Time to choose your crime lord

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Have your say

HAVE your say on how crime is tackled on Wearside.

That is the message to people ahead of next month’s vote to elect the area’s first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Vera Baird who is one of the candidates in the first police and crime commissioner elections.  She is with Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell.

Vera Baird who is one of the candidates in the first police and crime commissioner elections. She is with Blyth MP Ronnie Campbell.

The new role, one of many being created across the country, will replace local police authorities.

Commissioners will not run the force, but will be responsible for holding the Chief Constable to account for the public.

More than a million people will be registered to vote in the Northumbria Police area election on November 15.

Returning officer Dave Smith, who is also Sunderland City Council’s chief executive, wants to make sure people from the city can have their say.

“If you are not on the electoral register and registered to vote, you lose the chance to have your say in the police election.

“As the Electoral Commission says: ‘It’s Your Vote, Don’t Lose It.’

“I’d urge anyone who has not yet registered to do so immediately.”

In Wearside, 219,323 people are on the electoral role, with 87,959 people being registered for a postal vote.

Samantha Mills, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said: “These are new elections, taking place at an unfamiliar time of year and using a voting system that has not been widely used before.

“Our booklet will come through your letterbox at the end of this month.

“It has all the information you need to cast your vote with confidence.

“This includes what the police elections are for, when they are taking place and how to vote.”

Ahead of the election, the North East Women’s Network is hosting hustings for women to ask questions of their PCC candidates.

A spokeswoman for the organisation, which works to protect women’s services and champion women’s rights, said: “Many women probably don’t realise that the new Police and Crime Commissioners will change the way crime and community safety issues are prioritised in their local area.

“We are urging all women to use their vote for the candidate they think will do 
most about women’s safety and we are 
holding a series of events where women 
can question the candidates so they can 
make an informed choice about who they vote for.”

The hustings for Northumbria will take place from 1.30pm to 3pm on Monday, at Police Command, Central Square, Forth Street, Newcastle.

PCC candidates are Phil Butler for the Conservative Party, Vera Baird for Labour, and Peter Andras for the Liberal Democrats.

The Women’s Network’s Durham event will be on October 24, from 2pm to 3.30pm, at Alington House Community Centre, 4 North Bailey, Durham City.

The county’s PCC candidates are Labour’s Ron Hogg, Conservative Nick Varley, and Independent Kingsley Smith.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull