Campaigning underway for Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner election

Watch: report by ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw

The introduction of directly-elected Police and Crime Commissioners eight years ago was designed to radically shake-up the oversight and public accountability of police forces.

In Sussex, the same candidate has been in the post since that first election in 2012, when turnout was just over 15%.

Turnout has increased since then, with more than 22% taking part in 2016.

Five PCC candidates are standing in Sussex this time around, with registered voters going to the polls on Thursday, 6th May. 

A Sussex police car in Lewes, where the force headquaters is based.

Dr Sam Power, a politics lecturer from the University of Sussex says there is still “some debate over the future of the role”.

According to the Cabinet Office, the PCC role involves: 

  • Engaging with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans;

  • Ensuring the police force budget is spent where it matters most; and

  • Appointing, and where necessary, dismissing the chief constable.

Their role in budgetary matters also involves deciding how much people pay locally for policing via council tax.

Operational decisions, such as about training and safety kit, are left to senior officers.

Full list of candidates standing for Sussex PCC:

Jamie Bennett, Lib Dem Kahina Bouhassane, Green Katy Bourne, Conservative Paul Richards, Labour Roy Williams, Independent 

You can find out more about candidates for every police force area in our region, on the government-run Chose My PCC website. Polling day is Thursday, 6th May.