The race is on for top police role

John Howson

Anthony Stansfeld

Tim Starkey

Martin Young

First published in Headlines Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

THE line-up for the region’s new £85,000 police and crime commissioner job has been revealed.

The three main political parties have now announced their candidates – although more independents could still come forward.

Bids for the Thames Valley Police post come from an Oxford Liberal Democrat, a Conservative from Berkshire, a Labour candidate from Buckinghamshire and two independents.

Commissioners, who will be elected on November 15, will replace police authorities in every force in England and Wales and will oversee how forces operate.

But in May, Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton expressed concerns the public was not interested enough to vote.

The Lib Dems were the last of three top parties to announce their candidate on Monday.

Their candidate – John Howson, a magistrate who lives in Oxford – has been the victim of a stabbing, four burglaries, and two road accidents.

Last night he told the Oxford Mail: “I think people will take this election seriously and more people will vote than expected.

“The work police do is so important to people even if they have never needed to use it.”

The ex-geography teacher and former head of education at Oxford Brookes Universitywas stabbed in the back and in the stomach in front of his class by a former pupil at a school in London in 1977.

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Mr Howson said he would invest in tackling the causes of crime – drugs and alcohol addiction.

He said: “Helping to stop re-offending is the best way to keep down police spending in the future.”

Tim Starkey, a barrister from Amersham, is the Labour party’s choice.

He said he was worried the public would not turn out to vote, adding: “There are important issues at stake and it’s a challenge communicating that to the public as it’s a new role.”

He said he wanted to prioritise fighting domestic violence and create a sexual assault referral centre in Oxford.

Tory Anthony Stansfeld, a West Berkshire District Council member, said his goals were to cut crime, catch criminals, and keep the costs down.

He said: “I understand the money and I understand the police.”

Voters will get a first and second choice.

Gurcham Singh and Headington gun collector Martin Young have also put themselves forward as independent candidates.

The Greens have chosen not to enter the race over cost concerns.

Graham Smith, Thames Valley Police Federation chairman, said the role must not be politicised.

He said: “What I cannot support and would never support is political interference with the office of Chief Constable.”

He added: “It’s important the public engage with it because the decisions this person will make in relation to how much is spent with policing the strategic direction of the force is massively important.”

Comments (5)

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1:18pm Wed 5 Sep 12

bart-on simpson says...

Martin "the hitman" Young seems a sensible chap, after all if he can add to his enormous gun collection he would surely be doing well.

What the terms and conditions? Get you own blue light and siren?
Martin "the hitman" Young seems a sensible chap, after all if he can add to his enormous gun collection he would surely be doing well. What the terms and conditions? Get you own blue light and siren? bart-on simpson
  • Score: -2

2:55pm Wed 5 Sep 12

wrongly parked says...

I hope whoever gets this job increases the performance and competence of officers with Thames Valley Police as they have a very poor reputation and receive many complaints! I also hope that they are not as biased and blinkered when it comes to reporting misconduct!
Once person who was a favourite to get this position was Cllr Kieron Mallon in Banbury however after discovering he has a previous criminal conviction for assault he was rightly prevented from doing so and had to step down :
http://www.oxfordmai
l.co.uk/news/yourtow
n/oxfordshire/978585
2.Police_commissione
r_hopeful_is_out_of_
race/
I hope whoever gets this job increases the performance and competence of officers with Thames Valley Police as they have a very poor reputation and receive many complaints! I also hope that they are not as biased and blinkered when it comes to reporting misconduct! Once person who was a favourite to get this position was Cllr Kieron Mallon in Banbury however after discovering he has a previous criminal conviction for assault he was rightly prevented from doing so and had to step down : http://www.oxfordmai l.co.uk/news/yourtow n/oxfordshire/978585 2.Police_commissione r_hopeful_is_out_of_ race/ wrongly parked
  • Score: -1

9:06am Thu 6 Sep 12

Cathena says...

Keep politics out of it - then we can vote on what they promise not on which party they belong to.
Keep politics out of it - then we can vote on what they promise not on which party they belong to. Cathena
  • Score: 1

10:28am Thu 6 Sep 12

Man on the Green says...

I am delighted we now have a real heavy weight candidate in the race, in the person of the highly experienced John Howson, who certainly knows the CJS inside out, and is his own man and no political patsy. He wll give Tim Starkey - an independent minded solicitor with some, but limited, relevant experience, a real race, and it is to be hoped that voters will dismiss the Tory makeweight as the puppet he is (a passed over major with a dreadful record of complicity and compliance). For more info see http://www.policeele
ctions.com/ - details of all the candidates are there.
I am delighted we now have a real heavy weight candidate in the race, in the person of the highly experienced John Howson, who certainly knows the CJS inside out, and is his own man and no political patsy. He wll give Tim Starkey - an independent minded solicitor with some, but limited, relevant experience, a real race, and it is to be hoped that voters will dismiss the Tory makeweight as the puppet he is (a passed over major with a dreadful record of complicity and compliance). For more info see http://www.policeele ctions.com/ - details of all the candidates are there. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

11:44pm Thu 6 Sep 12

Severian says...

Cathena wrote:
Keep politics out of it - then we can vote on what they promise not on which party they belong to.
The whole police race has been set up so that only political parties can afford to enter candidates, so there is no way politics will be kept out of it.

It seems to me that this is simply an excuse for one of our councillors or wannabee MPs can get access to a very high paying cushy job.
[quote][p][bold]Cathena[/bold] wrote: Keep politics out of it - then we can vote on what they promise not on which party they belong to.[/p][/quote]The whole police race has been set up so that only political parties can afford to enter candidates, so there is no way politics will be kept out of it. It seems to me that this is simply an excuse for one of our councillors or wannabee MPs can get access to a very high paying cushy job. Severian
  • Score: 0

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