Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner elections: Meet the candidates

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Four candidates are running for Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner. Credit: ITV News

Four people will compete for the role of Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner this year.

Police and Crime Commissioners are elected by the public to ensure the policing needs of communities are met and to oversee how crime is tackled.

The successful candidate will be responsible for setting Devon and Cornwall Police's priorities, but will have no role in operational policing.

The election was postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with people now due to go to the polls on Thursday 6 May.

Each of the candidates for the £86,700-a-year job have very different backgrounds.

Brian Blake (Liberal Democrat)

Brian Blake is a former police officer. Credit: ITV News

Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Blake served for 31 years as a police officer, and says he understands the pressure the force has been under having to enforce Covid rules and deal with growing social unrest.

"I think they've had a rough time of it," he said. "There has been more and more legislation piled into criminal law which they are obliged to enforce. The Police and Crime Bill has come up for some controversy, people are demonstrating against that.

"The right to demonstrate is enshrined in the Human Rights Act, but there can be no excuse for violence at demonstrations."

Gareth Derrick (Labour)

Gareth Derrick is the Labour candidate. Credit: ITV News

Former Naval officer Gareth Derrick, standing for Labour, does not have policing experience, but hopes he can win votes by drawing on his military and business know-how.

"This is not about being a police expert," he said. "This is about being a citizen with an awareness of what's going on, people able to read what's right and what's wrong.

"Policing is only part of the problem. I want spend more money on cost-effective crime prevention. I want to do what I can to create innovative partnerships with other agencies to help crime prevention."

Alison Hernandez (Conservative)

Alison Hernandez has been in the role since 2016. Credit: ITV News

Conservative Alison Hernandez has been in the job since 2016. During that time the region has recorded the second-lowest crime rate in the country.

Ms Hernandez says she wants that to continue but needs more money, so she is planning to raise the police's share of council tax by 6% in the coming year.

"Every increase in council tax goes on police officers," she said. "We're going to have 498 extra police officers and I promise they will start to be seen in the next year or so."

Stuart Jackson (Green Party)

Stuart Jackson is standing for the Green Party. Credit: ITV News

Stuart Jackson, a former police training officer, is the Green Party candidate. He wants to focus on making the force more accountable and sustainable.

"Why is it that so few of our police buildings have solar panels on them?" he said. "Why isn't there a wind turbine on the huge area of land at Middlemoor police headquarters?

"We are facing species extinction. If we don't manage police land and buildings with the environment in mind, we are failing all the young people who came out on the streets to protest against climate change and species extinction. The police need to set an example."

  • The election takes place on Thursday, May 6th. For more information, click here.