THE four candidates vying for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley have each laid out their argument to earn your vote.
Residents from across the region will take to the polls on May 5 to decide who will have the four-year responsibility of ensuring Thames Valley Police is an efficient and effective police force.
Currently, Conservative Anthony Stansfeld holds the position and will be fighting his corner once again come polling day.
Mr Stansfeld was first elected as PCC in November 2012 and has had two careers – firstly joining the armed forces when he was aged 17, going on to command helicopter squadrons.
He went on to become the managing director of aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Britten Norma and possesses an MSc in terrorism.
He said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley Police area.
“Since 2012, I’ve worked hard to achieve the pledges made at the last election.
“During this time, Thames Valley Police have managed the reduction in funding whilst at the same time improving performance.
“I hope you are able to vote for me to continue to drive down crime across the Thames Valley.”
There are three other candidates who will be jostling to oust Mr Stansfeld – from the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and UKIP.
Labour Party candidate Laetisia Carter currently sits on West Oxfordshire District Council as the ward member for Chipping Norton, where she lives with her husband and two children.
Mrs Carter works for the NHS where her role is to commission projects to improve mental health services, and is also a community liaison officer with TVP.
She said: “I have direct experience working for TVP and am passionate about justice and equality.
“I would use my campaigning spirit to get things done and put funding in key areas where it needs to be.
“The cuts are putting community safety, cohesion and vulnerable people at risk.
“I would challenge the tidal wave of cuts by central government.
“A PCC from the opposition party would be a stronger voice for change.”
Liberal Democrat candidate John Howson has been an Oxfordshire magistrate for 22 years and has financial experience in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
Mr Howson is an expert on licensing law and effects of the night time economy and has first-hand knowledge of police work after being a victim of crime himself, including a stabbing and several burglaries.
He said that if elected: “I would emphasise improved detection rates – for years Thames Valley did not solve enough crimes.
“Ensure support for victims of crime is funded and not cut, protect frontline policing including bobbies on the beat, work with other agencies to ensure cases are progressed to court as quickly as possible.
“[I would] consult the public, community groups and elected representatives, including town and parish councils about local policing priorities.”
He added he would “listen to young people who cannot vote” and “ensure value for money”.
UKIP candidate Lea Trainer lives in Slough with his wife and three children and is the chairman of Slough and Windsor UKIP.
Mr Trainer is also a former Royal Navy leading seaman mine warfare specialist and now runs a family business with his wife.
He said: “If elected as your police and crime commissioner, I will stand up as the straight talking voice of the people in Thames Valley and I will make sure we reduce the fear of crime by bringing the old ‘bobby on the beat’ to ensure continuity, increased visibility and faith in the police force.
“I am passionate about restoring trust between the community and the police force and I will build a team that listens, supports and serves the community.
“The keys to a successful Local Police and Crime plan are accountability, accessibility and transparency.
“I have served our country; I now wish to serve our community.”