I'm so glad that we have PCC elections coming up. The vast choice of different strategies and policies to choose from, against the array of wide demographics and local constituencies of candidates, will truly shake up the police service for the better.
Take for instance Sue Mounstevens, a woman...if you would believe such a thing, with only 20% of CANDIDATES for PCC roles being women, versus the 30% of women currently actually doing the job of helping to provide strategic direction to police forces!
She's an independent candidate, a magistrate from the Bristol area, and doesn't want politics to interfere with policing. She'll be making sure victims get more support, that offenders are cracked down on, that money is spent efficiently and that there are more police visible in your area! Ultimately she cares about anti-social behaviour, violent crime and burglary (especially against women).
Our next candidate couldn't be more different!
Ken Maddock is the conservative candidate from just outside Bristol. He wants to...and I think the other candidates have missed a trick by not being explicit in this... REDUCE CRIME. I know, right? Revolutionary thinking! He'll do this by having more police visible in your area. He also wants to make sure victims get more support, and that money is spent efficiently.
So we have two candidates there, already a real diversity of choice... one a man, one a woman. Who else? Can we be so lucky as to have even more choice?!
Actually, yes we are that lucky, reader. Meet Pete Levy, the Lib Dem candiate who is from...Bristol! Unlike the other candidates he is younger and has no hair. Also, in line with Lib Dem strategy he used to be a policeman!
Pete wants to reduce crime too, providing victims with more of a voice and more support, focusing on stopping re-offending, and ensuring that policing is visible in rural AND urban locations! He particularly singles out anti-social behaviour, violence against women..and in the "gold star for understandable jargon" award, wants to develop a "multi agency approach to effective integrated offender management"
Take that, Crime.
But wait, before you think our choices can't get any more diverse, there is another candidate! Dr (he's smart!) John Christopher Savage! He sounds like a super-villain, but he's not, he wants to fight crime too.
He's the Labour candidate, coming from the all together different location of Bristol, fighting for more efficient and fair use of funding, while listening to the victims of crime more. The aim from all of this is to reduce crime! Like the Tory candidate he doesn't feel that he needs to explain what his crime fighting priorities will be, probably because it will be ALL THE CRIME.
So there you have it, four candidates, each bringing a completely fresh and new angle to the PCC role. One is a woman, another is bald, one lives just outside of Bristol, and the other really stuck it out at university. Truly it should be easy to align ourselves with one of these people purely on their unique offering and how it aligns with our own priorities, and not to simply vote along party lines as we would in any other election!
Exciting times, I can't wait to see which of the huge variety of directions Avon and Somerset police will be taking.