Who will you vote for in today's Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner elections?
PUBLISHED: 14:24 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:24 05 May 2016
Today's the day when voters in Suffolk can vote for a Police and Crime Commissioner for the county to serve for the next four years.
Here we give the five candidates the opportunity to explain why they want the job – and how they would approach what has become a high-profile position.
From setting budgets to organising the overall policing strategy, the PCC is a powerful figure in the county – since the position was established there have been major issues to handle like sharing buildings with other emergency services and further integration with other police forces.
Voting for the PCC takes place today with the result being declared tomorrow afternoon. Everyone has two votes, a first and second preference.
If no one candidate gets 50% plus one of first preference votes, the top two candidates go through to a head-to-head and second choice votes from the three eliminated candidates are added to the top two – resulting in an overall winner.
In the first election, in November 2012, Labour’s Jane Basham won on the first round but Conservative Tim Passmore gathered enough second-preference votes to win on the second round.
Tim Passmore - Conservative
Suffolk Constabulary has a very good reputation and my aim for the next four years is to make it an outstanding police force.
Our county faces huge challenges from the enormous changes in the pattern of criminal activity through use of technology and the internet, plus threats from organised crime groups and terrorism.
The next term focuses on continuing the reduction of crime and anti social behaviour, and listening to all our residents and businesses in towns and villages, so the Constabulary addresses their concerns.
My manifesto prioritises work on domestic abuse, serious sexual offences, rural crime, young people and the economy.
Victims’ services will be assisted by an £875,000 fund and grant support for the voluntary sector of £700,000 continues.
I also share people’s concerns over illegal immigration and border security.
There are initiatives to reduce re-offending rates.
Better partnership working across the public and voluntary sectors is vital if we are to optimise effectiveness and efficiency.
Internal improvements in the Constabulary will maximise resources available for front line policing, including training and equipment.
If you want a Commissioner with the knowledge and experience, dedication and energy to represent our wonderful county and fight for a fair share of national resources, I am the best person for this role.
Ultimately, I am completely committed putting Suffolk’s interests first, as I have always done.
With your support I know, together, we will continue to make our county a very safe place.
Full details of my manifesto are here or follow me on Twitter @Tim4Suffolk
Cath Pickles - Labour
Recorded crime has risen in Suffolk but the Tory government has slashed the number of police officers in the county since 2010.
The choice for people in Suffolk at the PCC election is between electing a Labour commissioner who will stand up to Tory police cuts, or a Tory commissioner who will continue to back them.
A vote for Cath Pickles in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections is a vote for:
• Protection and prioritisation of front line policing: the current Police and Crime Commissioner plans a drastic reduction of the number of Police Community Support Officers.
• Challenge to the consensus: No longer will the Police and Crime Commissioner automatically agree with everything his Conservative colleagues on the district and county council says.
• A prioritisation of sexual and violent crime.
• A joined-up education strategy to protect EVERY child in the county from sexual abuse and exploitation.
• A joined-up strategy with health, mental health and social services to protect vulnerable and “at-risk” residents from crime and the fear of crime.
• An experienced senior leader, mediator and skilled communicator, capable of finding consensus and solutions.
This election will have an important impact on the future of policing in Suffolk. Please use your vote to elect Cath Pickles as our Police and Crime Commissioner.
Terence Carter - Green
Needham Market town councillor and charity campaigner Terence Carter stands for The Green Party. Having travelled and lived in Bulgaria, he deeply appreciates the issues faced by immigrant communities trying to integrate into British society.
Passionately advocating rights and welfare, Terence vice-chairs the Mid Suffolk Disability Forum and is an active campaigner for various charities and organisations including Disabled Activists for Dignity in Dying and Disabled People Against Cuts.
Terence has particular concerns for how benefit cuts and sanctions, and cuts to social services are increasingly, putting frontline police in situations having mental illness, domestic abuse (of which he was a childhood victim), homelessness and social exclusion at their root.
Feeling he has a knowledge of the need for better police understanding of groups which face “discrimination” and a better understanding of “vulnerability,” which is why he welcomes the start made by the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.
Terence’s priorities for Suffolk police:
• Improving relationships between police and local NGOs; tackling causes of crime within the community whilst ensuring all officers have the best possible training and understanding of social issues.
• Continued assistance offering victim support, taking ownership for individuals continued welfare.
• While defending services from further cuts, continuing their excellent work in reducing crime on a depleted budget.
Terence appreciates the difficulties prioritising all the things the public expects them to do. As you would expect of a Green Party candidate, he would also like to see PCSOs take more positive action against littering, dog fouling, graffiti-writing and illegal parking.
Helen Korfanty - Liberal Democrats
Government cutbacks in Suffolk police funding has lead to a loss of staff and the closure of police stations. Yet the Chief Constable must find further savings of £1.3million by 2020.
I want to avoid our police force being reduced to an emergency service.
With my background as a solicitor working on the front line of the criminal justice system I can see not only potential problems but also solutions.
In my 33 years of living and working in Suffolk I have also practised family law, worked with Victim Support, the CAB and prosecuted as well as defended criminal cases.
This has given me a rounded view of our legal system and most valuably access to the experience and wisdom of other frontline professionals and volunteers.
I believe that I can put that knowledge and experience to find efficiencies in the force and to reduce the demands on their time in situations which could be better dealt with by other agencies (for example in mental health crises and some family disputes).
I want to promote and encourage the voluntary sector that do so much valuable work with the victims of crime and address the causes of crime.
With the resources we have available I wish to see the police enabled to fight on-line crime and fraud and improve their detection rate.
Last, but not least, I wish to be the voice of the community and tenaciously argue for better funding for our police.
Simon Tobin - UKIP
I have lived in Suffolk for 40 years. I am married and have one daughter.
My further education in life, was joining the British Army at 16 years old and taking an apprenticeship with them at The Royal School of Military Engineering, going on to become a Combat Engineer in the Royal Engineers.
In public life, I have been mayor of Southwold, vice chairman of Waveney District Council/portfolio-holder for customer service, probation officer, lifeboat crewman, retained fireman, chairman of a regional Community Emergency Group plus a number of other posts.
I will be 100% committed to the role of the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner. I am passionate about public services having correct funding and being given the resources to perform to a high standard. I will see that the budget is always used in the most cost-effective way.
My key points are:
• Zero tolerance in crime hotspots;
• Report all crime and have a response back;
• Policing Suffolk towns and rural areas at the heart of the communities;
• Stop the cuts and invest in the Suffolk Constabulary;
• Public engagement and transparency;
• And investing in new technology to combat cybercrime, sexual grooming, and exploitation but never lose the importance of on the ground policing that gives intelligence and community engagement.
If you vote for me on May 5 as your new Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, you will get a very high profile Commissioner working for the public interests and supporting the Suffolk Constabulary to achieve excellent results in reducing crime.