Harborough residents will be voting to elect the county’s new top civilian police officer - here's what you need to know

They will be fighting to take over the crucial post from Labour’s Lord Willy Bach, who will be standing down

Monday, 26th April 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 5:16 pm

You will be able to vote next week to elect the county’s new top civilian police officer.

Three candidates are battling to become Leicestershire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner.

They will be fighting to take over the crucial post from Labour’s Lord Willy Bach.

You will be able to vote next week to elect the county’s new top civilian police officer.

The former mayor of Lutterworth and ex-Harborough councillor is standing down after one term in the office at the age of 74.

Cllr Ross Willmott, the former Leicester City Council leader, is setting out to follow in Lord Bach’s Labour footsteps.

The veteran councillor is up against ex-East Midlands MEP Rupert Matthews – as he targets the role for the Conservatives.

Dr James Moore, a history lecturer at Leicester University, is hoping to win enough support to become the county’s next PCC for the Liberal Democrats.

The PCC election – which was postponed last May amid the Covid pandemic - is going ahead alongside the Leicestershire County Council election as well as a handful of local and parish elections.

Just one in five voters went to the polls when the last PCC election to fill the £85,000-a-year position was held in May 2016.

The 13-month coronavirus outbreak has fuelled fears that next week’s turn out could also be poor with some lockdown rules still in place.

But the county council is working flat out to make sure that polling stations across Harborough and throughout Leicestershire are Covid-secure.

Hand sanitiser, social distancing and face coverings will all be in place.

Council officers are also urging voters to take along their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot paper with.

The new PCC’s duties will include:

· Holding Chief Constable Simon Cole to account for the performance of Leicestershire Police

· Setting out a five-year Police and Crime Plan, which can be refreshed every year

· Setting the amount of Council Tax people will pay towards policing

· Setting the Annual Budget policing in Leicestershire

· Presenting a budget to the Police and Crime Panel for scrutiny. The Police and Crime Panel have the authority to veto the proposed amount people will pay towards policing (known as the Precept).

· Attending Police and Crime Panel meetings to answer questions and explain decisions

· Keeping in touch with the public and referring to local authority priorities

· Providing Community Safety Grants to individuals and organisations

· Ensuring victims and the most vulnerable are consulted

· Publishing an Annual Report

· Cooperating with Partners to ensure an efficient and effective Criminal Justice system

· Ensuring Leicestershire Police deliver value for money

· Appointing, and if necessary dismissing, the Chief Constable.