England

Sue Mountstevens to run again for PCC

Sue Mountstevens Image copyright Sue Mountstevens

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens says she will stand again to "keep politics out of policing."

The independent candidate said she had improved "transparency and openness" and served "without fear or favour".

But her tenure has not been without controversy. In 2012 police chief Colin Port quit after being asked to reapply for his job.

His successor Nick Gargan was then asked to quit after a misconduct case.

The Conservatives chose their candidate, Bristol City Councillor Mark Weston, in October for the election on 5 May. Other parties have not yet announced their candidates.

'Support the vulnerable'

Ms Mountstevens, a married mother-of-three, is a former magistrate and former director of the family business Mountstevens Bakeries.

Announcing her intention to stand again, she said after three years in the role: "I am even more convinced that we need to keep politics out of policing.

"As a PCC, I am answerable only to the residents of Avon and Somerset, not to any political party or vested interests."

She pledged to listen to "the quiet voices and to support the vulnerable", focus on issues like strong neighbourhood policing and tackling child sexual exploitation and domestic violence.

Last year, she started the process of using powers available to PCCs to effectively force out Mr Gargan, after a long disciplinary process found him guilty of eight counts of misconduct, largely relating to data protection issues. He left the force in October.

Conservative candidate Mr Weston has said he wants to preserve "bobbies on the beat" to boost public confidence and cut anti-social behaviour.

PCCs set out local policing priorities, set the annual budget and appoint and oversee chief constables.

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