Six to contest Norfolk police commissioner election

Stephen Bett ENGANL00120120117161500
Stephen Bett ENGANL00120120117161500

The contenders vying for your votes in next month’s Norfolk police and crime commissioner (PCC) election have been confirmed.

Officials announced a line-up of six candidates to contest the poll, which takes place on May 5, on Friday, the day after nominations closed.

Lorne Green from Snettisham, who is standing for Police and Crime Commissioner. ANL-150511-131028009

Lorne Green from Snettisham, who is standing for Police and Crime Commissioner. ANL-150511-131028009

Most of the people hoping to take up the role had been known for some time.

However, the final list published after nominations closed on Thursday afternoon included the name of Norwich city councillor Martin Schmierer, who is standing for the Green Party.

Party officials had initially indicated they were not intending to put forward a candidate for the election.

But Mr Schmierer said: “The Green Party has a distinctive voice of crime and justice which needs to be heard.

“A vote for the Green Party at this election is a vote for a strong independent-minded voice who will put the needs of local residents first and will ensure more is done to involve communities in setting Norfolk Police’s priorities.”

The current incumbent, independent Stephen Bett, said voters were giving a clear message that they were interested in “policing, not politics.”

He says that, if re-elected, he would reject party politics and work with independents across the country to create a “national voice.”

He has also defended his record on his campaign website, saying: “Everything I said I would do, I have.”

But his Conservative opponent, Lorne Green, said the time had come for a “fresh approach” to the role.

In a campaign video on his website, he said: “I will be an effective voice for your concerns about policing and crime in every corner of our county.

“My pledge to you is to hold the police to account and ensure your taxes are used cost-effectively.”

Labour’s Chris Jones vowed to campaign against what he describes as the “dangerous” funding cuts being imposed by central government.

He said he would also oppose proposals to bring fire services under the control of the PCC and give local communities more power to determine the service they want.

He added: “People in Norfolk deserve a Police and Crime Commissioner who will stand up for our communities and protect front line policing from further cuts by this government.”

But Liberal Democrat Jacqueline Howe believes she can capitalise on growing support for the party across the country.

She has pledged to work with other public bodies and commissioners across county borders if she wins the vote.

She said: “Liberal values of fairness and equality are particularly relevant at a time of continued financial uncertainty and cuts by national and local government bodies.”

However, UKIP’s candidate, David Moreland, believes his record of more than 20 years’ service in the Metropolitan Police means he is best qualified for the post.

He said: “To do the job of managing the organisation, you have got to have done the job you’re controlling.

“When I look at the experience of other people who have got this role, I feel they really don’t understand the job.”