Rye man to stand for Police Commissioner

A RYE man is standing for the post of East Sussex Police Commissioner.

The new role is a government initiative to give local people more of a say in how their area is policed.

Colonel Anthony Kimber has put himself forward as a candidate.

A former Army officer, he is no stranger to policing as formerly he worked closely with forces across the Southeast when he co-ordinated Military Aid in the Civil Authorities in Civil Contingencies, such as flooding, foot and mouth and extreme weather.

He was also involved in providing specialist military teams for major counter terrorism operations and exercises at Gatwick and Brighton.

Locally he has played a leading role in looking at how to reduce the flood risk in Rye, chairing two public meetings and founding the local emergency planning group REACT.

Anthony told the Observer that he believes his background, experience and education would fit him well for the role in Sussex.

In the Public Service, he was outside of the party political system and is still considering his approach to this election, but is developing a manifesto on a platform of “competence, integrity and working for value for money”. He believes that a commissioner who is in close touch with all sections of the public across Sussex can make a real difference to the way priorities are set for tackling crime and community safety.

Elections take place on November 15. With eight months to go there is still uncertainty about the detailed arrangements, a situation which has been criticised by the Electoral Commission.

The role, which was highlighted in the recent council tax leaflets, represents a sea change in policing, as the 17 strong Police Authorities will be disbanded and replaced by the Commissioner, who will provide the voice of the people, hold the Police to account and set plans, priorities and budgets.

This forms part of the government’s policy of moving the focus from central government to local communities. One early challenge for commissioners will be to ensure that the adverse impact of the planned 20% cuts in budgets to 2015 are minimised for the frontline.

Colonel Kimber’s website is at www.anthonykimber.org.uk