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Former councillor Matt Bennett bids to become Police and Crime Commissioner

Former councillor Matt Bennett bids to become Police and Crime Commissioner

🕔15.Jun 2012

Former Birmingham City Councillor Matt Bennett has announced his candidacy for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands. Having failed to retain his council seat in the recent local elections, the former Executive Member of Children’s Social Care, has turned his attention towards the region’s policing and its efforts to tackle local crime.

Emphasising his roots in the area, Bennett notes his upbringing in Sutton Coldfield and his current home in Edgbaston.

Bennett says: “Too many crimes go unreported because people don’t think it will achieve anything”, urging a greater partnership between the polic an the public.

Pointing to “a culture of mistrust” between the force and ethnic minorities, he says a goal is to help communities build bridges with the police.

And possibly to embarrass Bob Jones, his Labour rival and real ale afficionado, Bennett wants police to more actively oppose the granting of alcohol licences in certain parts of the region.

This policy is one that the former councillor has some success with in the past. While he was a councillor for Stockland Green, he worked to crack down on street drinking and low level anti-social behaviour.

Mr Bennett feels his approach is warranted if “clear links between number of licensed premises and increase in crime and street drinking”. This tactic may create a backlash from the numerous bar owners and license holders trying to create successful enterprises in deprived areas.

Due to the Conservative Party’s US-style open primary selection process, with voting coming from Birmingham, Walsall, Halesowen and Solihull, Bennett will have to impress different set of voters in separate communities across the region.

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