Kent decides: Week to go until voting opens in Kent police commissioner election
from top left, Steve Uncles, Harriet Yeo, Ann Barnes, Dai Liyange,
Piers Wauchope and Craig Mackinlay
by political editor Paul Francis
The election to become Kent's first directly-elected police
commissioner is entering its final stage - with just one
week before voters go to the polls.
Six candidates are in the running for the £85,000-a-year post,
which will see the commissioner replace the appointed Kent Police
Authority in what has been described as one of the most
far-reaching reforms of policing in a generation.
Whoever wins after voting at around 1,000 polling station next
Thursday stands to become one of the most important elected
officials in the county.
They will oversee the strategic direction of one of the
country's largest forces and have responsibility for a
While the commissioner will not have day-to-day operational
control of the force, they will have extensive and far-reaching
powers - including setting the overall priorities for the police
and deciding how much council taxpayers should have to pay to meet
the force's running costs.
There are fears of a low turnout and questions have been raised
about whether or not more should have been done to raise the
profile of the election.
The Kent campaign, like other parts of the country, has been
relatively low key.
Despite this, Kent's six hopefuls have spent recent weeks trying
to galvanise support for their campaigns and have taken part in a
series of hustings meetings.
Whoever wins, the way in which Kent Police is run will be
radically altered, with the victor arguably set to become one the
county's foremost elected officials.
We asked each of the six candidates why they were standing, what
they would do and what they would bring to the job.
View their answers here.
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