THE message from Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Rachel Rogers is: “We are not electing super cop.”
Mrs Rogers, of Weymouth, said it was important to remember that the new Dorset Police commissioner would hold ‘a budget not a baton’.
Mrs Rogers said that her core values would be at the heart of her decisions and they were ‘fairness, justice and social equality’.
She said: “The most important word in the title of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is commissioner.
“Fundamentally it’s about what services you buy and who you buy them from.”
She added that the role of the PCC would be largely as an ‘over-arching figurehead to oversee the criminal justice process from crime prevention through to court’.
Mrs Rogers, 46, said that she believed her main contribution would be to ‘improving lines of communication’ between police officers, staff, the media and members of the public.
But most importantly Mrs Rogers said she would build relationships at all levels between police services, community safety sector and with the people of Dorset, because ‘trust is fundamental’.
Holding the Chief Constable to account, handling the budget, and making sure all groups of people felt listened to would all be part of the new role Mrs Rogers said.
The Labour candidate for PCC said there was a ‘golden opportunity’ to make ‘real improvements’ by getting people working together and ‘collaborative commissioning’ to ‘provide a more streamlined service more appropriate for people’s needs’.
Scrutiny and accountability are also high on Mrs Roger’s priorities and she said that as well as being accountable to the Police Crime Panel of elected representatives and yearly through the police and crime plan she also wanted to be accountable ‘in a more direct way’ through consulting Dorset people.
Mrs Rogers said that would be achieved through different community groups already in place, she said this would allow people to directly give feedback and express any concerns.
To those concerned that the new role could ‘over-politicise’ the police Mrs Rogers said that there had ‘always been politics in the organisation of the police,’ as it was managed by the Home Office who set the targets and budgets.
But she said: “There’s never been politics in operational policing and I don’t see that the introduction of the PCC should change that.”
Mrs Rogers said that she believed the role would be very ‘dynamic’. She added: “It’s about engaging with the community.”