Bob Jones favourite to win new police PCC role

Use your vote today

Make sure you don’t miss this chance to have your say in how your police force is run. Polls opened at 7 this morning and will close at 10 tonight.

Bob Jones for West Midlands PCC

They’re in the final furlongs, closing in on the finishing line. It’s turning out to be a two-horse race, but my money’s on front-runner Bob Jones to be first past the post.

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Bob says: “Your vote today will play an important part in the future of the West Midlands Police force. Why? Because, by 2015, David Cameron has planned cuts that will force 1,250 police officers out of the West Midlands.

“I want the West Midlands to be safe. That’s why I’m promising to:

  • fight for our fair share of funding to keep our bobbies on the beat
  • stop the privatisation of our police force – the Tories want the police to protect profits, I want the police to protect people
  • and put victims – not criminals – first.”

Two votes or not two votes?

Supplementary vote system – what is it?

The election of the Police and Crime Commissioner will use the supplementary vote system. This means you get two votes – a first and a second choice of who you want to win.

The ballot paper will list all 7 candidates who are standing in the West Midlands [see list below]. Next to the list of candidates there will be two columns, where you will be asked to:

  • vote for your first-choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the first-choice column
  • vote for your second-choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the second-choice column.

There must be only one cross in the first-choice column for your vote to count. You shouldn’t mark more than one cross in either of the columns.

PCC ballot paper

Click on the graphic to enlarge

You don’t have to mark a cross in the second column if you don’t have a second preference. If you’ve marked a first choice, you can choose to leave this column blank. But, if you only mark a cross in the second choice column, your vote won’t be counted at all.

If you mark a cross next to the same candidate in the first and second-choice column, your ballot paper will still be accepted but your second choice won’t count. If you want to mark a second choice, you should mark a cross next to a different candidate in the second choice column.

You should not put any other mark on the ballot paper or your vote may not be counted.

NB – If you make a mistake, you can ask the polling staff to give you a replacement ballot paper.

Who wins?

The first preferences are counted, and if a candidate has received more than 50% of the votes cast they are elected.

If no candidate has more than 50% of the vote, all candidates apart from those in the first and second place are eliminated.

The ballot papers showing a first preference for the eliminated candidates are checked for their second preference. Any second preference votes for the two remaining candidates are then added to the candidates’ first preference votes and the candidate with the most votes wins.

You should have received the Electoral Commission’s pink booklet about voting. If you haven’t received your copy, you can click here to download one or click on the graphic below.

Candidates

The ballot paper will show the following candidates:

  • Matt Bennett, Conservative Party
  • Bill Etheridge, UKIP
  • Cath Hannon, Independent
  • Bob Jones, Labour Party
  • Ayoub Khan, Liberal Democrats
  • Mike Rumble, Independent
  • Derek Webley, Independent

Time’s up – #WMidsPCC candidates are all in

Mounted policeThey’re at the tape, they’re under starter’s orders – and they’re off!

In the maiden race to become the first West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, the deadline for entry has come and gone and Stephen Hughes, West Midlands Police Area Returning Officer, has declared the final list of riders and runners.

The seven candidates, with their respective ‘colours’, are:

Click on the names for online information about each of their campaigns or go along to one of the hustings.

For further information about Police and Crime Commissioners and the forthcoming election, see www.westmidlandspcc.info. The official stuff about the election can be found here.

And here’s a racing jargon buster, just in case.

Thanks to Jonathan Jardine of the West Midlands Police Authority for the info.

Don’t just sit there – post it!

[The deadline for postal voting has now expired.
Go to posters.]

How do I vote by post?

You know about the Police and Crime Commissioner election on the 15th November, but maybe you can’t make it to the polling station or prefer not to risk the weather. Maybe you’ve got friends or family who won’t be able to make it either. So, why miss out? If you apply to vote by post, you can still have your say.

Birmingham application to vote by postPrint out this application form >>

When you’ve completed it, return it by post to:

The Elections Office
150 Great Charles Street
Birmingham
B3 3HS

If you know how to use a scanner, you can email it to elections@birmingham.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can fax it to 0121 212 1065.

If you need any help filling it in, you can phone Birmingham’s Elections Office on 0121 303 2731.The closing date to apply for a postal vote is the 31st October, so you’ve got about 2 weeks left.

Posters

You can also download these posters to display in your window at home or on the notice board at work:

Red

Bob Jones for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

White

Bob Jones for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

It’s in your hands – #WMidsPCC hustings

[JUMP TO LATEST EVENTS.]
West Midlands Police badgeCuts, privatisation, victim support, business fraud, gang crime, antisocial behaviour – we all worry about crime and we all have an opinion on what the priorities should be for policing in the West Midlands.

So, what do you want to see the new Police and Crime Commissioner doing about it? What improvements do you want to see across the county? How do you know which candidate stands the best chance of achieving what you want and what’s best for West Midlands Police?

