Age: 53

Address: Lymington

Political party: Independent

He is the only candidate not attached to a political party.

And independent candidate Simon Hayes – who chairs Crimestoppers and is a criminologist by profession – says he has the skills and expertise to be the first elected Police and Crime Commissioner in Hampshire.

Putting his top priorities as boosting frontline officers, preventing re-offending and re-establishing links between the police and school and colleges, Mr Hayes says he is concerned about recent cutbacks at Hampshire Constabulary.

He said: “There have been very deep cuts in the force’s budget which has been reflected by the numbers of police officers that are available, for response times and responding to concerns of the public.

“I think this has resulted in a very low morale for the police force and also the trust that the public and confidence in the police to respond to their needs is very low.”

He says he would tackle re-offending with restorative justice, better rehabilitation for people with addictions and by speeding up the court process.

Being an independent candidate makes him uniquely suited to the role, he claims.

He added: “I believe the Police and Crime Commissioner can only serve one master and that must be the electorate in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – not the political masters in Westminster.”

Mr Hayes said he would be looking for a new chief constable with a “broad policing experience” who is a good leader, prepared to listen and a strong communicator.
Whoever is elected will have the job of appointing a new chief constable, after Alex Marshall announced his resignation last month.

On the subject of vetting, Mr Hayes said he thinks background checks for new Police and Crime Commissioners is “vitally important”.

He added: “I would expect to be vetted to the highest level.

“I think you can’t have a Police and Crime Commissioner where there is any debate about their security level.”