THE three main parties have announced candidates for the new post of police commissioner for Herts.
Elections will be taking place in November to decide who will be setting policy for the county force.
David Lloyd, currently chairman of Herts Police Authority, will be the Conservative candidate, while Sherma Batson will represent Labour and Ron Tindall is in line to stand for the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Lloyd, who represents Watling on Dacorum Borough Council and is deputy leader of Herts County Council, said the challenge was to maintain policing with a shrinking budget.
He said the authority, which will be abolished with the creation of the commissioner post in November, is aiming to find savings of £70 million out of a total budget of £210 million over five years.
“The challenges are to keep driving down levels of crime against a budget which is getting more and more difficult to make savings on,” he said.
Mr Tindall, who represents Hemel Hempstead St Pauls on the county council and is a member of the police authority, said: “It is important to support local police teams, working in partnership with District Crime and Safety Partnerships.
“Victims, witnesses and young offenders need to be well served in the justice journey, with restorative justice a key element in both lowering re-offending rates and ensuring those who suffer crime feel they have been able to secure justice.”
Ms Batson is a cabinet member on Stevenage Borough Council and was on the police authority from 2005 to 2009.
She lists among her achievements as being ‘instrumental in establishing the authority’s Diversity Engagement Forum and chaired two committees’.
Tax campaigners have welcomed the creation of the new post.
Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The introduction of elected police commissioners will ensure that the police are taken to task by elected representatives, and have to respond to the public’s priorities, which doesn’t always happen under the current system.
“Elected commissioners will be more reflective of residents’ spending priorities, therefore delivering better value for money.
“There will be a cost to the elections but that is far better than sticking with the status quo where taxpayers pay for expensive but unaccountable police authorities.”