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Shropshire's deputy crime commissioner moves for top job

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West Mercia's Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has today announced he will be in the running for the top job.

Barrie Sheldon has put his name forward as an independent candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections scheduled for May 5.

He is currently deputy to Bill Longmore who will be standing down.

Mr Sheldon said he would be a "true independent candidate" with no allegiance to any political party.

He said: "I have served the people of West Mercia for over three years and I have a proven track record in the role of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

"During this period the challenge of meeting severe financial cuts has been met and the force is in an excellent financial position due to prudent and careful management.

"Plans are in place to meet the next tranche of cuts which will require stability and continuity. I am the only candidate that will provide this continuity for the police and strategic partners, and I am confident that the new financial challenges will be met with as little impact as possible to the front line of policing in West Mercia.

"I strongly believe that victims should be at the heart of the Criminal Justice System and I will continue to support and champion their cause.

"I passionately support people and communities and I have been instrumental in providing significant investment to communities in order to reduce harm, reduce policing demand, and focus more on preventative strategies.

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"I will be publishing a comprehensive manifesto in the near future which will set out my vision, aims, and a series of pledges for policing to reduce harm and to effectively tackle the problem of crime and its consequences in partnership with others."

However, Conservative candidate John Campion said Sheldon was part of a "failed team" that was looking to increase council tax by two per cent despite the Conservative government protecting police funding.

He also alluded to Mr Sheldon being appointed the role of deputy by Mr Longmore without being elected.

He added: "The choice at the next election will be between a Conservative candidate with fresh ideas and the ear of Government, or a tax-happy unelected independent out on a limb."

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