A RETIRED police officer who served for 30 years yesterday launched his campaign to be elected Gwent police and crime commissioner.

Chris Wright, 52, and who retired from his post as a patrol sergeant in Blaenau Gwent last October, said he would keep front-line officers but cut backroom staff in non-essential jobs.

Mr Wright is the latest person to put their name forward for the position of Gwent police and crime commissioner, with elections due on November 15.

It emerged in 2011 that Gwent Police was to lose 300 officers and staff over three years as it tackled tough budgets from the government.

Mr Wright, who lives in Llanbradach, was born in 1959 in the Rhondda.

Over his career, which began in 1981, he served in the Metropolitan Police and Gloucestershire Constabulary before transferring to Gwent in 1997.

He served in Gwent as a constable and a sergeant in Risca, Newport, Monmouth, Caldicot, Chepstow, Ystrad Mynach and, in his last three years, in Tredegar and Blaenau Gwent.

He told the Argus he would cut backroom staff: “We have go to look at their jobs and, if it’s not essential, we would have to get rid of it.”

One example, he said, of a non-essential role was producing statistics: “Statistics for the Home Office do not lead to a better police force.”

He said his knowledge of community and specialised policing made him a “perfect candidate” to be able to analyse the direction, policies and strategies of Gwent constabulary.

The Argus previously reported Caerphilly Plaid councillor and former Labour minister Ron Davies has said he would be interested in the job, while former Monmouth Labour Westminister candidate Hamish Sandison has won the backing of four Gwent MPs for his campaign for the Labour candidacy.

Dates for nominations are yet to be announced by the Electoral Commission, but the election will be held in November.