Former officer bids for new commissioner role

Phil Butler ( right) chatting round a cuppa with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and Conservative Councillors.
Phil Butler ( right) chatting round a cuppa with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and Conservative Councillors.
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THE Conservative candidate for Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner says he is looking forward to getting out and speaking to people about what they want the force to do.

Phil Butler, who was a police officer for 30 years, was selected by the Tories to battle it out against Labour’s Vera Baird for the new role.

He said: “I think a lot of people would want a former police officer and someone with direct experience of policing, not just a politician.

“What I am keen to do is find out what the community think the police should be doing and also to scrutinise what they are already doing.

“My experience in the police is very relevant but since leaving I have also had three years working in a number of businesses.

“Until the election I will be out in the community and speaking to members of the public and those involved in crime reduction to find out what challenges they face.”

Councillor Robert Oliver, leader of Sunderland Conservatives, said: “Phil Butler has a wealth of experience in the police, he knows the Northumbria force very well and understands the issues facing communities at the moment.

“The role demands a knowledge of policing which is beyond that of a career politician, which is why he is the ideal choice for Police and Crime Commissioner.”

The role of Commissioner is a new one created by the Coalition Government and comes with a salary of £80,000.

Apart from policing it also covers victim support, community safety and crime reduction.

Twitter: @tomwhite7