Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner candidates say why they should get your vote

Next month, an election will be held to decide who will be Derbyshire’s next Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 3:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 4:26 pm

Voters will head to Covid-secure polling stations on May 6 and vote from home in the days leading up to the election to appoint the PCC.

PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.

They are elected by the public to hold their Chief Constable and force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

Hardyal Dhindsa - top left; Angelique Foster - top right; Stan Heptinstall - bottom left; Timothy Prosser - bottom right.

PCCs also devise the annual budget and set the council tax precept for policing and crime.

You need to be registered to be able to vote.

If you are not registered, visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or contact your local council.

Here are the four candidates standing to be Derbyshire’s PCC – and 200 words from each on why you should give them your vote.

Hardyal Dhindsa – Labour Party

As Derbyshire PCC I’m proud of its reputation as one of the safest places to live, work or visit.

When I took office in 2016 the force was struggling as it faced relentless cuts in Government funding. It had lost 700 police officers, PCSOs and vital police staff.

Having lobbied the Government for more funding, there are now 250 additional officers and I have put in place plans for a further 200 by 2023. This means more officers on our streets, tackling the problems that local people have told me matter most to them.

Crime is reducing. I’m putting new police bases in the heart of your communities. I’ve prioritised police visibility, road safety, anti-social behaviour and support for victims of crime.

Rural communities are now benefitting from one of the country's largest rural and wildlife crime teams.

I have proved I deliver.

It’s my ambition to do more. To continue to tackle serious violence, knife crime, exploitation, domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime and the protection of those at risk of harm.

I want to build on the work to stop the problems affecting the quality of life in communities, such as theft, drugs, burglary, speeding and anti-social behaviour.

Angelique Foster – Conservative Party

As PCC I'll put you at the centre of policing policies here in Derbyshire to keep you and your family safe.

I've been at the forefront of providing strong leadership to reform public services. This has meant leading on prudent budgeting and robust financial management to properly prioritise and manage demands, reducing waste of resources and providing more effective and efficient services.

I will ensure Derbyshire people are able to go about their daily business without fear of being victims of crime.

I will:

- Increase police numbers and police patrols

- Provide a strong police presence in towns and villages

- Work with Government to bring tougher policing and a tougher approach to fighting crime

- Tackle anti-social behaviour

- Drive down burglaries, robberies and theft

- Improve road safety

- Fight rural crime

- Tackle complex issues of domestic violence and drug-related crime

- Support police officers in use of powers such as stop and search to better fight crime and keep law-abiding residents safe

- Increase partnership working with other organisations to deter and prevent crime and reduce re-offending

- Manage budget sensibly to focus resources back to fighting crime

Evidence shows Conservative PCCs perform better than any other party. We are the party of law and order.

Stan Heptinstall – Liberal Democrat

The main job of a PCC is to engage with and understand the people he represents, and to use that knowledge in helping set the priorities for policing.

I have long experience of engaging with people as their councillor, working with them and for them.

I worked with the police in setting local priorities and will use the same approaches on a wider scale in Derbyshire.

Collaborations between the police and other institutions is highly important in setting new agendas and my long experience of working within higher education and the health service will contribute to forming new collaborations which seem to me to be under-represented at present.

I promise I will do my very best for you all and I would be delighted if you were to put your trust in me and elect me as your PCC.

In preparation for my new role, I would like to hear directly from you about any issues and concerns relating to policing and crime.

Telephone 07792 987890 or email [email protected]

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said: "Stan is highly respected by those who know him and was honoured by the Queen with an MBE for his services to his community."

Timothy Prosser – Reform UK

Successful policing requires the consent, collaboration and trust of the general public.

This last year has been challenging for everyone but Derbyshire police decided to make it more difficult than necessary.

They fined ladies for drinking coffee, though they had done nothing wrong. They manned en-masse all the local park gates, though a visit was perfectly legal. They chased people across the peaks with drones to shame them on social media.

You might excuse this with the changing rules, getting caught on the hop. But these were not isolated. The mistakes were repeated all year, destroying the trust and harming the effectiveness of the force. The repercussions will last for years. The police exist to provide a service. That service has been very lacking. Let’s put this straight.

We need to return to providing a service, remove the politics, restore the trust and respond in the best way possible.

Derbyshire has a bigger than average drug problem. Let’s not chase the innocent and make up our own laws while entrenched drugs lords operate openly in our streets. We need to remove the cannabis grows that are rampant in our neighbourhoods and catch the thieves that often seem to disappear without trace.

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