Solihull voters ready to take to the polls to elect region's PCC - The Solihull Observer

Solihull voters ready to take to the polls to elect region's PCC

Solihull Editorial 24th Apr, 2024   0

BOROUGH voters will have the chance to vote on who is to be the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) on May 2.

In the West Midlands force area there are two candidates standing for what is the biggest PCC role in the country.

Incumbent PCC Simon Foster is the Labour Party candidate and Tom Bryne for the Conservative Party.

The role has been surrounded in controversy in the past few months as proposals for the role to be put under the jurisdiction of the West Midlands Mayor’s office were thrown out just before elections were called last month.

The role has been held by Labour in the region since it’s introduction in 2012.

Mr Foster was voted in three years ago after the previous election was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

He says over the course of his tenure he has relied on his 44 years career in the law to dedicate himself to holding the police service to account on the behalf of residents to ensure justice, safety and security for all.

He said: “Despite the challenges, we have recruited 1,451 additional police officers, invested 570 police officers into community policing, the 999 and 101 service has been transformed, there have been significant improvements in emergency response times, arrests are up and more people are being brought to justice.

“Total crime is down year on year and we have secured an additional £46million for the prevention of crime and victim support.

“But we need to keep going and I have a plan of action for the West Midlands.”

Mr Foster has continued to go ahead with controversial ‘cost-saving’ measures to close Solihull Police Station – which were given the green light under the previous PCC, David Jamieson.

The calls to keep the Homer Road site open remain strong and a debate was raised in Parliament by Solihull MP, Julian Knight, to keep the doors open.

Mr Foster said: “I guarantee that Solihull will continue to have a police station in Solihull town centre, at which members of the public can attend, speak to a police officer and report crime and that will be a base for the local neighbourhood policing team and emergency force response.

“Chelmsley Wood will continue to have a police station, either at the existing location or re-located close by, because of the requirements of Solihull Council’s development plan.”

The Observer contacted the Conservatives for comment but had not heard back at the time of going to press.

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