Kerry Barker. Labour Party candidate for Avon and Somerset Police and Crime commissioner, calls for a new focus on community-based policing, with teams of officers based locally. Mr Barkers said, “ if elected, I would put an immediate halt to the downgrading of locally based policing facilities. I would retain Chard Police station, which is currently scheduled for closure . I am also committed to keeping the custody suite in Yeovil Police station. The loss of local cells would mean officers having to drive people that they arrest as far away as Bristol, which would be a massive waste of police time. Many people have told me that they are fed up with the police failing to deal with local crime – so much so that they no longer bother to report some crimes. They want a return to visible policing delivering on the issues that worry their communities.
Kerry Barker, who came a strong second place to the independent Sue Mountstevens last time round, is the main contender for the post, particularly considering that Mrs Mountstevens isn’t standing this time, said “Successive Con/Lib-Dem and Conservative austerity funding has driven centralisation, causing significant damage to police effectiveness. Sadly, repeated promises of additional officers have failed to materialise. Locally-made decisions by the current Avon and Somerset Commissioner’s regime have made matters worse. The net result is that the clear-up rates for crimes like theft, shop-lifting, burglary, criminal damage and public disorder have all declined sharply. The harm done to decent hard working, law-abiding people by the irresponsible minority is too often going unchecked.”
Vote on May 6th
With ballot papers coming through the doors for postal votes already, Kerry is keen that people use their votes across the region which will add to the strong Labour vote in Bristol. In particular it should be noted that voters also have a 2nd choice vote which he also hopes to do well on should the minor parties lose out on the first round of counting. Kerry says “The 6 May election will determine the direction of policing our area for the next four years. I pledge to resource effective crime prevention and detection that takes proper account of local priorities in the Somerset towns and villages and is delivered by locally- based police officers. My aim is to improve police effectiveness throughout the whole of our area.”
Kerry Barker’s Campaign Website: https://kerrybarker4pcc.com/
How the voting went LAST time
2nd Round total votes
1st round – share of the vote (top 6 candidates only)