‘HIGH calibre’ candidates from business and the military are among the nominations being sought to become South Yorkshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.
The public will vote for the new commissioner on November 15, to replace the Police Authority which is made up of a cross-party selection of members.
It is currently jointly tasked with overseeing the way South Yorkshire Police is run, funded and performs.
The police and crime commissioner will make decisions on policing strategy, set the council tax precept, and have the power to hire and fire the chief constable.
South Yorkshire’s former Chief Constable, Med Hughes, who spent seven years at the helm before he retired last October, has put himself forward as a prospective candidate for the Labour Party - as has Rotherham councillor and magistrate, Shaun Wright.
The formal process of selecting a Conservative Party candidate starts in May.
Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins, who will sit on the selection panel, said: “To ensure we find the best potential candidates, I believe we should look beyond individuals who have previously served on police authorities - and that is what the Conservative Party is seeking to do.
“I would be delighted if high calibre people from business, the military or from policing itself would consider the possibility of taking on the role.
“I am a very committed supporter of the police and believe we need to do all we can to assist them. However, I do feel there is a perceived lack of accountability under present arrangements.
“The election of police and crime commissioners is intended to change this, to allow a single individual, supported by a qualified team, to be given a powerful mandate.”
* Does South Yorkshire need a Police and Crime Commissioner?
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