Police and Crime Commissioner elections, the candidates talk to us

New
SA Updated
Police and Crime Commissioner elections, the candidates talk to us

We can elect our Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner in May, so we decided to find out more about who was standing and why.

The Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner is elected to be the voice of the people and to hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing.

According to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners website, PCCs "aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area". The website states: "PCCs have been elected by the public to hold Chief Constables and the force to account, effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.

"PCCs ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible, and are improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust. They work in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime."

The local elections take place in two weeks time, on Thursday, May 6. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm. You don't need your poll card to vote. You must vote at your assigned polling station (find yours here). In England, Wales and Scotland, you don't need any form of ID.

 

Candidates

 

Standing for the Conservative Party is the incumbent, Alison Hernandez

The Conservative Party press office did not respond to our request for information on Ms Hernandez's campaign. If you want to find out more about her, you can visit the current Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner website: www.devonandcornwall-pcc.gov.uk

 

Standing for the Liberal Democrats is Brian Blake

Brian served in Devon and Cornwall Police for more than 30 years, working in nine stations across the two counties, before retiring with the rank of Detective Chief Inspector. He then worked with the MoD and NATO in security-related roles.

Now standing as a candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Brian explains that “with this extensive experience of local, national and international crime, I have seen first-hand the impact that crime has on individuals, families and communities”.

If elected, I shall therefore argue strongly for visible police patrols, improved detection rates, combatting the scourge of online crime, fighting hate crime, the rigorous pursuit of drug dealers, and re-hab programmes for addicts and fairer funding for the police.

He said: “I will also work closely with victim support services and charities, including rape crisis centres, domestic violence support organisations, and military veterans support.”

If elected as PCC, Brian Blake would be required to swear an oath of impartiality, something which he takes very seriously: “Policing and politics should be entirely separate: there is nothing political about having your house burgled or having our young people surrounded by drug dealers. If elected, I will work for everyone across the region, regardless of their race, religion, gender or politics.”

Brian lives in Yealmpton and is married to Elinor, a retired nurse; they have three sons and a grandson. He has an allotment, an interest in military history and drags himself to the gym.

You can find out about Brian Blake on www.brian-blake.com follow him on Facebook and email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Standing for the Labour Party is Gareth Derrick

Gareth said: “Our police have been exemplary in helping fight the coronavirus pandemic, but confidence in the Police and Crime Commissioner is low. I want to build trust in this role by making sure the police are answerable to the people they serve. I’ll lead with integrity and stay clear of party politics, but I’ll get to grips with what’s holding back improvements to policing and crime prevention, and value for money.

“My experience in senior leadership in the Royal Navy has prepared me to work alongside the Chief Constable, highlighting community needs; where it’s vital to take quick action, and when to hold the police to account. My focus will be first, to ensure that extra police officers will bring greater presence on our streets, cutting crime and arresting offenders. I will re-prioritise the tackling of ‘everyday’ crimes that blight the South Hams like rural theft, drug-dealing and anti-social behaviour. But with levels of violent crime here very high but mostly unseen, it is important to root this out too.

“Recognising the importance of investing more on crime prevention, I’ll work in partnership with South Hams Council and other authorities to create a safer place for our families and businesses. People here have a right to know where their money is being spent, so I won’t pull the wool over your eyes.

“Having lived here for over 35 years, I understand what makes the South Hams special and I want to keep things that way. I’m ready to serve again.”

Standing for the Green Party is Stuart Jackson. Stuart has worked as training officer for Devon and Cornwall Police, something that he says has “provided insights into the many strengths and some weaknesses of the force”. He says that if he was elected, he would collaborate with the Chief Constable in the areas of accountability, inclusivity, environmental impact and affordability.

He says he would like to organise four monthly “Listening Forums” for local people in Truro, Plymouth and Exeter, specifically for women, those identifying as non-binary or LGBTIQA+ and those who experience racism here in Devon & Cornwall, as people in these three groups are over-represented amongst victims of certain crimes.

