THE South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner election will be held next Thursday (November 15).

PCCs, as they will be known, will be responsible for setting priorities for their police force, overseeing its budget and hiring the Chief Constable.

They will replace the Police Authorities currently in charge of 41 forces in England and Wales.

The role requires no prior police force experience and those in the biggest force areas will earn salaries of more than £100,000.

Four candidates are in the running for the role in South Wales.

Alun Michael is the Labour candidate for the position, having retired as the MP for Penarth and Cardiff South after 25 years - sparking a by-election for the parliamentary seat, which also takes place next Thursday.

Caroline Jones is the Conservative candidate; and two Independent candidates are Michael Baker and Tony Verderame.



* Michael Baker (Independent)

A former police officer who later trained as a lawyer, Mr Baker practises criminal and civil law throughout south Wales. During 30 years as a police officer, he was involved in community groups in both Cardiff and the Rhondda.

He says in his election statement: "If elected I will ensure the needs and aspirations of the communities of South Wales are the driving force behind the office of the Commissioner, and not the political needs of those in either London or Cardiff Bay.

"I am keen to support the victims of crime and those who assist in this respect, and to enable the police to properly address anti-social behaviour and drug crime."


* Caroline Jones (Conservative)

Conservative candidate Ms Jones has worked in teaching, local government, and the prison service with young offenders, as well as being self-employed.

A resident of Margam, her election statement says: "We need to change the way we deliver our services in South Wales by ensuring our police are out on the beat, not sat behind desks.

"We need to reduce crime, particularly anti-social behaviour, which is a blight on our communities.

"We need to look after the victims of crime, who are all too often the silent minority."

She has pledged, if elected, to give 10 per cent of her salary (before tax) to organisations dealing with victims of crime and crime prevention.


* Alun Michael (Labour)

Former Secretary of State for Wales, Mr Michael was Deputy Home Secretary in 1997, with responsibility for criminal justice, the police and voluntary sector. He has also been a youth worker, magistrate, probation committee member, city councillor, and AM.

He says he promotes practical action that is 'tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime'.

His election statement says: "South Wales needs a Commissioner who is a strong, experienced, strategic thinker who can work with senior police officers to cut crime, while having the authority to hold them to account."

If elected he pledges to work with police to reduce crime and cut re-offending; put needs of victims at the heart of the system; make it easier for the public to communicate with the police.


* Tony Verderame (Independent)

Retired businessman Mr Verderame believes the role of police commissioner should be free from political bias.

Currently chair of the Cardiff Older Persons Forum, he received the Queen's Award in 2006 for his work with elderly and vulnerable people.

In his election statement he pledges 'to restore the moral duty of the police, listen to the concerns of the public, deliver more approachable policing, and not become a tool of politicians'.

He adds: "I pledge to work closely with the Chief Constable, Police Crime Panel, engage with the judiciary and other law enforcement agencies. The law must be obeyed, and breaking it will be punished by the law. If I'm elected, the scrutiny of community and custodial sentences will be prioritised."

* For full election statements and information on next Thursday's elections, go to