Our recent post Remember, remember – the 15th of November outlined Labour candidate Bob Jones’s profile and now, with the official launch of the Home Office’s awareness campaign yesterday and the elections just five weeks away, the hustings are getting under way. Go along to one of these events and make sure the candidates know what matters to you.

Pink Shield

Date: Thursday 11 October
Venue The Penthouse, above the Loft Lounge, in Birmingham’s Gay Village
Time 8pm

Click here for online details.
Twitter: @pinkshieldbham

Victim Support

Birmingham

Date: Friday 12 October
Venue:
Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF
Time: 10am

Warwickshire

Date: 16 October
Venue: Warwickshire TBC
Time: TBC

Click here to download the flyer [PDF 435KB]. To book a place or for any further information, email nicola.biggs@victimsupport.org.uk.
Twitter: @VictimSupport

Moseley Forum

Date: Wednesday 17 October
Time: Following AGM at 7pm
Venue: St Columba Church, Chantry Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8DD (corner of Alcester Road)

Click here for online details.

Brap

Date: Thursday 18 October
Venue:
Handsworth Community Fire Safety Centre, 41 Rookery Road Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9QU
Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm

Click here for online details. Places are free but must be booked in advance by emailing events@brap.org.uk or telephone 0121 237 3608.
Twitter: @braphumanrights

Coventry Women’s Voices

Date: Wednesday 31 October
Venue:
Coventry Council House, Diamond Room 1, Earl Street, Coventry CV1 5RR
Time: 7pm to 9pm

Click here for online details. To book a place at the event, send in a question for the panel or to find out more, contact pccscoventry@gmail.com or call/text 0754 507 8165.
Twitter: @CoventryWomen

Birmingham Trades Union Council

Date: Thursday 1 November
Venue: Birmingham Council House
Time: 8pm

November

The Drum

Date: Wednesday 7 November
Venue: The Drum, Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham B6 4UU
Time: 6.30pm

Click here for online details.This is a community event and your chance to question the candidates. Email birminghamef@gmail.com or contact Desmond Jaddoo 07946 374577.
Twitter: @DesJaddoo and @The_Drum

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce

Date: Thursday 8 November
Venue: Breakfast event with the West Midlands Police Authority, DeVere Venues, 5th Floor, Colmore Gate, Birmingham B3 2DX
Time: Between 8am and 10am

Click here to book online.
Twitter: @BrumChamber

KSIMC Birmingham

Date: Thursday 8 November
Venue: KSIMC Mehfil e Abbas, 17 Clifton Road, Birmingham B12 8SX
Time: 8pm

Click here for online details. To book a place at the event, send in a question for the panel or to find out more, contact asifiqbal.alidina@gmail.com.
Twitter: @ksimcb

Leave us a comment if you hear about any other events.

Remember, remember – the 15th of November

Police officers

Police and Crime Commissioners will not run police forces, but will hold them to account

Who should be responsible for overseeing the West Midlands Police budget – £547m worth of local and national taxes?

The first election of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) heralds the biggest shake-up of policing for almost 50 years. The core functions of the West Midlands PCC, who will take up office in just over 7 weeks’ time after the 15th November elections, include responsibility for a police and crime plan and the allocation of police funding across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The successful candidate has one week before s/he takes office. The only candidate with the strategic, multi-agency experience necessary to work effectively at this level of policing in the county is Bob Jones.

Government has no strategy to cut crime

Bob has served locally and nationally as chair of both the West Midlands Police Authority and the Association of Police Authorities. In securing these posts, he received cross-party support because of his non-partisan stance on policing and his defence of victims’ rights. But Bob says:

In just two years, the Government has taken police numbers back by nearly a decade, weakened police powers, undermined morale, weakening the police’s ability to fight crime.

You can’t trust the Conservatives with our police. They have no strategy to cut crime, only to cut officers. If a Conservative PCC is elected, more criminals will go unpunished.

Bob’s election promises

  1. keep police community support officers (PCSOs) and the support they give to local people and the police
  2. protect neighbourhood policing teams, which he played a key role in introducing, to keep our local communities free from crime
  3. keep politics out of policing by not interfering with the Chief Constable’s operational decisions, while also holding the Chief Constable to proper account
  4. fight the privatisation of the police to ensure they are accountable to the community, not to company shareholders, and prevent any repeat of the G4S Olympics fiasco

Other key functions of the PCC will be to secure and maintain an efficient and effective police force, hold the Chief Constable to account for delivery of the police and crime plan, and decide the level of the local police ‘precept’ – the part of the council tax that goes to policing. The police budget is made up of the Home Office grant and the precept.

You can read Bob’s full candidate statement here.

The West Midlands Police Authority, the existing body that holds West Midlands Police to account until the PCC takes office on 22 November, is running a website giving information about the introduction of PCCs.

There’s also a BBC Q&A page on PCCs.