Candidates for Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner take to the campaign trail
LABOUR'S policing chief in Parliament hit the streets of Gloucester yesterday as the race to find the county's first Police and Crime Commissioner got under way.
Shadow policing minister David Hanson MP was knocking on doors in Barton alongside Labour candidate Rupi Dhanda as she launched her bid to take the £65,000 job.
Mrs Dhanda was not the only one hot footing it on the campaign trail ahead of November 15's elections. She is one of four people who want to oversee the budget and policy setting for Gloucestershire's police force.
The Liberal Democrats' Alistair Cameron, the Conservatives' Victoria Atkins and independent candidate Martin Surl are also hoping to win the title.
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Mr Hanson was in the city to back Mrs Dhanda's campaign to save Barton Police Station, although there are been no official announcement of its closure.
He said: "I think we need police stations because they give a reassurance in the community. You can't just have police on the streets, you also need a place where the public can approach them."
His visit to Gloucester came ahead of a House of Commons motion today in which Labour are trying to halt the Government's 20 per cent cut to the force.
He claims that when he was policing minister under the last Government he had set out a plan that would have meant cuts of just eight per cent, giving police chiefs an extra £1 billion to spend.
The pair were knocking on doors in Barton yesterday morning, while Mr Surl got his campaign off the ground by speaking to shoppers at King's Square.
Mrs Dhanda said: "Barton Police Station played a vital role during the riots and we should not even contemplate a situation without it.
"It is a hugely important facility within such a diverse community and I am committed to keeping it open."