Tories draft in military veterans to stand as crime tsars to help secure success in this week’s elections
- Tories have drafted in seven former Armed Forces personnel as crime tsars
- Labour also fielded two former service personnel ahead of this week’s elections
- Voters in England and Wales will be electing 39 PCCs on Thursday
The Conservatives have drafted in the military to help secure victory in this week’s elections.
The party is fielding seven former Armed Forces personnel to stand as crime tsars.
They include Giles Orpen-Smellie, who served with the Parachute Regiment and is standing in Norfolk; former Cavalry Regiment officer Mark Shelford who is seeking election in Avon and Somerset; and Chris Nelson, an ex-colonel with the Royal Artillery, who is standing in Gloucestershire.
Mr Shelford, 59, said his frontline experience in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland would help to police Bristol, the scene of recent Kill The Bill rioting.
The Conservatives have drafted in the military to help secure victory in this week’s elections. The party is fielding seven former Armed Forces personnel to stand as crime tsars (stock image)
‘I was once standing alongside a police officer who was shot in the helmet and, with the good work of first aid, he survived,’ he said.
‘My service has taken me from the jungles of Borneo with the Royal Malay Police to work with the RUC in Northern Ireland and the Afghan National Police, so I have a very good idea of what good and bad policing looks like.’
In Norfolk, Mr Orpen-Smellie’s 34 years of service include tours in the Falklands, Iraq and the Balkans. The 61-year-old said: ‘I always wanted to join the Army and followed my father into his old regiment. Much like policemen and women, you volunteer for the service and in the heat of the moment you don’t think about the danger.
‘Now I see my past experience, which was a lot about strategic planning, as being able to help in the role of Police and Crime Commissioner. It’s about bringing different sectors together to address the conditions which lead to crime.’
Mr Nelson served for 31 years in the Royal Artillery, including as an infantryman in Northern Ireland. The 65-year-old said: ‘I saw there what police had to deal with and what they needed to prepare for their roles.
‘There is a right to protest and we need to be able to do that peacefully in a democracy but we have to put a stop to protests which are causing widespread disruption.’
The last of 12 ex-military candidates is an independent, Dan Hardy, a former soldier, who is also standing in Dorset. Voters in England and Wales will be electing 39 PCCs on Thursday (stock image)
Labour has also fielded two former service personnel: ex-Royal Navy officer Gareth Derrick in Devon and Cornwall; and Joy Allen, who worked for the Armed Forces in Germany, in Dorset.
The Liberal Democrats have two veterans standing: Mark Robson, a former Royal Marine, in Dorset; and James Barker, a former RAF officer in North Yorkshire.
The last of 12 ex-military candidates is an independent, Dan Hardy, a former soldier, who is also standing in Dorset.
Voters in England and Wales will be electing 39 PCCs on Thursday.