Richard Stratton is seeking the Conservative nomination to be the Police and Crime Commissioner in Hertfordshire. If you are intending to stand to be Police and Crime Commissioner where you live, you can submit your own Candidate Statement, so get in touch. Others are on the way, and we are looking for 400 words, a photo of you that you have rights to, and preferably an imprint, which will be needed for the formal election period later this year.
Two years ago I would never have considered writing this, my candidate’s statement for a political post. The catalyst was the publication of the government’s Policing in the 21st Century consultation paper in July 2010. Obvious reform opportunities, such as voluntary force mergers, were pushed off the table and the role of Police & Crime Commissioner was introduced. Over the following year I considered the implications of the Bill and specifically the introduction of PCCs. Are police authorities sufficiently visible? Are they meeting the needs of their communities? Are the public aware of the current governance arrangements for the police? Are they satisfied with how they are represented? My conclusion to all of these thoughts was no.
On reaching this conclusion I thought that if the old guard were not doing what was required then the PCC role had to be driven forward by someone entirely new. I have had no previous interest in a political role. I therefore consider myself to be “untainted” and free of political influence.
My experience in all aspects of policing from delivering change and operational improvement through to strategic design and transformation gives me excellent credentials. I have worked with over half of the police forces in England and Wales and by regularly working with the officers and staff of my local force, Hertfordshire Constabulary, I understand it well.
What I bring to the role is a clear understanding of the challenge and the will and energy to ensure that the job is completed to the very highest standards. Although Hertfordshire Constabulary has an excellent record in fighting crime and brining offenders to justice and has put in place realistic plans to reduce costs and close the budget gap there are always opportunities for improvement. I will continue to reinforce the links between the force and the people they protect. I will work closely with the county’s communities and meet with them regularly to listen to their problems and with them devise solutions for the police to implement. I will ensure that justice is seen to be delivered so that the victims and communities affected by crime and disorder can take small comfort in seeing punishment dispensed to those who deserve it and so that potential criminals are dissuaded from committing crime.
I have many hurdles to clear before my name is put on the ballet paper for November’s elections but I am confident in my ability to deliver what is required. I will be updating my campaign blog (http://strattonforhertspcc.wordpress.com/) on a regular basis and I can be contacted directly by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/StrattonForHertsPcc) or on Twitter (@RichStratton).