Safety vow in badger culling
SHE is standing for public office behind the mask of a badger.
But Jeanne Berry believes she has the skills to become the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire.
The Stroud cat lover said the police's attitude to the dangers of the badger cull was her motivation for standing.
Spurred on to join the election race by police failing to revealing where and when badgers will be shot, Mrs Berry, said her campaign was more about public safety and openness – and not just a publicity stunt.
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She said: "I want the police to be more involved and listen to people's concerns. I want everyone to know where the safe places in Gloucestershire are.
"From my current experience of the Police Authority I have no confidence in them and that is part of their mission.
"Members of the authority are currently gagged and I want that to change.
"We used to have police ring up and tell us about the crimes which happened in the area and that doesn't cost much, but does not happen anymore.
"My irritation with the police is that they are totally inaccessible and when you ask a question you get a long pleasant response, but it does not actually say anything.
"You try and talk to someone and there isn't even a number for the chief constable. We live in a call centre world and this needs to change."
Mrs Berry has no background in the criminal justice system or politics and believes this is an advantage for November's elections.
She said: "I don't believe you need to be well informed, but I have been a victim of crime and I have a grasp of what people want.
"As it stands it is going to be someone political that gets in, but I just want to be fair minded. I can work with most people and I want to give everyone a voice."
The retired human resources professional isn't fazed by the cuts which are being imposed on police forces throughout the country.
She said: "I think we need to look at the efficiency of the force and there must be wastage along the way.
"You can always make savings through restructuring. I, like everyone else, cannot rule out redundancies, but I do not want to see cuts to frontline policing and PCSOs."
She would only be photographed in a badger mask, which she described as "a symbol".
She said: "At the moment I cannot see the police or what is going on in the police so the mask is a symbol.
"I think people are quite broad minded and will understand that my campaign is about public safety and what is currently policing ignorance – it is not about the shooting, but protecting us during it."
She is critical of the new role because of the costs involved to those who want to stand.
Candidates need to put down a £5,000 deposit and can spend up to £86,000 on their campaign.
Mrs Berry said she is just "hoping for the best" when it comes to getting the funds together.
She said: "I have got the commitment, leadership, dedication and I will be doing that on half the salary of the other candidates if I get elected."