The result of the election for the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner has been declared. This police area is one of the largest in the country with 2.5 million residents covering 2,500 square miles. It contains 18 councils (county, district and unitary) and 21 parliamentary constituencies.
The successful candidate is Anthony Stansfeld (Cons). The voting, taking first and second preferences was:
Candidate First Second Total
Stansfeld (Cons) 76,011 18,227 94,238
Starkey (Lab) 56,631 13,772 70,403
This is how Anthony describes himself in his web site:
He was born in Newbury and West Berkshire has been his home all his life. He is currently an executive member of West Berkshire Council and, until last month, has been a member of the Thames Valley Police Authority. He took over as Chairman of the Performance Committee of the Thames Valley Police last year. During his time as Chairman, the overall crime rate has dropped by 15%, the greatest drop of any Police Force in England. He has, in conjunction with his Committee, set the exacting targets the Police have to achieve
over the next few months. He has concentrated his efforts on reducing rural crime, metal theft and improving detection rates for household burglary, especially in Slough, Reading and Oxford, all of which have had poor figures in the recent past. He has also been vice chairman of the Audit, Governance and Risk Committee which monitors the Police financial affairs. He was lead member of the Authority for the introduction of Neighbourhood policing.
Anthony has had a career in both the military and in industry. He enlisted in the Army at 17. He joined the Royal Green Jackets and saw active service in Borneo and Northern Ireland. He learnt to fly helicopters at Middle Wallop and commanded various Army Air Corps Squadrons, including the Army helicopters in the Falkland Islands in the latter half of 1982.
He spent 2 years as Chief of Staff Intelligence in the Far East. On leaving the Army he was Marketing, and then, for 6 years, Managing Director of the aircraft company Pilatus Britten Norman, which had aircraft in over 100 countries. At the same time he commanded the Army reserve helicopters as a TA officer. All three UK Armed services use the aircraft he produced and the Defender 4000, which he brought into service, is the last fully certified aircraft produced in the UK.
While in the Army he spent 4 months carrying out the reconnaissance for the crossing of the Darien Gap in Panama and Columbia, and led the first stage of Operation Raleigh, taking young people through the jungles of Honduras and Belize. He was, for 8 years, a trustee of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. He has an MSc and studied international terrorism and global security in depth at university.
As a District Councillor for West Berkshire he has had responsibility for community safety, human resources, legal and performance and is a member of the Safer Communities Partnership.
He has the breadth of experience to be Police Commissioner in the largest non metropolitan Police Force in the country at a time of rapid change and increased threat from international terrorism. The Thames Valley Police have over 8,000 police officers and staff and an annual budget of nearly £400m. He has the leadership and financial awareness to oversee this large organisation. He has already demonstrated his ability to get a grip of detection rates for household burglary in our major towns and cities, and to tackle rural crime. He has a particular interest in safeguarding vulnerable people and reducing anti-social behaviour.
He has taken on a king-sized job and I wish him well.