Plymouth pub landlord Tam stands for police commissioner role
WELL-known businessman Tam Macpherson is to stand for election as the new regional police chief – with a plan to split the Devon and Cornwall force in two.
Mr Macpherson, owner of the Clipper Inn, in Union Street, has become the latest candidate for the new Police and Crime Commissioner role.
Voters in the West Country will go to the polls on November 15 to decide who will take the powerful, but controversial, new US-style post which will replace the current police authority.
And Mr Macpherson's election platform is based around a radical plan to give Devon and Cornwall separate police forces.
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The former Royal Marine, who is standing as an independent, believes local identity is important and two separate forces will improve policing in an area with one of the biggest rural communities in the UK.
He is also highlighting his independent status, and is already campaigning via social media, and said: "I am a strong supporter of the police, but I have also been a victim and have been left with the perception that red tape can often stifle good policing.
"I will be the voice of the resident, business and visitor, the victim and the witness; not the political party.
"The future of our police service and justice system should not be decided on the crack of a partisan whip or the colour of a party rosette."
Like all candidates Mr Macpherson had to collect the names of 100 'assenters'. Candidates must also register a £5,000 deposit.
He joins a candidate list which already includes:
Tony Hogg, a former commander of RNAS Culdrose in West Cornwall, who is standing for the Conservatives.
Former Detective Chief Inspector Brian Blake, representing the Liberal Democrats.
Plymouth councillor Nicky Williams, chosen by Labour.
Lib Dem councillor Brian Greenslade, a former chairman of the authority and once Devon County Council leader, is to stand as an independent.
John Smith, a former Lib Dem councillor on Devon County Council and another former authority chairman, has also put forward his name as an independent.
Another independent is former farmer William Morris, from Penzance.
The new commissioner, who will be paid £85,000 a year, will set policing strategy and the budget for the force. The chief constable will remain in charge of day-to-day policing.
However, the creation of the office has been opposed with politicisation of the police service and the £75million cost of elections among concerns.
There have also been warnings about the likelihood of a low turnout at polls.
So far about 1,304,000 people have registered to vote in Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly with 204,822 registering for a postal vote.
The Home Office has overall responsibility for the elections, which will use the supplementary vote system.
If no candidate has 50 per cent of the first preference votes, the two highest ranked candidates go forward to a second round, when the ballots indicating a first preference for a candidate that lost the first round are re-allocated according to the second preference indicated on the ballot paper.
Nominations close at noon tomorrow. The list of candidates will be published the following Tuesday.