On the hustings for PCC voting

NEXT week people across Fenland will join those around the county and vote in the first ever elections for a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cambridgeshire.

But just what is this new post all about? And who are the people vying for your ‘X’ in the box when you step into the polling booth on Thursday November 15.

Well Cambridgeshire’s PPC will be one of 41 to be elected across England and Wales (excluding London) with the aim of ensuring policing needs are met as effectively as possible and to oversee how crime is tackled in your area.

And there are seven candidates standing in Cambridgeshire, they are mentioned here with a brief statement and a photograph to help you decide.

The PCC will hold the county’s police force to account for delivering the kind of policing it provides and aim to cut crime and to ensure the local force is effective.

It is hoped they will bring a public voice to policing and they will do this is by.

* Engaging with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans.

* Ensuring the police force budget is spent where it matters most.

* Appointing, and where necessary dismissing, the chief constable.

PCCs will also work with councils and other organisations to promote and enable joined up working on community safety and criminal justice.

The PCC will not ‘run’ the police force. Chief constables will continue to be responsible for the day to day operations of the police, but they will be accountable to the public via the police and crime commissioner.

PCCs will ensure an effective policing contribution alongside other partners to national arrangements to protect the public from other cross-boundary threats.

PCCs will be required to swear an oath of impartiality when they are elected to office. The oath is designed so that PCCs can set out publicly their commitment to tackling their new role with integrity. It will reflect the commitment police officers make to serve every member of the public impartially and make clear that they are there to serve the people, not a political party or any one section of their electorate.