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Four in line for Cumbria police commissioner job

Voters will take to the polls in less than three weeks’ time to determine who will be responsible for the Cumbria police force.

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections will be held on Thursday, November 15.

The commissioner will replace the county’s Police Authority and will be responsible for setting policing priorities, deciding how the policing budget is spent, holding the chief constable to account and consulting with the public.

They will receive a salary of £65,000 a year and will answer to a 12-strong police and crime panel.

The commissioners will not be expected to run the police, they will act as the voice of the people and hold the police to account.

The elections will use the supplementary vote system whereby voters will be asked to select their first and second preferences.

If no candidate gains over 50 per cent of the first preference votes, the two top candidates from the first preference votes go forward to a second round when the second preference votes are counted.

Richard Rhodes, 70, lives in Staveley-in-Cartmel in south Cumbria.

He has been chairman of the Cumbria Probation Trust since 2008 and on the Cumbria Probation Board since 2004.

He is a former magistrate in Barrow and in Fleetwood and Lytham in Lancashire and was a headmaster for 22 years.

His policies include plans to target crime hot spots and anti-social behaviour, set up an office of victim support, establish an office of public engagement and promote restorative justice to reduce re-offending.

He said: “If elected, I will use my extensive experience of the criminal justice system to develop a range of interventions to support victims, reduce re-offending and ensure public safety to reinforce the activities of a high achieving constabulary in Cumbria.”

Patrick Leonard, 54, of Cockermouth, is Carlisle divisional director of Riverside Housing Association and a former chief executive of Allerdale council.

Mr Leonard has promised that his priorities would be to minimise the impact of government cuts to police budgets, look at how policing is carried out and make sure police are in touch with all sections of the community, teenagers in particular.

He said: “As someone who has worked in the public services for over 30 years, I know how the police work and I’ve seen firsthand the challenges they face.

“People across Cumbria have told me how concerned they are that officers are being withdrawn from their communities. I would reverse this trend.”

Pru Jupe, 55, of Beetham, near Milnthorpe, is a barrister specialising in family work and child protection.

She has been a member of Beetham Parish Council since 2003 and a member of South Lakeland District Council representing Beetham and Arnside ward since 2005.

Her priorities include tackling drug and alcohol abuse, domestic and sexual offences and anti-social behaviour and ensuring sufficient resources are targeted at the increasing rural crime areas.

If elected she intends to set up bi-monthly surgeries around the county to meet with residents and pass their concerns back to officers.

She said: “I aim to ensure that the police become a more visible presence to local residents, preventing crime and bringing criminals to justice.

“I pledge to work with and support the voluntary sector in the delivery of crime prevention and developing restorative justice.”

Mary Robinson, 59, of Ainstable, near Carlisle, is deputy leader of Eden Council and is currently in her second term as chairwoman of Carlisle and Eden Community Safety Partnership, a cross-agency alliance that tackles crime.

She has spent more than 40 years working with youths and the community and represents Alston and East Fellside on Cumbria County Council

She said: “I would work tirelessly to ensure the police join forces with residents, get to know each other as partners, discuss community concerns and agree the best way to create a safer Cumbria.”

Mrs Robinson travelled to Downing Street earlier this month to petition Prime Minister David Cameron for more cash for rural policing.

Have your say

Does anyone care about this?

Posted by Evil McBad on 5 November 2012 at 17:52

This should be a position that is independent of party politics and political parties should be barred from contributing funds to candidates.
Disappointing to note I have heard nothing from any of they think putting a note on the Internet is sufficient?
A sign of poor service to come I think.

Posted by Bill on 3 November 2012 at 16:07

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