Former detective picked as Tory choice for police commissioner

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AN EX-DETECTIVE is the Conservatives’ choice for the region’s top new police job.

Former detective inspector Phil Butler is the party’s choice for the post of police commissioner for the region.

Voters will go to the polls in November to elect a new commissioner, who will set policing priorities and control budgets.

Mr Butler, a 52-year-old father-of-four, spent 30 years as a police officer, including time as the head of Northumbria Police’s economic crime unit.

He is now director of external relations for Newcastle University’s centre for cybercrime and computer security.

“I think it is important the force is led by someone with experience of policing and not a politician,” he said. “It is important you know what officers go through, what their families go through and how our fantastic support staff work.”

Labour will choose between former Solicitor General Vera Baird and former Sunderland councillor Tom Foster for their candidate. The Lib Dems will not put anyone up for election.