VOTERS will go to the polls on Thursday to select the next police and crime commissioner for the Dyfed-Powys area.

Four candidates are in the running for the top police job in the Dyfed-Powys region, which covers Ceredigion, Powys, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire with voting taking place on Thursday, 2 May.

The count will take place on Friday at Ysgol Bro Teifi in Llandysul, with Returning Officer for Ceredigion County Council, Eifion Evans, appointed as the Police Area Returning Officer.

The four candidates standing are: Philippa Thompson (Labour and Co-operative Party), Ian Harrison (Welsh Conservatives), Justin Griffiths (Welsh Liberal Democrats), and Dafydd Llywelyn (Plaid Cymru), the current commissioner.

The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account, and are responsible for the totality of policing.

PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their police force area.

Philippa Thompson

Phillippa Thompson - Labour PCC candidate
Phillippa Thompson - Labour PCC candidate (LDRS)

Philippa Thompson (Labour), in her statement, said: “There’s a huge crisis in funding for policing and public services. The Conservative Westminster Government has so much to answer for having destroyed our country’s economy. Labour believes security is the bedrock on which opportunities are built, communities thrive, and local economies prosper.

“Instead of standing up for security, the Tories have done the opposite. This wasn’t an accident – it was the result of deliberate choices. A choice to cut police from our streets, a choice to undermine respect for the rule of law. Our communities cannot afford more of the same. Things have got to change.

“Labour will be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.”

Ian Harrison

Ian Harrison
Cllr Ian Harrison (LDRS)

A statement on behalf of Ian Harrison (Conservative) said: “If elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys Ian’s immediate priorities will be focused upon Force performance within the context of the Annual HMIC reports and he would plan to come to an early agreement with the Chief Constable to address this issue.

“Residents tell Ian that they want to see more police officers, and that they want action on anti-social behaviour, tackling County Lines gangs, domestic violence and rural crime.

“Dyfed Powys is an enormous rural area to police, and Ian intends to spend his time visiting and listening to many stakeholders and interest groups as he develops specific plans and initiatives to reduce crime, make residents safer and reinforce interfaces with victim support groups.”

Justin Griffiths

Justin Griffiths
Justin Griffiths (LDRS)

Justin Griffiths (Welsh Liberal Democrat), in his statement, said: “If elected I would seek to implement a more transparent, accountable and community-based policing service.

“I would seek to restore proper community policing ensuring officers are visible in our communities and not diverted to other areas, whilst tackling inequalities in criminal justice and seek to implement the recommendations of the Thomas Commission in devolving of powers to the relevant devolved administration.

“I would implement a fairer and more compassionate policing service e.g. the focus on drug offenders being put on rehabilitation programs, this is an example of our holistic approach to reducing repeat offending and a reduction in court backlogs and overpopulated prisons.”

Dafydd Llywelyn

Dafydd Llywelyn (© 2016 Newsquest Media, all rights reserved)

Dafydd Llywelyn (Plaid Cymru) said: “As your current Commissioner, operational, front-line policing has, and always will come before party politics. I have a strong track record of delivering on my promises and of listening to the communities of Dyfed Powys.

“I am proud of what I have achieved since 2016, but there is still so much to do.

“I am an approachable individual and I believe in listening to all members of the community in order to shape a successful police force.”

He says, since 2016, force area resources have been improved, and says he will “continue to put the victim at the heart of the service and develop a truly victim-led service”.