PROFILE: Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Ken Maddock
Next Thursday, people will be able to vote for their first ever Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner.
Crime reporter DANIEL EVANS speaks to the Conservative candidate, Ken Maddock.
Lives: Baltonsborough, near Glastonbury
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Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Family: Married with two sons and four grandchildren
Why are you standing to be elected the Police and Crime Commissioner?
I am standing in this election to make life better for all of us, every day. I want to cut crime and cut the misery, distress and cost that crime causes.
If elected, what would your main priorities be?
Firstly, and most importantly, I aim to reduce crime. The focus of the police's budget and officers' time would be on the frontline – keeping people safe.
This is as important whether you live in Bristol city centre, in a hamlet on Exmoor or any of the other diverse communities that make up Avon and Somerset.
If we can make a greater use of technology and capture information electronically, on tablet-style computers for example, that would free up more time for officers to be out on the streets. Cutting crime cuts the load on the court system, the public, the police service and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Secondly, I would be the champion of local people. I would listen to your views and take action.
The people's priorities must be the police's priorities. I would be accountable to you and would champion the views and interests of local people, especially the victims of crime.
Thirdly, I want to ensure the police pound goes further. I would work with local communities, councils, the Government and charities to get the best deal for local people.
I will also stand up against rural crime. A crime is a crime, wherever it is committed, and there are always victims who suffer.
However, in many cases of theft in rural areas it has a great impact on the working lives of local people.
I would support Community Speed Watch groups, introducing parish constables, help to set up a Farm Watch scheme in all rural parts of the force area and ensure there is detailed analysis of rural crime trends.
I would have a zero-tolerance approach to yobbish behaviour, roll out the Police Cadets scheme to every district, doubling the number of apprenticeships and introducing the post of youth ambassador.
These are the things I will do. However, this new job also needs a positive working relationship with national government if it is to succeed.
I will build on the strong links I have already forged, and continue to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to champion the interests of Avon and Somerset residents.
What experience do you have, professional or otherwise, to bring to the role?
I was the leader of Somerset County Council for three years and was on Mendip District Council for four years.
The budget of Somerset County Council is about £900 million, so I know how to operate budgets far in excess of the current police budget of £270 million.
I have successfully run a multi-million-pound public organisation at a time of great financial constraint and I believe my experience will enable me to get the best possible value for the police.
I have experience both in dealing with and working for big businesses, having been an international fashion buyer for C&A.
How would you ensure crime continues to fall in Avon and Somerset, given the climate of current and future budget cuts?
I can promise that I would not interfere with the operational duties of the police. There are safeguards in place to make sure this does not happen, and they have my absolute backing.
But I would make sure the Chief Constable gets the tools he needs to do the job.
We need our police officers to be crime fighters, not form fillers. There is too much red tape tying up our PCs and sergeants and preventing them from being the visible policing presence which I know people in Avon and Somerset want them to be.
Embracing technology is absolutely vital. The criminals have all got it, so why shouldn't the police?
I will not shy away from the tough decisions, if that's what is needed.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary gets at least £20 million less in Government funding every year than its assessed need. What would you do about that and potential future funding cuts?
I have had a commitment from Ministers in Government that the problem of dampening may be resolved in future and we may be able to rescue some of the money for Avon and Somerset in future. The current funding formula is extremely unfair on Avon and Somerset police and I would do everything I can to redress that.
The community safety budgets currently controlled by councils will be allocated by the commissioner. What would you spend the community safety budget on?
I would work very closely with the councils in the region, the existing projects and voluntary sector organisations to make sure that the community safety budget is spent effectively, and where it is needed most.