Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner election: Candidates tell you why you should vote for them

The election for the top civilian role in the county's police force take place on May 6

Voters on May 6 will be picking Warwickshire’s next Police and Crime Commissioner. There are four candidates running for the position (in alphabetical order).

Louis Adam - Liberal Democrat

Putting the community at the heart of policing

The four candidates for Warwickshire’s next Police and Crime Commissioner - Louis Adam (top left), Henry Lu (top right), Philip Seccombe (bottom left) and Ben Twomey (bottom right).

Preventing crime and ensuring people feel safe is crucial to us all. We all benefit from good policing.

As Police and Crime Commissioner Louis Adam would work to ensure a police force that is fit for the 21st century, in which police officers feel valued and able to focus on cutting crime and protecting people.

In Warwickshire the main focus of the commissioner should be to:

- Protect the numbers of police officers and community support officers (PCSOs), whilst increasing police neighbourhood visibility.

- Work closely with a broad range of partners, from youth services, social services and community groups to schools, the NHS and mental wellbeing professionals.

- Ensure transparency and accountability in the service.

- Make sure that people feel safe to report crime and that their voices are heard.

- Ensure value for money. As a small force Warwickshire should share services with other forces on as wide a basis as possible, both to reduce costs and ensure that the force is able to resource the specialised services that a modern police force needs.

We need a commissioner who can represent all the people in this area and who backs research and training for our officers to support a well-run modern police service, with positive changes that work for everyone.

Louis and his wife live in Long Itchington, Warwickshire, close to where he grew up. He is a structural engineer in the construction industry and is a district councillor and previous parliamentary candidate in Warwick and Leamington in the 2019 General Election.

Building confidence, fairness and trust.

Dr Henry Lu -Reform UK

I am a law graduate, chartered global management accountant, chartered engineer and have a doctorate degree. I am not a career politician.

This country has given me many opportunities and I would like to contribute back to it as your police and crime commissioner by undertaking a public appointment dedicated to promoting public accountability and community safety.

In preparation for this, I have been an adviser with my local Citizens Advice South Warwickshire since 2012, helping vulnerable citizens to exercise their rights and obligations and to access justice. I have also been an institutional mentor, guiding engineers and accountants since 2015. Finally, I had assisted a pension scheme trustee board in Warwick in the conclusion of a £2bn longevity swap in 2018 to provide a sustainable long-term income for members.

As an adviser at Citizens Advice, (currently on sabbatical leave), I am acutely aware of challenges facing local residents including:

- Violent crime,

- Antisocial behaviour,

- Cybercrimes,

- And most recently county drug lines.

The first two being the most frequently committed crimes, totalling over 2,000 cases every month since February 2018 in Warwickshire.

Whilst recognising that the PCC’s role is about police and crime, I believe it must also be about public accountability and community engagement. I therefore commit to:

- Representing the views of the public of Warwickshire,

- Influencing policing decisions and priorities,

- Ensuring that they are getting value for money for the service they need,

- And ultimately, in creating an environment in which the community is safe and feels safe.

If elected, I will work every day of the term to bring about a safer and more harmonious community in which we can all be proud to live; making the people sovereign beyond each election cycle, and ultimately, changing politics for good.

Philip Seccombe - Conservative

I have had the privilege of serving as Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner for the last five years, and have found the job both challenging and rewarding. Knowing the county well has helped. Also my experience of founding and running a business for 28 years, being a Stratford District Councillor for 15 years and serving in the Army Reserve for 25 years, reaching the rank of Colonel was a good foundation. Being a PCC requires a wide breadth of knowledge and experience.

Over the last five years, and following the termination of the Strategic Alliance with West Mercia, Warwickshire has been able to rebuild itself with a new structure to address to address 21st century crime.

Police officer numbers have grown from 800 to 1,030, which has enabled the force to strengthen patrol, investigators and our 32 Safer Neighbourhood Teams. In addition, new dedicated vehicle and rural crime teams have been established to tackle and respond to those crimes.

Support to all victims and survivors of crime has been enhanced with more specialist organisations receiving grants from my office to give much needed advice and assistance. Beneficiaries have included Victim Support, Barnardos, ROSA, Safeline, Domestic Abuse Councilling Service and Family Intervention Councilling Service to name a few. Also supported have been initiatives in schools, youth projects, addressing drugs and alcohol dependencies and perpetrator projects designed to stop reoffending.

Looking to the next term, and if elected, I will increase the number of police officers to 1,065 in a year and 1,100 within two years. This will mean more officers on our streets and in our rural areas to be seen and enforce the law. I will continue to hold the force to account to drive up performance, effectiveness and efficiency throughout the organisation to make us all safer by reducing crime.

Finally, I will always listen to, and act on the priorities of the residents and communities of Warwickshire.

Ben Twomey - Labour and Co-operative Party

Did you know that every single one of Warwickshire’s Domestic Abuse Risk Officers was laid off this year? That’s over 70 years’ policing experience lost.

You won’t have heard it from the Conservative Police Commissioner because, despite being elected to represent your views in policing matters, he didn’t ask anyone what they thought about this.

Even after over 1,000 local people voiced their opposition, the commissioner has refused to stand with us to protect victims and support our key workers.

Many new police officers promised by the Government are now stuck behind desks to cover for cuts to dozens of staff. With council tax up for the fourth year in a row, you are paying more and getting less.

I’m Ben Twomey and I’m standing to be your Police and Crime Commissioner. I live in the county and grew up here, so I understand the issues facing us locally.

Every year the current commissioner has been in office, crime has risen while victims have reported feeling less satisfied. If I had this record, I would not seek to be re-elected.

I have a plan to make us safer by putting police officers back on the beat, placing victims at the heart of my work, and creating new youth and community groups. I am not running in this election to speak for you, but to stand with you.

I stand with residents who are calling for a proper review of street lighting in the county.

I stand with the local teachers trying to save Marle Hall Centre for Outdoor Learning.

I stand with bereaved parents fighting for justice after their children were killed on our roads.

And if I’m elected on May 6, I’ll stand with you too.