Lincolnshire police and crime commissioner election: Candidates reveal their priorities
Two political parties have so far put forward candidates for the position of police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Lincolnshire.
The Conservatives have chosen Marc Jones to run in the May election, while UKIP has put forward Victoria Ayling.
Although no other candidates have yet come forward, the nomination process is not due to end until April 7. Current PCC Alan Hardwick, independent, has not yet revealed whether he will stand for a second term (see page 11 for more on this).
A Lincolnshire county councillor, Coun Jones, 43, is executive member for finance and property at the county authority.
He has been married to Rachel for 21 years and the couple have a daughter, Tabitha, aged seven.
Mr Jones said: “My priorities will be boosting both neighbourhood and rural policing, as well as working with our hard working officers to ensure victims of crime are at the forefront of everything we do.
“I will also be a police and crime commissioner who will work in a positive way with our government and MPs to get the best funding deal for Lincolnshire Police.”
Talking about the police response to frequent traffic issues seen in Grantham, he said: “One thing that is very frustrating for people in Grantham is if there has been an accident on the A1, traffic is diverted straight through Grantham. We need to keep this traffic away from the streets in Grantham, and police need to work to reopen the roads as quickly as possible.”
Also a county councillor, Coun Ayling stood for the Great Grimsby seat for UKIP at the 2015 General Election, where she came third. She previously fought the same seat in 2010 for the Conservatives, but defected to UKIP in 2013.
Coun Ayling, a trained barrister, said: “My legal and business background will make me ideal for the job to ensure best policing for Lincolnshire residents and best value for money.
“Currently I believe Lincolnshire residents deserve better from their police. I am not blaming the officers but the systems they have to work within. For example, an obsession with targets means red tape is preventing bobbies being on the beat.
“Meanwhile, many residents feel it is becoming pointless calling the police if they are a victim of some crime, other than to get a crime number for insurance purposes.
“Residents not only need to be safe but need to feel safe, therefore, visible policing is essential. The most reassuring sight for many people is a police car or a bobby on the beat, which, in turn, is the best deterrent for many wrongdoers. CCTV helps but nothing beats a police presence – this is something I would want to see increased in Lincolnshire.”
Coun Ayling says she would also look to give PCSOs more powers.
The date of the PCC elections is expected to be Thursday, May 5.