Voters will decide the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire on Thursday, May 6, and here’s why Labour candidate Simon O'Rourke thinks you should vote for him.

My name is Simon O’Rourke I live in Tewkesbury and I am the Labour Party candidate for PCC in Gloucestershire.

I have been involved in charity work for a great number of years including five as the Chairman of a local Victim Support Scheme. This role involved representing the voice of victims of crime to the local constabulary while maintaining a good working relationship with the force. This experience ideally qualifies me for the role of PCC.

I have also worked in a large number of complex environments dealing with strict regulatory frameworks. I have helped to develop organisational strategy, then determined the key metrics to help manage and maintain the delivery of that strategy. I’m experienced in delivering large scale projects, handling big budgets whilst not losing sight of the eventual goal. These will be key skills in developing and monitoring the Police and Crime plan.

It is important to recognise that the role of PCC is not to become involved in the operational activities of the local force, that is the focus of the Chief Constable. The PCC holds the Chief Constable to account for ensuring that the objectives set in the Police and Crime plan are delivered, it is important therefore that the PCC can rise above an operational perspective.

If elected as your PCC my main points of focus will be to:

• Really place the needs of Victims of Crime at the heart of policing in Gloucestershire.

• Work to represent the views of all our communities to develop stronger partnerships with the force.

• Fight increases in local taxation and look to increase the proportion of the policing budget that comes from central government.

• Tackle the causes of crime by working to improve the preventative services offered throughout the County.

• Ensure the policing budget reflects the priorities of the people of Gloucestershire I have never sought elected office before but feel that it is now necessary for everyone who cares about how we treat all those in our community to push for change and to demonstrate what a caring society could and should look like.

Please support me in becoming the next Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure your voice is heard when setting the priorities for the County’s Force.