Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Elections May 2024


On 2nd May 2024 there will be elections across much of the UK for local, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and here in the BCP area, we will be voting, along with the residents of the wider Dorset area in the election for Dorset’s Police & Crime Commissioner.

In all we have four candidates standing for the post and they  will appear on your ballot paper in the following order:

LEGG Howard Richard – Liberal Democrats

SIDWICK David John – Conservative Party

STOKES David – Labour and Co-operative Party

STOREY Marianne – Independent

BH Living Magazine invited all four candidates to say in no more than 350 words, why they feel they should be entrusted with your vote, in the order as they will appear on the ballot paper, here’s what they had to say:

Howard Legg – Liberal Democrat

I have the breadth of experience to be Dorset’s next Police and Crime Commissioner. My background spans engineering, finance, education, and public service, I will bring my experience to Dorset Police.

Howard Legg

Every crime matters – every victim matters. Dorset police are stretched thin. It’s time for our police to demonstrate that every crime matters. I will fight to ensure every Police Officer and PCSO will be trained to a good standard in investigation, so that every reported crime is taken seriously.

Prevention is better than crime. Police record crimes that have been reported or detected, but not those that are prevented. As your Police and Crime commissioner I will prioritise crime prevention in Dorset by ensuring every Police Officer and PCSO is trained to a good standard of crime prevention.

Stronger community policing. Liberal Democrats believe that community is at the heart of everything we do. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I will ensure every Police Officer and PCSO is trained to a good standard in public contact.

Across Dorset and Bournemouth, elections are between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. On Thursday 2nd May, back the Liberal Democrat team who is working hard for you all year round

David Sidwick – Conservative Party

Why re-elect David Sidwick as your PCC?

My vision is for Dorset to be the safest county in the UK.

David Sidwick

I spent three years researching as a candidate for two reasons – to ensure I could be a successful crime fighting PCC by seeing how other police forces and PCCs operated and more importantly to get the views of people across Dorset so I could act on them. In 2019 I asked a police officer his needs and he said – Make Us Crime Fighters Again. That cultural change had to occur.

This job is about delivering for you – nothing else. I used your input from surveys and meetings to create a golden thread from the promises made to you and these became the Police and Crime Plan which in turn changed the operational vision of Dorset Police and also their culture back to fighting crime.

The 7 year plan is working with Dorset going from 10th to 7th safest place in the country. Anti-social behaviour, burglary, violent crime (with and without injury), rural crime are all significantly reduced.

On drugs – which drive so much harm and criminality – I have delivered tough enforcement, effective treatment and impactful prevention. County Lines down by 45%, increasing drug arrests and disruptions but also safeguarding the vulnerable and bringing more prevention initiatives into Dorset to stop our young people falling into the trap of illegal drugs.

I have created networks paying dividends for Dorset uniquely with the other 4 PCCs in the South West driving change through Operations like Scorpion (drugs) and Ragwort (rural crime). This has never been able to occur before.

This plan is working well after 3 years and I will ensure everybody feels this everywhere as I continue to deliver visible change.

This isn’t a job to me – it’s a vocation. I have no desire to be any sort of politician other than a PCC. This election is about delivery for you and Dorset.

The mission is to cut crime and anti-social behaviour – re-elect David Sidwick to continue to make our police crime fighters and make Dorset the safest county.

David Stokes – Labour and Co-operative Party

Over the past 12 months my team and I have spoken to thousands of people on the doorstep across Dorset. Time and again crime has been a major concern. Whether it is anti-social-behaviour, knife crime, domestic violence, rampant shop lifting or violence towards retail staff, Dorset certainly doesn’t feel like a safe place to live anymore.

David Stokes

As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I would work to see more police on the street. More neighbourhood and community policing working alongside specialist units to concentrate on violence against women and girls, drug dealing and serious violent crime.

Shockingly, across the country 90% of crimes now go unsolved. We need to restore confidence in the criminal justice system, to raise standards and get more crimes solved.

We also face increasing threats from cybercrime, fraud and ingenious scams that will affect more and more people. We need to take these new and emerging crimes seriously.

The Police and Crime Commissioner must focus on all the challenges that face the whole community. Co-operation, community and partnership work are things that come naturally to those of us in the Labour and Co-operative Party. They will be key themes that will underline my new administration as Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset.

About the candidate:-

David is 63 years old, married with three grown up children. He was born in Bournemouth and has lived here all his life, apart from 13 years working overseas on construction projects. He now works for a local firm as a Senior Quantity Surveyor and is active in his local Church. He is a member of Unite the Union.

Marianne Storey – Independent

As an independent candidate, I am not bound by any party’s political agenda. This means that my sole focus is serving the needs of our community. With a clear vision rooted in our people’s genuine needs, I am committed to working tirelessly to deliver real change for the people of Dorset.

Marianne Storey

My top priorities are clear and direct. The safety of our community is paramount, and I will work to restore the trust between the police and our residents. I will take a tough stance on crime and prioritise the safety of our residents. This includes higher police visibility for towns and rural communities, particularly in areas vulnerable to crime. However, visibility means more than just police on the street; we need more accountability and transparency from the most senior leaders in the force. A critical priority is the safety of women and girls, where levels of incidents of violence in our community are deeply concerning. I will take a zero-tolerance approach to violence and abuse and create an environment where they can trust the police again. This means addressing shortcomings within the police force and ensuring that women and girls are treated with respect and dignity. My third priority is to develop support for young people, in addition to ensuring their safety. Addressing the root causes of youth crime is essential in preventing it from happening. I will work to provide our young people with pathways away from antisocial behaviour, drugs, and violence being the connection to youth services, education, and employment opportunities. Every young person in our community deserves the chance to succeed and thrive.

Change doesn’t come from party politics. It comes from a fundamental understanding of the issues on the ground and relentless pursuit of what’s right for our community. With a hands-on approach and a deep understanding of our community’s unique challenges, I will foster collaboration, transparency, and accountability within our police force.

In this critical election, your vote for me is a vote for real change, honest leadership, and a safer Dorset. I am committed to serving our community with integrity, passion, and dedication.

How to vote on the day

This year the voting system used for the PCC elections has changed, in the past they used a Supplementary Vote system (SV) where voters were able to use two votes, however as of May 2023 the system has been changed to a ‘First past the post system’, the same as we use in a General Election.

Polling stations will be open from 07:00 – 22:00 on the 2nd May and the council will have sent eligible voters a polling card already. Voters are reminded that they now need photo ID in order to vote at this years elections.


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