Nottingham

Nottinghamshire PCC: Pledge to help victims

All four candidates for the post of Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner (PCC) have promised to focus on providing more support to victims of crime.

The commissioner will replace the Nottinghamshire Police Authority and will have the power to appoint chief constables and oversee budgets.

In a BBC Nottingham radio debate, all four said they would prioritise looking after victims over offenders.

Elections will be held on 15 November.

'Victims over offenders'

Malcolm Spencer, an Independent candidate, who worked for Nottinghamshire Police for 30 years, said: "I have seen so much trauma caused to the victims of crime - their friends, families and witnesses as well.

"I am appalled at the amount of resources put into looking after the offenders and not the victims, and that needs to be changed."

Agreeing with him, Tony Roberts, Conservative candidate and deputy leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: "The victim is central to the whole process and sadly in the past that has not been the case.

"I would like to see individual support altered to what they need - this is absolutely vital to make sure victims are supported correctly."

'Victims first'

Independent candidate and retired GP, Dr Raj Chandran, added: "As a former GP I know about the needs of a victim and this to me is a priority.

"We have spent too much time looking at offenders and not the victims."

Paddy Tipping, former MP and standing for Labour, said he had worked with charity Victim Support for 10 years and had always talked about "putting the victims first and to treat them as people, not as cases".

He said: "I would like to set up regular meetings and am keen to set up a board of agencies so that people can talk to me and we can take action properly."

Elections will be held in November to choose PCCs who will replace police authorities currently in charge of 41 forces in England and Wales.

PCCs will be responsible for setting priorities for their police force, overseeing its budget and hiring the chief constable.

Those in the biggest force areas will receive salaries of more than £100,000 and no prior police force experience is needed.