Vote for your Police Commissioner on November 15
Recent correspondents have asked "What on earth do we need a Police Commissioner for?" and have even described the PCC election process as 'bumkum'. While we are fortunate in Avon & Somerset to have an excellent and well run police force it seems very clear to me, after the recent scandals in other areas concerning police corruption, mishandling of evidence and allegations of police misconduct following the Hillsborough disaster, that we need directly elected individuals who have the power to represent us, the citizens before the senior officers who run our police forces. Peter Burns believes that "the system we have had since time immemorial works well" but I feel strongly that the part-time Police Authority, made up in Avon & Somerset of 9 councillors and 8 independent members, lacks the focus which the new full-time Police and Crime Commissioner will bring to the task of keeping our police accountable to those whom they serve.
Another correspondent writes, "We need someone as PCC who can run a large business." Conservative PCC candidate Ken Maddock is a retired businessman who has had responsibility for large commercial organizations with finances in excess of the current Avon & Somerset police budget. In recent years Ken has dedicated himself to public service as Leader of Somerset County Council. Ken is committed to making our streets safer by preventing crime and focussing our officers on front-line policing rather than back-office administration. I firmly believe that we need someone as PCC who has a fresh, businesslike approach to ensure that our police force copes with the inevitable budget cuts and can implement a forward-thinking strategy which reflects the needs of the people of the Avon & Somerset area. I am convinced that Ken Maddock is that person and I urge readers to vote for Ken on Thursday 15 November.
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