts are being made to police budgets. I oppose any cuts beyond this and would be prepared to put up the council tax to avoid more cuts.
I will review any proposed station closures still pending.
Support Officers (PCSOs) need to be kept at current levels so they can continue their role of working with both rural and urban communities.
While there is a need to modernise the police service, any change needs to be implemented carefully in order to retain the morale of our excellent police officers and staff.
I will work closely with the health service, probation and the local community to tackle the causes of crime including alcohol and drug abuse.
I will also work with the voluntary sector including victim support, neighbourhood groups and Neighbourhood Watch."
Rupi Dhanda, Labour candidate:
"Like me you probably think, why do we want to elect somebody to run the police?
Unfortunately this government forced these changes through Parliament.
So, on November 15, Gloucestershire residents will elect a Police and Crime Commissioner.
In Gloucestershire the thin blue line is being erased, the cuts will lead to the loss of 120 officers (around 10 per cent of our police force) and a third of backroom staff.
Neighbourhood policing is being eradicated; now they've reduced the 'neighbourhoods' to nine, spanning a population of more than 500,000 people.
Since the Tory-led government came into power, 16 of Gloucestershire's 31 police stations have closed. And another five are set to close very soon.
Are we going to let them get away with cutting our police stations from 31 to just 10?
Maybe you'll settle for a Police Point instead of a station? But you won't be happy if you learn that your Police Point is a desk that gets a fortnightly visit from an officer.
I won't be a cheerleader for these cuts. I will challenge the Government for a better settlement for Gloucestershire – something our MPs are failing to do.
I also want to see our county become a champion for restorative justice.
If you smash up a bus shelter, you should be held accountable for repairing it, and that means paying for it.
I want to work with the criminal justice system to give more victims of crime the chance to explain to the criminals the impact of their actions.
As a lawyer, I am alarmed by the watering down of police independence.
Some constabularies are looking to outsource CID work to the private sector and the government has already shut down the world renowned Forensic Science Service and replaced it with private sector providers that don't have the capacity to do the job.
I believe policing should be for public service – not private profit. My knowledge and experience of the police stems from my work as a partner in a law firm, where I have worked with officers on family law issues for many years.
They tell me how cuts and imposed changes are damaging the force and sapping morale.
Perhaps most importantly, as a working mum and as someone who has lived in this county for a decade, I can't bear to see the damage being inflicted by this government on policing.
Our police officers are not plebs. They are heroes."
Martin Surl, Independent candidate:
" I was born and bred in Gloucestershire and my family has lived here for generations.
I am standing as an independent because not only do I believe party politics has no place in policing but it is also what many, many people who I have met while out campaigning have told me.
That is why I urge everyone who is entitled to vote, to do so on November 15.
I do not agree with those who say they will not vote because 'we don't need a police commissioner' and I cannot understand why some will vote for one political party representative to keep another party representative out of office.
Please don't spoil your ballot paper, use your vote.
Our police service is too important to use as a means of protest, which is why I want you to vote for the person best able to do the job and this is why I believe I am that person.
I want to make our police more visible and come when we need them.
That means getting the right resource to the right situation first time, on time, every time and dealing with it appropriately and effectively.
It also means stopping the closure of some of our most important stations like Coleford in the Forest of Dean and Barton Street in Gloucester.
I have studied the constabulary's finances and my experience in handling multi-million pound budgets here and when representing the UK abroad gives me every confidence this can be achieved.
I want older people – whether they live in their own homes or in residential care – to feel safe and I want a system that works for young people not against them.
Everyone, whatever their age or background, should be able to use our streets and public places without feeling under threat.
I believe in restorative justice, a system already adopted in Gloucestershire where criminals are given a chance to mend their ways. Those who do not will feel the full force of the law.
As a former officer, I am the candidate with direct experience of policing.
I will not take the place of the Chief Constable but if you vote for Martin Surl on November 15, I will use my power to provide the resources he needs to reduce crime and make our county the best it can be."
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