Conservative vice-chairman Alok Sharma came to Bedford on Thursday (October 18) to back to Jas Parmar in his bid to be the first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Bedfordshire.
Mr Sharma, MP for Reading West, went canvassing with Mr Parmar, before the two Conservatives met with local party members at the campaign headquarters ahead of next month’s election.
And he described Mr Parmar’s CV as ideal for the role of PCC.
Mr Sharma said: “If you look at the attributes that are needed to be a PCC, you need someone who understands how the police work, you need someone who understands how policing works, you need someone who understands local communities, and you need someone who has real experience of running things.
“Jas has all of that in spades. He’s been a police officer. When you talk about frontline policing, he’s been in the frontline. He understands how police think, and that’s important.
“He’s been a local councillor. He’s been a Parliamentary candidate. And he’s a successful businessman.
“It’s a unique mix that no other candidate in Bedfordshire has. That’s why people should support him - so that they have a PCC who understands the issues and who is absolutely connected to the local community.” .
Currently police forces across the country are overseen by police authorities, made up of a mixture of councillors and government-appointed members.
According to the Home Office website, they are being phased out as “The government is committed to replacing bureaucratic accountability with democratic accountability”.
PCCs will appoint and be able to dismiss chief constables, will set out a five-year police and crime plan after their election, and will publish an annual report.
Mr Parmar said: “People want to see someone in the job who knows what they’re talking about, and who understands their concerns. I understand those concerns.
“I live in the community, my children go to school locally, and I understand Bedfordshire.
“I want offer effective management and leadership, and that is what people are looking for.”