Labour selects candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner

Kerry Barker -Labour candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner Avon & Somerset
Kerry Barker -Labour candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner Avon & Somerset

The Labour Party has now selected  a candidate for Police & Crime Commissioner elections which will be held on May 5th

The successful candidate was KERRY BARKER

Barker was chosen by Labour party members ahead of Bristol councillor Afzal Shah and retired army colonel Ronald Laden from Bath.

Kerry said “My first priority is to speak to as many residents as possible about what they feel they need from their PCC,. For too long people in Avon and Somerset have not had their voices heard on matters of police and crime and I intend to make that right.”

Full biography below;-



A life-long member of the Labour Party, through thick and thin, I am also a very experienced Bristol based barrister with a special interest in criminal cases involving abuse of children, young vulnerable adults, the elderly and sufferers of dementia.

As a senior criminal barrister I have had a special insight into the effects of the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners into the constitutional law of the United Kingdom and the historically important separation of powers.

The impact has been particularly disabling in Avon and Somerset with the appointment of four different chief constables within the four year term of the present incumbent – the direct result of ill-judged decisions by her.

Even worse have been decisions to scrap experienced and successful specialist teams who dealt with such difficult subjects as sex crimes, domestic violence and child protection. The centralisation of custody facilities and closure of town and city centre police stations will also have very serious and detrimental effects on local policing.

PC 2The Labour Party should commit to the abolition of Police and Crime Commissioners.

In the meantime, before the Party gets back into power, we must do our best to ameliorate the problems caused by such Commissioners by getting the right people elected to these posts.

We should promise to use technology not to replace police officers and remove them from rural communities and city estates but to assist such officers to be much more effective and available as local police officers.

The police are an important part of our public services. The people who suffer most from crime are the under-privileged and disadvantaged. The poorer members of our communities. The very people we all came into politics to serve.

PC 4In the past the intelligence gathered by local officers was always an important part of providing policing services to our communities. Withdrawing officers and basing them centrally actually reduces police forces to become reactors to crime rather than part of communities preventing crime. Today fewer and fewer crimes are being detected and prosecuted. This has to change.

As well as my experience as a barrister I also spent over twenty years running magistrates’ courts in my first career and so have had significant experience in the management and financial administration of a public service which, in those days, was funded in exactly the same ways that police forces are funded today.

I have held positions within the Labour Party such as chair of Bristol West Constituency Labour Party, when the constituency elected its first Labour MP, and secretary of Bristol Labour Party. I have also stood as a candidate in a number of local elections although this often involved working to support the election of other colleagues.

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