On November 15, elections will be held to choose Gloucestershire's first Police and Crime Commissioner. To help you get to know the candidates, the SNJ is featuring a series of articles written by each of them ahead of polling day. This week, the former leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, Alistair Cameron - who is standing for the Lib Dems - explains why he wants the role.
I LIVE in Cheltenham and have served on both Cheltenham Borough Council (including as leader of the council) and Gloucestershire County Council.
As chairman of the borough council's housing committee, I worked with local residents and the police to make it safer for local people, particularly those who are vulnerable.
I work as a clerk to the governing body at Millbrook Academy in Brockworth and am also a voluntary English teacher for adults.
My priorities are:
1. Keeping Gloucestershire safe - the police carry out a very demanding and, at times, dangerous job. I will work hard towards ensuring they have the resources to do their work and keep Gloucestershire safe.
2. Reducing crime - although crime has been generally going down in Gloucestershire, it has gone up in some areas such as burglary and thefts from motor vehicles. This needs to be tackled.
3. Better crime detection - the detection rate for crimes such as robbery, domestic burglary and serious crime is only 9.4 per cent, well below the national average of about 20 per cent to 25 per cent. I will work hard with the police to get this improved.
4. Support victims of crime - surveys have shown that overall satisfaction with the police is relatively high. However, only 68 per cent of crime victims are at least fairly satisfied over being kept informed of progress in investigations. This must improve. I am also concerned that, at present, black and ethnic minority victims are less satisfied with the police service than white victims.
5. Protect front line policing and get value for money - Gloucestershire police is making £18 million of cuts. I want these cuts to be implemented through sharing support services with neighbouring police forces and local authorities rather than cutting front line police officers. I oppose further cuts beyond £18 million as this could affect public safety. I will review any further proposed police station closures.
6. Working with our local communities - I want to keep support officers (PCSOs) to at least current levels so they can continue their invaluable role of working with both rural and urban communities.
7. Closer working with the voluntary sector - I will work closely with the voluntary sector including victim support, housing associations, neighbourhood groups and Neighbourhood Watch who all make valuable contributions supporting victims of crime, helping tackle its causes and rehabilitating offenders.
8. Working together to tackle crime - I will work with the fire and rescue service, health service, local councils at all levels and the criminal justice system to tackle crime as well as the causes of crime.
9. Serving without fear or favour - I will serve everyone, regardless of their political allegiance, without fear or favour.
By Alistair Cameron, Lib Dem candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire.