Battle to oversee Northamptonshire Police

Six candidates have so far put their names forward to stand in the elections for the first police crime commissioner in Northamptonshire.

Voters will go to the polls on 15 November to elect a commissioner, whose job will be to oversee the county's police force.

So far candidates representing the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP and two independents have put themselves forward.

They are:

Lee Barron (Labour)

Chairman of Midlands TUC and former Northampton councillor Lee Barron is standing as the Labour candidate.

"When we had a Labour administration (at the council) we worked with the residents, police, heath, voluntary sector and a Labour government and were able to make Castle Ward (which Mr Barron represented) safer and a better place to live.

"We all know that the Tories are harming our country, county and towns.

"Many of you, like me, will feel that the money a Police Commissioner will cost should be spent on front-line policing, but the Tory-led coalition government have forced this through, and it is essential that we fight these elections and have Labour Police Commissioners throughout the country.

Jim MacArthur (UKIP)

Former flight lieutenant in the RAF Police, senior executive with P&O and Northamptonshire special constable Jim MacArthur is standing at the candidate for UK Independence Party

He said: "I am strongly against the politicisation of the police. I am standing as a UKIP candidate because the government, (intentionally I think), have made it difficult for independents to campaign effectively.

"Whilst I am a member of UKIP, accept party candidature and support that party's political agenda, I am completely self-funded for this election and consider myself independent. I have made it clear that if elected PCC I will not accede to any political agenda.

"I have been involved in fighting crime in every job I have held since I was a teenager and joined the RAF Police aged 17. I retired as a flight lieutenant in 1973. I was then head hunted to be a senior officer in charge of police at a major defence establishment. After that I worked as a senior executive in charge of all security matters for two of the largest companies in the UK for a period of about 13 years each. Firstly with the National Freight Consortium, and secondly with P&O Ned Lloyd Group. In both posts I had a worldwide remit."

John Norrie (Independent)

Businessman John Norrie, a former independent member of the Northamptonshire Police Authority, is an independent candidate going for the post.

He said: "This election gives us a real chance to move the governance of the police away from self-interest or political gain.

"It gives us the chance to create the policing plan we want, focused on the priorities of the people. It will bring clarity and transparency to the way the police work. It gives us the chance to ensure that decisions are taken with the interests of Northamptonshire in mind and not some national party agenda.

"These elections give us the chance to keep this important new role out of the hands of the political parties. I intend to put all my energies into providing an effective and improving police service and to redress the balance between victim and offenders in the criminal justice system."

Adam Simmonds (Conservative)

Former senior officer at Northamptonshire County Council Adam Simmonds is the Conservative candidate for the post.

He said: "I will be a progressive, considered and modern thinking commissioner. I will not intrude on police operational responsibilities. I do not want issues to become party political and will work closely and co-operatively with the new Northamptonshire Police and Crime Panel.

"I will listen to the experiences and concerns of ordinary people, especially where crime impacts most. I will ensure public concerns are reflected in policing priorities, while remaining vigilant champions of the civil liberties of local minorities.

"And I will listen to concerns and ideas from rank and file police officers. When public demands cannot be met I will be open and honest about what can and cannot be done."

Matt Stockdale (Independent)

Oven Pride millionaire and former Northamptonshire Police special constable Matt Stockdale is standing as an independent for the post.

"With public support I will campaign to change the abuse of our legal system. The 'just get me my brief' culture will soon stop if repeat offenders have to pay for their legal support.

"I will break the mould of 'that's how we've always done it' - promoting a culture of 'we're good, but can always improve'; a culture of team work and togetherness, side by side with the public.

"Unfortunately, political parties are putting forward their own candidates. As you can imagine, politics and policing will not mix, to do so will be to the detriment of us all. The duration of the role is 3.5 years, so if we get this wrong we're stuck with more of the same, or worse, for a very long time."

Paul Varnsverry (Liberal Democrat)

Former deputy leader of Northampton Borough Council and chair of the British Standards committee for police protective equipment Paul Varnsverry has been selected as the Lib Dem candidate.

"I fervently believe I have the experience and knowledge to be a strong voice for Northamptonshire residents," he said.

"I know it is crucial that local people have confidence in the police and that the police themselves are grounded in the communities in which they work.

"My priorities will include early intervention on crime and anti-social behaviour, increasing public confidence and engagement in how our communities are policed, and initiatives to reduce the number of drivers killed and seriously injured on the county's roads. My energies will be focused on making sure that our county is a safer place and that local residents are fully engaged in how our communities are policed."

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