Today, we are publishing election statements from the candidates in the upcoming Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Here, Hamish Sandison makes his case for election.

In this election, you’re not voting for a second Chief Constable; you’re voting for someone who can draw up a strategic policing plan for Gwent, set the budget for that plan, and hold the police to account for delivering it.

I’ve been a practising lawyer for 35 years, here and in the United States; I’ve lived in Monmouthshire for 25 years; I’ve chaired a major international law firm; and I stood for Parliament as Labour’s candidate in Monmouth in 2010. I’ve got the legal training, the business skills and the political experience the Commissioner will need.

Unlike the Independent candidates, I’m not a former policeman. I’m completely independent of the police. I will ask the tough questions on your behalf, and will hold the police to account without fear or favour. As Labour's candidate, I’m campaigning against the Government’s 20% cuts in police budgets, which are putting community safety at risk by taking police officers off the streets.

I’m opposed to police station closures in Gwent, and to privatisation of police services. I will always stand up for policing as a public service.

If elected, I will ensure that Gwent Police deliver our local priorities - neighbourhood policing; visible policing; bearing down on crime and anti-social behaviour; tackling the scourge of drug and alcohol misuse; putting the victims of crime first, especially the victims of domestic violence and hate crime; acting to secure greater peace of mind for our older people.

As your Commissioner, I will be a powerful advocate for local people. There will be no major changes to local policing - like police station closures - without proper public consultation. And I will be a champion for crime prevention as well as for better policing of crime. For more information, please go to