Four candidates are vying to be Lancashire’s next Police and Crime Commissioner.
Voters across the county will to go to the polls on Thursday May 5, with other elections taking place across the country.
Among those contesting the role is Labour’s Clive Grunshaw who has been in the job since 2012, when the first PCC elections were held.
The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and UKIP are all also fielding candidates in a bid to take control of policing.
Here they each sum up why they believe residents should vote for them.
Firstly, I support the principle of having a Police and Crime Commissioner.
The police are drawn from the citizenry and are public servants. They have to be accountable to someone who is answerable to the public.
But the role should be cost effective. It should not be a step to advancement or enrichment. I will not claim expenses.
As a businessman I know that reducing bureaucracy usually leads to better services. We need less target/quota-driven policing – our officers are intelligent people and must be allowed discretion in their roles.
Efficiency savings must be constantly monitored.
I support provision of a new police station for Blackpool and I support the ongoing work against drugs which are the cause of too much crime.
Blackpool and Fylde’s problems differ from those of areas in, for example, the east of the county. Each policing division must have its own policing plan.
Policing should be democratic and impartial as officers need the support and confidence of the public. Complaints against the police need to be independently investigated so that people know they are treated fairly.
Lancashire people were alarmed to learn of the sex abuse cases in Rotherham. The same must not happen here: we are an adult and democratic society and we need to know the situation locally.
I also support the use of court-imposed victim surcharges for projects that tackle crime.
If elected I will take a more sceptical view of ‘restorative justice’: it should not be seen as a ‘soft touch’, although it has a place.
I am the local candidate, I was born and bred in Fleetwood and have lived in the town all my life.
I love living on the Fylde Coast and understand the people and our issues.
I am also proud to have represented my community in various ways - on Wyre Council, Lancashire County Council and latterly as Police and Crime Commissioner for over 20 years.
My first term has been about establishing the role of PCC and defending Lancashire Police against the worst of budget cuts from the Conservatives both nationally and locally.
Since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 their cuts have meant that we have lost nearly 900 police officers and 700 police staff in Lancashire alone, these are cuts that will continue.
In spite of this I have worked closely with the Chief Constable to ensure that neighbourhood policing has been protected and that we provide an efficient and effective service.
I have cut bureaucracy, ended meaningless targets and invested in new technology.
This has been recognised by the HMIC as we are rated as ‘outstanding’ for efficiency and use of resources as well as for our engagement with communities.
Your safety, and that of your family, is a serious business.
I believe that I have steered the ship through some troubled waters but now face the future with some optimism.
The Fylde Coast is a great place to live, we need a great police service to keep it that way.
That is what I will deliver.
I retired from the Lancashire Constabulary in 2010 at the rank of Superintendent.
I have lived in Preston since 1968 and am married with four adult children.
I have gained considerable experience in the voluntary sector which has included being Inter-Faith Advisor for the Diocese of Blackburn about three days a week.
My other interests including playing the French Horn and I also swim competitively, having competed in the World Masters Swimming Championships.
My Six Point Plan for Lancashire is: Community strength – the volunteers within the Constabulary need strengthening and developing and should be used to their maximum capabilities be they special constables, custody visitors, independent advisors or volunteers within the police stations.
Safer streets – we all want to be safe and to feel safe on our streets. I want the focus to come back on crime prevention.
Protecting the vulnerable – we can do even more when all the agencies collaborate and work together. Young people and in particular those who are subject to sexual exploitation are extremely vulnerable.
I pioneered work in this area in the past and I want to see it developed further.
Tackling prejudice - this takes many forms, where people are abused and attacked because of what they look like, their faith, nationality, race, sexual orientation, disability, age or gender.
Caring for the cops – the men and women who deliver policing services in the Constabulary have a tough job to do. I want to see new and innovative ways in which the community can support their police officers.
Efficient policing – getting the greatest impact for every pound spent is crucial. No area of the business should be exempt from the making sure that this happens.
I am an engineer, living in Colne and was last year’s Mayor of Pendle.
As Police Commissioner I will spend at least half of my time out and about in all the different parts of Lancashire.
My six-point plan for a better policing is: Local neighbourhood policing - It’s about local knowledge and an intelligence based approach to beating crime, not just walking the streets.
Keeping a separate police force for Lancashire - we’d be sidelined if we joined up with a larger less efficient force in Manchester or Merseyside would.
Information to the public - I will work with the Chief Constable to issue a weekly bulletin via social media, the local press and a range of local channels.
The Police Commissioner should be a watchdog - checking the police are working efficiently and appropriately, helping people to keep an eye on police performance and raise concerns.
Members of the public should be involved in this work.
Sufficient resources for the public to easily access the police when they are needed - including a good non emergency (101) phone service.
Fighting for resources - Lancashire is being starved of what it needs to police the county properly.
As Commissioner I will lead the campaign via all parties working groups for more resources from Government.
I will work closely with Lancashire’s all party Police and Crime Panel to scrutinise and get best value from policing.
The role of the Police Commissioner must be fully open and accountable.