Months of campaigning and listening to residents’ concerns about crime and policing in Wiltshire finally came to fruition last week with my election.

After 32 years in the army, I have been working for other government departments making my country, and our community, safer.

Now, thanks to the electorate who voted, I will be able to bring my unique expertise home to work alongside our police force to help ensure Wiltshire remains one of the safest places to live and work.

I’m excited and invigorated by the challenge that lays ahead of me as the next Police and Crime Commissioner. My campaign pledge remains the same: robust in my pursuit of all criminals and supportive and compassionate with victims of crime.

Attacking organised crime; both urban and rural, anti-social behaviour and speeding, alongside restorative justice, increased prosecution rates and better victim support will be my top priorities.

Defeating criminality, like terrorism, requires a comprehensive strategy that is not the job of the police alone but requires a cross government joined-up approach at the regional and national levels.

I am determined to consult widely and listen to people’s concerns – making sure operational policing priorities reflect the problems and threats faced by our communities. This will form the basis of my Police and Crime Plan as I look to develop this later in the year.

Hard work

We will continue to build upon the hard work already happening in our county and continue to ensure Wiltshire is not just one of the safest places in the UK but also feels safe for those who live and work here too.

An essential element in my approach is to increase visibility of our police force in order to demonstrate their professionalism and thereby enhance public confidence in their ability to keep our communities safe.

This will require working with the Home Office to ensure our Force is able to recruit to establishment and to get their fair share of the additional 20,000 extra police officers promised.

We will also try and ensure the current imbalance in favour of urban police forces, as opposed to rural forces such as Wiltshire’s, will be rebalanced within the national police funding formula.

My priorities

I have listened to councillors, community leaders, residents and businesses right across the county to help produce my clear six priorities to deliver better policing which are

  1. More police on our streets. I want to see Wiltshire get its fair share, with more frontline officers on our streets keeping the public safe.
  2. Combat rural and agricultural crime. Using the latest technology, we can tackle this growing threat to farmers and the rural community, giving police the edge in covering large rural areas and preventing high-value agricultural theft.
  3. A focus on tackling low-level crime and fighting organised, violent crime. Communities and police working together can address low-level crime and anti-social behaviour before it escalates to more serious offences.
  4. Visible policing. A community presence in areas such as schools, community groups, and online meetings will ensure a long-term reduction in serious crime. Growing up on a council estate in Newbury I saw how effective neighbourhood policing can be.
  5. Pet theft has risen during the pandemic. I’ll work with the Government to introduce tougher penalties and recognise the seriousness of the problem. Tougher sentencing will act as a deterrent to this awful crime.
  6. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I’m your connection to the local police, and your voice on policing priorities. I will make sure your money is spent on more police, not bureaucracy, making Wiltshire and Swindon a safer place to live

Finally, I want to thank the electorate who have put their trust in me to deliver on my campaign pledges

The hard work starts now.