Who should hold our boys in blue to account? You decide

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A hustings will take place in Aylesbury next week between the candidates vying for the job of Thames Valley Police commissioner.

The debate comes ahead of a vote on November 15 to decide who should be elected to the brand new position – which replaces non-elected police authorities, made up of councillors and members of the public.

A11 Week 41'MCBH'DP'Launch of operation Attali by Thames Valley Police in Aylesbury

A11 Week 41'MCBH'DP'Launch of operation Attali by Thames Valley Police in Aylesbury

Those attending Monday’s hustings will be free to ask questions and quiz the candidates on their priorities for the force.

Each of the 41 police areas in England and Wales will have a commissioner, except London which already has a mayor who oversees the force.

The commissioners will be responsible for appointing the chief constable, setting the budget and deciding which specific issues officers should focus on.

The government says commissioners are not there to run forces on a day-to-day basis, their job is to hold them to account instead.

Martin Tett, Leader of Bucks County Council, said: “I’m an enthusiast for this new initiative. At our hustings the candidates will be invited to speak for up to five minutes, followed by fifteen minutes of questioning.

“The meeting will give each of them the opportunity to explain how they would undertake the role, for example explaining their spending priorities in order to improve policing.

“I would urge everyone to come along. This is the first time we’ve had an elected police commissioner.

“The hustings are an opportunity to hear what the candidates stand for, what their priorities are and most importantly, how they respond to the issues that concern residents.”

In alphabetical order the candidates standing in the Thames Valley are Patience Tayo Awe (independent), Barry Cooper (UKIP), Geoff Howard (independent), John Orrell Howson (Liberal Democrat), Anthony Stansfeld (Conservative) and Tim Starkey (Labour).

The hustings is Monday, 4.30pm, in The Gateway. For a place call 01296 387738 or email pccevent@buckscc.gov.uk