Candidate's pledge on diversity
ONE of Labour's potential candidates to become Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has pledged to meet the "diverse needs" of people in the region.
Until recently, Bob Ashford was the director of strategy at the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, working with ministers and senior officials in the criminal justice world and responsible for a budget of £40 million.
Now he is one of two names – along with John Savage CBE – fighting to be the Labour candidate for the ballot in six months' time.
Born in Henbury, Mr Ashford went to school in the city and now lives in Frome, Somerset.
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He said: "People are entitled to live in a civilised, peaceful community, whatever their gender, race, age, faith or income. I believe effective policing is at the heart of the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour and that the police can only be effective when they have the full support and confidence of local communities.
"It's going to be a tough job and it will need a tough and effective commissioner to deliver. Someone with experience and knowledge who understands the political landscape of justice and crime prevention both locally and nationally.
"Someone experienced in commissioning and managing large budgets. Someone who knows and understands the diverse needs of people and communities in both Avon and Somerset. I believe I have the background, experience and commitment necessary and look forward to the campaign ahead."
Mr Ashford has established crime prevention and restorative justice programmes and worked with victims and faith and community leaders to ensure their voices are heard at a national level.
On November 15, people across the country (apart from London) will elect their first ever commissioners, who will replace the police authority to control budgets and appoint Chief Constables in future.