PCC Elections: The candidates standing in Dorset

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Voters will head to the polls on 6 May to elect Dorset Police's police and crime commissioner (PCC.)

PCCs, first introduced in 2012, are elected representatives who work to ensure the 41 police forces in England and Wales are running effectively.

Their responsibilities include setting out force budgets, holding chief constables to account, and providing a link between communities and police.

These are the candidates who intend to stand for PCC in Dorset this year.

Patrick Canavan, Labour

Image source, Patrick Canavan

Mr Canavan was the Labour party's candidate for the 2016 PCC elections. He has also ran as a parliamentary candidate for Dorset constituencies in previous general elections. Mr Canavan has spent more than 40 years as a worker for trade unions, including as a regional officer for Unite. He also holds a law degree.

Priorities for Mr Canavan include cutting crime and increasing the number of successful prosecutions. He also wants to seek greater transparency in policing and and want to give the public "a much bigger say in the key decisions".

David Sidwick, Conservative

Image source, DavidSidwick

After graduating from Bristol University, Mr Sidwick worked in the pharmaceutical industry and set up his own business as a consultant in secondary education sector.

Mr Sidwick says his background in "strategy, communication and resource allocation is perfect for the role of acting as the people's champion and holding the police to account". He says his "vision" is to make Dorset the "safest county in the UK" by reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Claire Seymour, Green

Image source, ClaireSeymour

Ms Seymour is the Green Party's first candidate nominated for the role and Dorset's second ever female candidate. She is currently the lead for the anti-social behaviour service for a housing association and as volunteered as a special constable for Hampshire Constabulary. She currently sits on one of Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner's scrutiny panels.

Ms Seymour has "eight pledges" which include tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence, preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, supporting police officers, and creating a sustainable police force with a focus on improving financial efficiency.

Dan Hardy, Independent

Image source, Dan Hardy

A former Metropolitan police officer of 13 years, Mr Hardy has lived in Poole for the past five years. He served in the armed forces before becoming a police officer and has worked in multiple security management roles which include being the crime and security lead for supermarket Sainsbury's. He is currently the managing director of a security company which works with businesses.

If elected, Mr Hardy says his priorities are to create safer communities throughout Dorset by creating a "more visible" police force and having "stronger policies for reducing reoffending and enhancing support for victims". Mr Hardy says a vote for him is a "vote for experience, not politics".

Mark Robson, Liberal Democrat

Image source, Mark Robson

A current Liberal Democrat councillor for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Mr Robson served in the Royal Marines for 26 years, carrying out operations across the globe. He says his experiences has taught him "you can't just put on a sticking plaster on a problem and hope that it will go away".

Mr Robson has pledged to establish an "environment where the public feel self-motivated and safe to report crime" by using Dorset's "key community partners" to work with the police. He says road deaths in Dorset have been increasing and he has pledged to "address this urgently". Mr Robson also wants to work with councils to "to deal with the scourge of county lines and child exploitation".

This election was originally meant to take place in May 2020 but it was postponed due to the pandemic.

To read more about the role of police and crime commissioners, click here.