It’s time to go to the polls and vote for who you would like to be Thames Valley’s next police and crime commissioner.
Polling takes place today (May 5) and candidates for all the main political groups have been campaigning hard for your vote.
Lea Trainer, who works with disadvantaged children is vying for your vote on behalf of UKIP, while Chipping Norton councillor Laetisia Carter is running for Labour.
For the Lib Dems there is educationalist, and classroom knife attack survivor John Howson, and contesting his seat for the Conservative Party is current commissioner Anthony Stansfeld.
The role of police and crime commissioner (PCC) is to work with the force to decide how the area is policed.
PCC’s also set the police budget and decide on how much council tax precept the force needs year on year.
Earlier this year, and following a public consultation, the government announced that it would take forward legislation to enable PCCs to hold their local fire and rescue services to account, as well as the force they cover.
This is part of a raft of changes to bring about closer working between the police, fire and rescue and NHS ambulance services and improve the way they serve communities, protect the public and provide value for money for taxpayers. This would mean that the PCC was answerable for all blue light services in their areas.
Speaking on why he should be elected Leo Trainer said: “If I were PCC I would not just be sitting in my office in Oxford, I would be out there meeting people and finding out what they need.”
Laetisia Carter said: “I have direct experience working for Thames Valley Police and other criminal justice agencies. I am passionate about the fast pace and the breadth of service delivered.”
John Howson said: “ I have worked with professionals and politicians of all parties up to home secretary level so am not intimidated by a chief constable or a council leader.”
And Anthony Stansfeld said: “I have an MA in global security and terrorism and have run an international company. I have also served in the army and ran army helicopters during the Falklands.”