WITH the inaugural Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections just under a week away, residents in Hampshire and Wiltshire are being encouraged to vote and have their say on this important role.

On Thursday, November 15 there will be 41 PCC elections – 37 in England and four in Wales.

Those in favour of the new position say that PCCs will ensure the policing needs of their communities are met as effectively as possible, bringing communities closer to the police, building confidence in the system and restoring trust.

PCCs will make and influence key decisions, which will impact on how local areas look and feel, from CCTV, street lighting and graffiti to tackling drug-dealing.

Their job is to listen to the public and respond to their needs, bringing more of a public voice to policing and giving the public a name and a face to complain to if they aren’t satisfied.

There are six candidates in the running for the role of PCC in Wiltshire and six in Hampshire.

Unusually, voters will be asked for their first and second preference of candidate in this election.

Here we are profiling the candidates for Hampshire.

Wiltshire voters will be asked to choose from: Warminster town councillor and bike-shop owner Paul Batchelor for the Liberal Democrats, Swindon accountant and former councillor Angus Macpherson for the Conservatives, Salisbury union official Clare Moody for Labour, former deputy chief executive of Swindon Borough Council John Short for UKIP, independant antipolice corruption campaigner Liam Silcocks and independent counter terrorism speciali s t C o l i n S k e l ton.