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A PUBLIC Q&A session will be held tonight with the candidates for the post of Police & Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.

Sheffield First Partnership, The Star and Sheffield for Democracy invite members of the public to attend the event, for the opportunity to hear and pose questions to the five candidates. This event will be the only opportunity for the candidates to be questioned by the Sheffield public on what their manifestos mean for the city. The candidates include:

David Allen (English Democrats), sales manager for a large industrial minerals company. Doncaster born-and-bred David says the policing budget should not be cut and that the resources available should be spent on crime prevention. He believes “the office of constable is the cornerstone of British justice” and the “difficult and dangerous” role should be exempt from political interference.

Jonathan Arnott, general secretary of UKIP, is representing his party in the police and crime commissioner election. Jonathan says he believes “the criminal justice system should be tough enough to protect local people and deter criminals from offending.” His plan would be to work with South Yorkshire Police, making sure they are held to account, and dealing with policing priorities and budgets.

Nigel Bonson (Conservative), is a former chief inspector with Greater Manchester Police for 30 years. His aim would be to “give safety back to the public by giving strength back to the force. I have the skills and experience to work with the public, the police and their partners to identify and prioritise exactly where our resources are most needed.”

Robert Teal (Liberal Democrat), is a businessman from Barnsley, working in the retail sector, and also a magistrate. He aims to cut down on waste and direct funds towards front-line services. He also wants to give local people a greater voice in how their police service is run.

Shaun Wright (Labour), has been a councillor for 12 years and a workplace shop steward. He is a former vice chair of South Yorkshire Police Authority, a magistrate, a school governor and a trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. He wants to concentrate resources at the “sharp end” rather than “costly and often unnecessary red tape” with a focus on local neighbourhood policing.

The event will take place at Peak Lecture Theatre, The Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, S1 1WB tonight (Monday November 5) from 5pm to 7pm. If you have any queries about the event, please email sheffield.first@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 273 5822.