Here is the leader comment

news

Thames Valley Police authority chairman pulls out of PCC race


Reporter: Mark Taylor Reporter

Email: out&about@newburynews.co.uk
Contact:

police badge helmetTHE chairman of the Thames Valley Police Authority has pulled out of the race to become the region’s first Police and Crime Commissioner and slammed the entire election process as politicised.

Khan Juna said it was impossible for an independent candidate to campaign effectively in Thames Valley.

“It is with great sadness that I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the elections to be Thames Valley’s first Police and Crime Commissioner,” he said.

“I put my hat into the ring after much soul searching – and after watching the increasingly politicised campaigning with candidates “on message” from their party HQs and with no “local” manifesto.

“Having been a member of the Police Authority for nine years I was very concerned about the possible politicisation of policing in Thames Valley and the subsequent loss of public confidence.

“However, despite the Home Secretary’s insistence that she wanted to see high-profile, high-quality candidates from beyond the world of politics, this flawed piece of legislation means that it is impossible for an independent candidate to effectively campaign in an area like Thames Valley with 3 counties, 21 constituencies and 2.2 million residents.

“Without a party political “machine” with a network of MPs, councillors (at county, district, town and parish level) and party loyalists practiced in campaigning, the 2200 square miles of Thames Valley presents an impossible challenge.

“Without access to party funds, unless an independent has substantial personal wealth or rich friends it would be difficult to raise the funds needed to effectively campaign right across Thames Valley.

“These are elections which nobody wanted, which few people know about and which, despite the insincere rhetoric of government, have turned into yet another party political campaign.

“With the odds stacked against independent candidates – a challenge exacerbated in Thames Valley given its size and geography – I have made the difficult decision not to stand in these elections.

“This is a flawed policy that had been badly implemented and in these political elections I believe that the public are the real losers – uniformed about the election, ill informed about the candidates and what they stand for and with a serious risk of the politicisation of policing.”

On November 15 residents of West Berkshire and Thames Valley will head to the polls to vote for an elected Police and Crime Commissioner.

It is the largest shake up in 50 years of policing, but the progress has been dogged with criticism of political interference and general disinterested from the public.

The Commissioner for Thames Valley will be accountable for how crime is tackled in the force area and “give a voice to the public”, according to the Home Office, which is championing the roles.

Prospective candidates in Thames Valley are the West Berkshire Council executive member for community safety, Anthony Stansfeld (Con, Kintbury); Independent candidates Geoff Howard, Martin Young, and Tayo Awe; Gurcharn Singh, from the Police and Crime Commissioners Authority Board; Liberal Democrat Professor John Howson, and Labour candidate Tim Starkey.

Don't forget to read the Newbury Weekly News — Berkshire's largest–selling local newspaper — out each Thursday morning.

Comments

Add your thoughts.

The comments have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of newburytoday.co.uk or publishers Newbury News Limited.

  1. JonSHarvey

    October 24, 2012 9:09 am

    Imagine this: you are about to appoint someone to a new job. This job will require the person to build trusting relationships with many customers & colleagues. The person will be handling lots of confidential and sensitive information. The job will need someone who is extremely well organised. This person will need to be trusted by large numbers of the public.

    You selected a shortlist and at the interview, and you are inclined towards one person. Then you look at his application form again and realise that the facts he has given about himself are not consistent. They are small details really, but the statements he makes just do not add up to a coherent story about the current or previous jobs he has held.

    This makes you wonder whether to appoint this person.

    Do you…?

    This is not far from what could be happening with this election for the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner.

    I have researched the background of Anthony Stansfeld and found that by his own declarations he both is and is not currently chairman of a company. The name of the company that he may currently be chairman of varies between his West Berkshire Council register of interests, the register of interests for Thames Valley Police Authority and his LinkedIn account. There are other inconsistencies too and all the information (with evidential support) can be found here: http://ajustfuture.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/anthony-stansfeld-facts-do-not-add-up.html

    Are these some minor inconsistencies arising from being just a bit too rushed perhaps? Is he just not a ‘details person’? Or does this make you wonder about his credentials to occupy high political office?

    It is your choice… it is your vote.

    Report this comment

Comments

To post a comment you must login.

Forgot your password?

Register for this site

By registering you will be able to to post comments on news stories. Simply choose a username and enter your email address and we'll send you a password to login to the site.

Lose something?

Enter your username or email to reset your password.

Leave a Reply