LETTER: We need Police and Crime Commissioners, we can’t afford to go on as we are

I must respond to the Observer (October 31) on whether we could afford a Police Commissioner. My question is can we afford to carry on the way we were?

What appears to have been overlooked in the election debate is that the Police Authority, which costs £1.2m a year to run, is being abolished this month and replaced with a Commissioner’s Office. It did not serve us well and it will be a relief when it goes.

If I am elected as commissioner my office will cost nothing like £1.2m and the saving will go to frontline policing. I would not be asleep on the watch and allow our force to be mugged by Whitehall.

The Observer asked whether any of the candidates fully know how the police work. The commissioner role is not just about the police - it is also about working with the courts probation and the Crown Prosecution Service.

I have good experience of working with all of those and had statutory responsibility for crime and disorder in the past.

A good commissioner will be worth every penny but a bad one? I urge you to use your vote wisely.

David Bowles

Police and Crime Commissioner candidate