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Labour's police commissioner candidate Harriet Yeo a victim of crime

Harriet Yeo, Labour candidate for the Kent Police commissioner
Harriet Yeo, Labour candidate for the Kent Police commissioner

by political editor Paul Francis

Labour's candidate to become Kent's first elected police commissioner
was recovering from becoming a victim of crime on the day she learned she had got the nomination.

Harriet Yeo, a fundraising manager for a Kent charity and an Ashford
borough councillor, was dealing with the aftermath of being a victim of
crime herself after burglars broke into her home and made off with
belongings worth several thousand pounds.

It happened while she was away at a Labour policy conference.

"I was in my kitchen talking to scenes of crime officers when I got the
phone call saying I had got the nomination. They found it mildly amusing
but I cannot fault how they dealt with the break-in.

"The most upsetting thing is the jewellery - my mum's engagement ring
has gone and the last thing my father gave me before he died.

"Those things are irreplaceable. Electrical goods were taken too including the
lap top and so I've got a lot of work to do now trying to get the work I
had on there back."

Ms Yeo said opposing the possible privatisation of aspects of policing
work would be a key part of her campaign later this year.

Ms Yeo is president of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association and a
member of Labour's National Executive Committee.

She said: "A key issue for me is to oppose any privatisation of
policing. It is too important to be left in the hands of the private
sector and profiteers. Robert Peel [founder of the British police]
thought it should be run by government and that is what we need to
keep."

She added she wanted people to be less fearful of becoming a victim of
crime. "It is important people are not just safe but feel safe. The fear
of crime can blight lives just as much as being a victim of crime,
especially for vulnerable people."

Police commissioners are replacing police authorities. Elections take
place on November 15 this year.

Commissioners will have strategic overview of forces but will have no involvement in day-to-day operations, which will continue to be the responsibility of chief constables.

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