CANDIDATES for the Cheshire police and crime commissioner post are on the campaign trail ahead of the November 15 elections.
Commissioners are replacing police authorities and will be responsible for setting budgets and policing priorities as well as holding the chief constable to account.
Nominations for candidates closed earlier this month with five in the running for the Cheshire role including Conservative candidate John Dwyer, Labour’s choice John Stockton and Liberal Democrat Ainsley Arnold.
UKIP candidate Louise Bours has pledged to be tough on crime and to support more stringent sentencing.
She also plans to deter crime through increased police on the beat and providing more activities for young people.
She said: “UKIP is committed to cutting levels of offending through harsher sentences for serial re-offenders and realistic rehabilitation programmes.
“Zero tolerance is all about sending out a message – a message that clearly states that a community will not tolerate crime, even at low level.
“Young people need to realise this and then the boundaries will be set. This is often the only thing that is required to stop a young person straying into anti-social behaviour in the first place.”
Labour MP and former home secretary Jack Straw demonstrated his support for Mr Stockton when he visited Chester last week.
The pair met with councillors and Chester Pubwatch chairman Frank Marnell to talk about anti-social behaviour in the city.
Also visiting Chester was Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps who joined Mr Dwyer for a meeting with the Chester Against Business Crime partnership.
Meanwhile, Independent candidate Sarah Flannery has welcomed the results of a survey conducted by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners which showed 30 per cent plan to vote independent.
She said: “This bears out what feedback we are getting on the doorstep. People do not want to see party politics, driven by national HQ directives, interfering with policing in Cheshire.”
See full story in the Chester Leader