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Four candidates standing for South Wales Police Crime Commissioner

ON MAY 2, the elections for Wales’ Police and Crime Commissioners will take place. These elections will shape the future of policing in Wales.

Residents in other parts of the UK will take part in local council and mayoral elections, residents in Wales will only be voting for the next Police and Crime Commissioners.

PCCs have only been elected since 2012 in Wales. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) determine the police budget, oversee the employment of the Chief Constable, and collaborate closely with councils and community organizations on police strategies.

Wales is divided into four policing areas, each overseen by an elected Police and Crime Commissioner: North Wales, Dyfed Powys, South Wales, and Gwent.

Who is standing in the May 2024 election?
Candidates from each of the four main political parties in Wales—Labour, Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, and Liberal Democrats—are standing for election in each area.

Who can I vote for in South Wales?
The four candidates standing for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner of South Wales Police are Sam Bennett, George Carroll, Dennis Clarke and Emma Wools.

Below are details of each candidate, which party they are standing for and their election points.

The following statements are the prepared election statements taken from the website ‘Choose My PCC’

Sam Bennett-Welsh Liberal Democrats

Sam Bennett- Welsh Liberal Democrats candidate

“As South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, I would seek as a top priority to restore community trust, links, and engagements across the South Wales Police area.

“We must restore community trust in our police force following riots in both Swansea and Cardiff over the last 5 years. I will seek to reverse cuts to funding for Anti-Social Behaviour interventions and ensure outreach in communities and schools is prioritised to build bridges across our communities, meaning our police are once more visible on our streets.

“I will reduce the number of Deputy Commissioners across South Wales Police, reinvest this money in frontline policing, and campaign vigorously for policing to be devolved. These two policies will bring policing closer to the people of Wales. I will immediately launch a programme of community visits to find out what you want the police to do in your area.

“It is time to take a more compassionate approach to drug offences, using the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner I will prioritise and push both governments to focus on rehabilitation programmes, an approach which would reduce repeat offending, and reduce pressure on our court system.

“As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I would seek to end the use of facial recognition technology because it fundamentally breaches people’s rights to privacy and discriminates against Black, Asian and minority ethnic populations. It is more frequently used in areas of high ethnic minority populations and is poor at identifying people from these backgrounds. This technology must be shelved to restore the trust of our communities.”

George Carroll-Welsh Conservatives

George Carroll-Welsh Conservatives candidate

“I’ve lived in South Wales my whole life. Community is at the heart of everything I believe.

“It’s why I serve as a local councillor and school governor. It’s why I’m so passionate about making our communities safe. And it’s why I’m standing to be your Police and Crime Commissioner.

“I’ve been working with residents across South Wales on a plan to protect our communities.”

Our Plan will:

Deliver more police, safer streets – by ensuring all resources are focused on core policing and frontline services. By taking full advantage of all government police recruitment grants. And by exceeding police recruitment targets.

Stop violent crime and drug gangs – by using effective stop and search to make our streets safe.

Stamp out antisocial behaviour – by taking a zero tolerance approach.

Combat extremism – by giving the police all the resources they need to protect us from terrorism. And actively promoting the government’s Prevent programme to stop radicalisation.

Stop shoplifting – with targeted hotspot patrols. And by investing in more CCTV and surveillance.

Cut rural crime – by maintaining a dedicated rural crime team to protect our countryside communities and farms.

“But I can’t deliver Our Plan alone. We need your help to put it into action.

“Our Police and Crime Commissioner sets the strategic priorities of the police.

“That’s why I’m asking you, whoever you usually support, to join your neighbours in lending me your vote.

“By lending me your vote, you’ll help to deliver Our Plan.

“Together, we’ll deliver more police and safer streets. And we’ll make all our communities safe.”

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Dennis Clarke-Plaid Cymru

Dennis Clarke-Plaid Cymru candidate

“My ambition is for the Police and Crime Commissioner and staff to be your friends, servants and champions, to develop the South Wales Police Force to be the best it can be. You should feel comfortable working with and trusting them. I want every employee of South Wales Police to be proud of their role in helping to look after our communities.

“I know what goes wrong in the Criminal Justice System. I know what it should look like. I have been a legal aid solicitor and involved in many justice committees for about 50 years. My commitment to improving the system is well established.

“All the time I have spent working to affect change in the law has been preparation for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner.

“The understanding I have of how each part of the Criminal Justice System can and should perform is second to none.

“My commitment is to you and the Criminal Justice System only.

“I will not be a puppet of any of the authorities that might limit my vision. I will not be a political apologist for government decisions. I have always been concerned about ordinary people and taking up their fight for them.

“My knowledge of the system and those working in it proved to me that everybody in the system wants to make it the best it can be. That is why we will be able to work well together whilst making use of my skills.

“With me, your vote will have an impact. I am ready to take up the role and the challenge.

“Come with me to take part in a genuine fight for a better South Wales, better for us all.”

Emma Wools-Welsh Labour

Emma Wools-Welsh Labour candidate

“I was born, raised, live and work in South Wales. My heart and home is here in our vibrant cities, compassionate communities and valleys towns where I have delivered services to prevent crime and protect the public from harm for over 23 years. An award-winning leader, I have skills and knowledge from working in prisons and probation, policing and community safety, and I will make your voice heard in policing and take a stand on the issues that matter to you.

“The people of South Wales need a Police and Crime Commissioner who knows first-hand the challenges we face daily in our communities. I have the personal and professional experience in tackling the crime and harm that affects where we live, our families and friends.

“I have a proven track record in challenging policing and criminal justice as the current Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales. I have led and managed partnerships across criminal justice: tackling youth violence, violence against women and girls, drugs and exploitation. I am passionate about working to improve the lives of those whose voice is less often heard, but are often suffering the most, to ensure justice is fair and policing delivers on what matters most.

As your Police and Crime Commissioner I will focus on….

  • Community Policing
  • Preventing crime
  • Protecting the vulnerable, supporting victims and communities, including those online
  • Delivering Justice on those who commit crime and reducing reoffending
  • Making Policing fit for the future

    “Vote for me on 2nd May and I will work with you to strengthen and improve the future of policing and criminal justice in South Wales, delivering services to keep you safe, in which all communities can have confidence.”