Barry Cooper is standing as the UKIP candidate to be Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley Police Area
I am a normal person living in the Thames Valley. I am not a professional politician seeking a comfortable post to cap off my career, or even worse to use the post of PCC as a step on my personal political ladder climb. My team is strong, with my intended deputy David Kennedy being a veteran of 32 years in the prison service, including a term as governor of the Aylesbury YOI. There is no shortage of ideas, expertise and common-sense in the “UKIP Team”.
My emphasis will be ensuring that the Thames Valley Police retain as much operational capability as possible in the face of the ridiculous cuts that have been imposed. The safety and protection of the law-abiding majority should not be jeopardised while the government wastes money on vanity projects such as HS2 and foreign aid.
I will be an advocate and voice for normal people, completely accessible and accountable to my constituents. I will set up mechanisms for consistent dialogue between my office and all of those in the Thames Valley, and will work closely with partners such as Victim Support in this process.
Unlike some of my opponents, I have not forgotten that the police are my constituents too, and that their concerns, opinions and interests need to be taken into account as much as any other. I will fight to insulate the “front-line” police officer as much as possible from the negative effects of Westminster policy and priorities. I promise to raise morale by significantly reducing bureaucracy and paper-work. I will scrap wasteful and resented (by police and public alike) “quota” or “target driven” policing.
UKIP is not a party built around a stifling central ideology unlike the three old parties, and as such I am in a position to act far more independently than any other party affiliated candidate. My commitment to the Thames Valley and its police force can be given freely without concerns for ideological diktats from disconnected party policy gurus.
It would be a shame to squander a rare chance for an opportunity to inject some actual democracy into a facet of how we are governed by voting in a mouthpiece from a static establishment party that will use the role to score political points on the other static establishment parties.