THIS WEEK, the Oxford Mail is speaking to the four candidates standing to win power as the next Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner in the elections on May 6.

Today is the turn of Laetisia Carter who stood as PCC in 2016, losing by just a fraction, at five per cent of the votes.

In her campaign she promises to bring different perspectives to the police force, using her experience working at Thames Valley Police, with the NHS and for charities in schools.

The mum-of-two also pledges to bring down crime rates – focussing on crime that impacts people the most and the ‘devastating impacts’ of knife crime.

We asked her 10 questions, and here’s what she said:

1. What is your name?

Laetisia Carter

2. Where do you live?

Chipping Norton. I’m from West Oxfordshire, I’ve got two kids and we moved back here nine years ago. I’m born and bred Oxfordshire.

3. Why do you want to be the police and crime commissioner?

I want to be the PCC because there are very few people like me. With my experience of working in policing and working to improve people’s lives there are very few people in senior roles like me in the police and as PCC.

It is really important that there is diversity in policing too. Crime impacts women and girls a lot. My first ever role was as the diversity officer for Thames Valley Police and I dealt with hate crime and honour-based violence. I get it and it makes me different.

4. Why should people vote for you?

I’m not a career politician. I’ve worked in mental health, for the police and I’ve been a councillor. I’m an advocate for people.

It’s the job of a lifetime and it will allow me to put my values into a meaningful position. I was five per cent off the last vote in 2016 to stand as PCC with just under 173,000 votes. People are tiring for change, and they are ready for politicians who are different.

5. What do you do for work at the moment?

I’m a councillor and I work with young people for a charity that’s run by two doctors improving mental health and teaching in schools. I really love it. I’m also a mum of two children.

6. Using three words, how would you describe yourself?

I’m incredibly determined, kind and creative

7. What makes you different to the other candidates?

My age, my gender, my background. It is good that Al has a background in policing and so do I. it does not phase me working across the Thames Valley either. I have varied experience from working in the police, the NHS and charities.

8. What are your main election campaign promises?

• Violence against women and girls. This has been my campaign promise before the Sarah Everard failings but that really highlighted the problem about female victims of crime.

• Local, accessible policing. So many police stations have been closed, and this last year has taught us how much we need connection.

• Better support for victims and witnesses, they need to be much more supported.

• More support for young people. We need to have a grown up conversation about drugs and speak about what is really happening. Too many children are drawn into serious crime that impacts their safety and mental health for years. Those already struggling and vulnerable face child exploitation, knife grime, honour-based crime, being used by drug gangs and online grooming. I have worked with young people for years at schools.

• Cyber crime – this really impacts elderly people. People are losing their life savings so we really need a whole information campaign about how to stop people becoming victims.

9. What’s the first thing you will do if you’re elected?

The first thing I will do if I’m elected is a series of listening events. I love meeting people, I have all of my career. Meeting people is key to understanding so I will go around the whole of the Thames Valley meeting people, talking to people and listening.

10. What is the most important crime?

Most violent crime – this can have the most disastrous impact. They have not got a grip of knife crime, it’s gone up. It’s the PCC’s job to bring crime rates down.


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