RESIDENTS are being reminded to make sure they vote in the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

The election, taking place on November 15, will see three candidates vying to become Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner or PCC.

Their job will be to hold chief constables and the police force to account – essentially making the police accountable to the people they serve.

Those in the biggest force areas will get salaries of more than £100,000 and no prior police force experience is needed.

In the running for West Mercia is Adrian Blackshaw (Conservative Party), Simon Murphy (Labour) and Bill Longmore (Independent).

In an election statement Mr Blackshaw, a cabinet member at Herefordshire Council, said he will represent all residents with impartiality and independence.

“My task is to ensure that West Mercia Police, working with the partner agencies, deliver an efficient, effective and coherent service.”

Dr Murphy, former West Midlands MEP, said: “If elected I will keep politics out of the police by appointing an independent deputy commissioner.

“Private companies will not be allowed to patrol our streets or carry out core policing duties. Communities will be given a direct say in how they are policed.

“My top priority will be to keep police visible and out on our streets.”

Mr Longmore, who has served 30 years with Staffordshire Police, said that he strongly believes that politicians should not be allowed to interfere with policing and that the people of West Mercia have a choice to vote for a person who is not connected with a political party.

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