With the general lack of awareness of the Police Commissioner elections, hopes of a high turnout are slim to non-existent. But there’s still a certain arrogance in anyone presuming victory weeks before votes are even cast.
And yet, that seems to be exactly what the Conservative candidate in the Thames Valley Anthony Stansfeld is doing.
Despite running a campaign apparently without any policy ideas, Stansfeld thinks he already has it in the bag. His website is a pretty clear indicator of his campaign: mostly empty, with a national news stream, and last updated over a month ago. Indeed, his primary selling point seems to be making a link between his sitting on the Performance Committee of Thames Valley Police Authority (which the Police Commissioner would replace) and an increase in crime detection.
Except, that the committee meets once every three months. Do we really believe that he is the sole driving force behind this?
But it goes further than that. The police are facing millions of pounds of budget cuts, cuts which are taking officers off the front line (in direct contravention of Conservative promises). Police pay is frozen and their morale is in the pits, and what is Cllr Stansfeld doing?
Brilliant. Anthony Stansfeld’s first actual policy of this election: a car and chauffeur, ready for when he is anointed Police Commissioner. He hasn’t even won the election yet, and he’s already spending police service money on himself — rather than fighting and preventing crime. Might I suggest, people of the Thames Valley, that you elect someone else? Someone who has ideas for how to improve policing? Someone whose ego isn’t the complete extent of their campaign?
Elect someone other than Anthony Stansfeld.