RESIDENTS will have the chance to go to the polls to elect the first Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire.
There are four candidates in the running, Mark Burns-Williamson (Labour), Geraldine Carter (Con), Andrew Marchington (Lib Dem) and Cedric Christie (Ind).
Mr Burns-Williamson was chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority from 2003 until earlier this year and was made chairman of the National Association of Police Authorities in 2011. He was awarded an OBE for services to the community and policing and has served on Wakefield Council for 14 years.
His pledges are to stand against cuts of over 800 police officers, keep officers on the beat not hand police work over to private companies, back strong and shift action on anti-social behaviour, be tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime and preserve the operational independence of police.
Mrs Carter, who sits on Calderdale Council, said she wants to be in the post so that she can make a difference. The four years she served with West Yorkshire Police Authority and five years with West Yorkshire Probation Board were very interesting, she said, and led her to believe the commissioner role was one she could get her teeth into.
Andrew Marchington, a Kirklees councillor, says his priorities are returning power to communities, reducing red tape to protect frontline services and get more police out on the street, effective action to protect people from domestic violence and rape and effective community sentencing and restorative justice that meets the needs of victims and cuts reoffending.
Cedric Christie served with West Yorkshire Police for 30 years and headed the force’s Economic Crime Unit. He said: “I intend to use the benefit of my experience to the advantage of the West Yorkshire public as the first elected police and crime commissioner. It would be an honour to serve the public and in particular victims of crime.”
The commissioner will directly replace West Yorkshire Police Authority, the group of 17 councillors and independent members of the public that currently oversee West Yorkshire Police. The Police Authority will continue to work as normal until the election on November 15, with the policing plan and budget for next year being set as before.