Surrey residents have the chance to vote for the county’s first Police and Crime Commissioner on Thursday.
Six candidates are currently jostling to be elected for a four-year term to oversee the work of Surrey police and hold police to account. The commissioner will set the police budget and the overall strategy for policing as well as listening to the public’s views on policing.
The elected post will replace the Surrey Police Authority, which has been made up of a group of councillors and independent members.
Voting on November 15, will take place at local polling stations where voters will get the chance to select a first and second choice. People have also been able to vote by post or apply to vote by proxy - allowing someone else to vote on their behalf. To access information about candidates visit http://www.choosemypcc.org.uk/candidates/area/surrey or call 0800 1 07 07 08.
We asked the candidates to pitch for your vote in 100 words...
Kevin Hurley - Independent
With 30 years police experience, much at senior level and 40 years as a reservist Army officer, I know about leadership, stretching budgets and reducing crime.
I will take a Zero Tolerance approach to anti social behaviour, burglars and drug dealers. I will use police powers to seize the ill-gotten profits of the criminals to pay for more visible policing.
I'll ensure victims and witnesses are given a quality service.
I'll set up local policing boards to hear your views and bring decision making close to you.
I'll support our police in their difficult job, but will expect them to deliver a courteous and professional approach. You pay for it you have right to expect it.
Peter Williams - Independent
An extensive business background, including 10 years as a chief executive, combined with 20 years working in the criminal justice system, makes me particularly well qualified to be the PCC for Surrey.
I would bring the experience of 17 years as a magistrate and nine years as a member of the Police Authority, including four as chairman. I know about police oversight and governance, and what is immediately important to the residents of Surrey - high visibility policing dealing firmly with all aspects of anti-social behaviour.
Being truly independent and free of party obligations I will keep politics out of policing and maintain traditional police impartiality.
Nick O'Shea - Liberal Democrat
I will focus on neighbourhood policing because it works, means more officers on the street, reduces crime and catches more criminals. I will ensure victims and witnesses get the help and protection they need.
I don’t want the Tories to opt-out of EU-wide cooperation which many senior ex-police officers say we need to fight international drug gangs and terrorists.
As a finance-qualified businessman, I can get the most for every pound and ensure people work effectively and efficiently. I would seek residents’ views to ensure the objectives I set the police reflect what you want and expect from them.
Robert Evans - Labour
As Police and Crime Commissioner I’ll be an independent-minded voice for Surrey in the face of these savage coalition cuts and privatisation plans; plans which even the police themselves say will cause irreparable damage. Unlike other candidates I oppose engaging G4S or any private firm to run some of Surrey’s police services.
I’ll reverse the cuts in funding to support domestic abuse, put a moratorium on police station closures and ensure victims, rich and poor, get the support they deserve.
Anti social behaviour blights many of our towns and villages. We need better cooperation between all services to address this.
Julie Iles - Conservative
I want Surrey to stay a safe place to live.
My work with Crimestoppers and as a Magistrate gives me genuine experience of the impact crime has on people’s lives. I want to support our police force so that we catch more criminals here.
With business experience from a career outside politics I have the skills to ensure we deliver an efficient service making best use of limited resources.
The public need a Commissioner who is available to them, who will give them a say in local policing priorities and someone who will make their communities safer by cutting crime.
Robert Shatwell - UKIP
To be successful, a Police and Crime Commissioner needs to have a wide experience of life.
I served 13 years in the Army achieving SNCO status with the Royal Horse Guards. I then served 18 years as a constable in various roles in Surrey.
I do not agree with the politicisation of the police and I will make every effort to ensure this does not happen.
I believe the concerns and safety of residents and their property are of paramount importance and would be best protected by an independant body - in line with UKIP policy. In order to do this I would work hard on behalf of residents.