TiG survey results: Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner
MOST people believe Gloucestershire does not need a Police and Crime Commissioner, according to a new survey.
But whether the voters want the position or not someone will be elected to the post on November 15.
Their are four candidates in the county. Victoria Atkins (Conservative), Alistair Cameron (Lib Dem), Rupi Dhanda (Labour) and Martin Surl (Independent) are all bidding for the £65,000 a year job.
However, more than half of the 200 people who completed our survey on www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk said they do not believe the county needs the position.
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Just 61 per cent of people said they understood the role.
When asked to respond to the survey, Mr Cameron said: "I am not surprised by the results. There is still a major job to explain the role."
Most respondents wanted the candidates to focus on anti-social behaviour, tougher sentences and speeding up the criminal justice system.
He added: "The survey shows that anti-social behaviour needs to be dealt with."
One of the biggest criticisms of the new role is that most of the candidates are representing a political party.
Independent Mr Surl said the survey reflected what people had been telling him and he shared their views.
"In particular, I found people from all walks of life who just don't want party politics in policing," he said.
"People should vote, because if they don't, they will get what they are given at a time when they need to say what they think," he said.
Many in Gloucestershire also feel the salary is too much, with 55.5 per cent wanting them to be paid less. Labour candidate Mrs Dhanda said: "The majority of people think we don't need this role, that it is a waste of time and that the £100million it is costing could have been spent on frontline policing instead."
But she said she would push hard for residents who opposed cuts to officers and closure of police stations.
In the survey, 44.5 per cent of those who responded said they would be voting – higher than the turn out is expected to be.
Conservative Mrs Atkins said: "I think it will take time for people to realise that we do need a commissioner and how electing the right PCC will improve our county.
"I am convinced that once people see the Commissioner in action they will wonder why we didn't have them earlier."