When it comes to the environment, he would “monitor how police estates are managed with wildlife in mind, increase solar and wind investment on police estates and buildings and insulate existing buildings more efficiently” and would halt “further closures of smaller police stations” and examine “reopening closed stations”.

He would also publish an annual report on the “maintenance, purchasing choices and use of police vehicles” and monitor the strategy of “reducing unnecessary journeys, including increasing video-conferencing”.
He would also investigate the feasibility of a “mentored allotment scheme for ex-offenders judged to be at risk of re-offending, using police land at Middlemoor, to help them learn how to grow their own food”.

He said: “The cost of policing has been increased by the current Conservative PCC for all Cornwall & Devon council tax payers by 37 per cent over the past five years, without a common perception that the Force is visibly 37 per cent more effective.

“I pledge that, in my second year in office, the increase in this police precept within council tax will simply match the NHS pay rise, which was only one per cent for healthcare heroes this year.”

You can find out about Gareth Derrick on www.garethderrick.org follow him on Facebook and email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Standing for the Green Party is Stuart Jackson

Stuart has worked as training officer for Devon and Cornwall Police, something that he says has "provided insights into the many strengths and some weaknesses of the force". He says that if he was elected, he would "collaborate with the Chief Constable whilst focusing on Accountability, Inclusivity, Environmental Impact and Affordability".

He would organise four monthly "Listening Forums" for local people in Truro, Plymouth and Exeter, with three of the forums being specifically for women, those identifying as non-binary or LGBTIQA+ and those who experience racism here in Devon & Cornwall, as people in these three groups are over-represented amongst victims of certain crimes. He said these would "allow people to raise concerns and/or questions with a senior police officer" and "conversations would be facilitated using the NHS' model of Schwartz Rounds, enabling police to better understand issues affecting us, the people that they serve".

He says he would publish annual data showing recruitment into officer and civilian posts for these three groups, "explain retention, promotion and recruitment data for under-represented groups" and would "examine cases of proven harassment of officers or staff, where protected characteristics were a contributory factor".

When it comes to the environment, he would "monitor how police estates are managed with wildlife in mind, increase solar and wind investment on police estates and buildings and insulate existing buildings more efficiently".

Stuart would also halt "further closures of smaller police stations" and "examine feasibility of reopening closed stations", to "reduce journey times and environmental impacts of local people accessing their police force".

He would also publish an annual report on the "maintenance, purchasing choices and use of police vehicles" and monitor the strategy of "reducing unnecessary journeys, including increasing video-conferencing".

 He would also investigate feasibility of a "mentored allotment scheme for ex-offenders judged to be at risk of re-offending, using police land at Middlemoor, to help them learn how to grow their own food".

He said: "The cost of policing has been increased by the current Conservative PCC for all Cornwall & Devon council tax payers by 37 per cent over the past five years, without people noticing our Force is visibly 37 per cent more effective.

"I pledge that, in my second year in office, the increase in this police precept within council tax will simply match the NHS pay rise, which was only one per cent for Healthcare Heroes this year."

You can find out about Stuart Jackson by following him on Facebook or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

User comments

There are no user comments for this listing.
Comments

You might also be interested in

Boat towed back to Salcombe by RNLI after hitting rocks
Category: General News
Both lifeboats from Salcombe RNLI were launched to reports of a small vessel hitting rocks near Start Point. 
Police warn about use of e-scooters on public land
Category: General News
Devon and Cornwall Police are warning people that e-scooters can only be used on private land with the owner's permission. 
Totnes Food Bank is closing
Category: General News
Totnes Connection Hub is leaving their current location and they're not taking the food bank with them. 
Covid cases slowly rising in the South Hams but still low
Category: General News
Covid-19 cases in the South Hams are up to 15, growing from a low of six in March.
Thieves make off with kids' quad bikes along with other machinery
Category: General News
Two Suzuki kids' quad bikes were among a long list of things stolen from locked containers at Loddiswell Business Park.
Seven South Hams businesses win South West Tourism Awards
Category: General News
Seven of our local businesses have scooped South West Tourism Awards in a truly difficult year.