I was brought up in Sutton Coldfield and moved to Staffordshire at the age of 22. After growing a successful business, I got involved with community issues. That sparked my interest in politics and I have been working hard to get things done ever since.
As the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire since November 2012, my top priority has been getting police finances back on track. The success in achieving that has been widely recognised and, with a better financial outlook, I am making a multi-million pound investment to ensure that cutting edge technology replaces outdated, often unusable, police systems. That work is ongoing and is starting to improve policing. It includes a roll-out of the first ever mobile devices for all officers meaning 250,000 extra hours of visible policing in communities from 2016 - equivalent to 100 extra officers.
I believe in stronger public accountability in policing. That is why I have established Safer Neighbourhood Panels across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent so people can regularly hold their local police commanders to account.
Over time, I have also become a prominent national voice on policing and criminal justice particularly with regard to the importance of Neighbourhood Policing. I am against forces like Staffordshire being subsumed into massive regional ‘super-forces’.
Creating Staffordshire’s young Police Cadets Service is another election promise I have kept. The idea is to develop life skills, build confidence and encourage good citizenship for 14 to 17 year olds. I am delighted that this has been adopted by many PCCs across the country. It’s enhancing young lives and turning others around for the better.
I have set out a six year strategy to ensure policing in Staffordshire is fit to face changing crime, changing threats and a changing society. We’re half way through the journey and on track to get what Staffordshire needs: to be safe and secure for the future. I’d relish the chance to see it through.