FORMER police superintendent Martin Surl is the only independent candidate standing and says his priority is simple: To reduce crime.

"Many people think the Police and Crime Commissioner is a political appointment who will take the place of the chief constable. Neither is the case.

"The chief constable will still be responsible for the day to day running of Gloucestershire Constabulary, the commissioner will be responsible for the budget and its overall objectives.

"In other words, the commissioner will set the priorities like making our streets safer for older people and women at night. It will be the chief constable’s job to make it happen.

"As for it being a political appointment, when David Cameron first announced the policy he said it was a job for people from all backgrounds, not just politicians.

"I will promise make the police more accessible - which will undoubtedly include stopping the closure of our most important local stations. I will ensure safe days and nights for all, ensure older people do not feel they are left out of society, help young people become adults and encourage safe and social driving.

"These are my aims and I want to hear your views.

"I was born in Gloucestershire and my family has lived here for generations. I was brought up and educated in Cheltenham and Gloucester, as were my two children, and there is nowhere else my family and I would want to live.

"As a former senior police officer, I have worked both at home and abroad in the field of justice and policing for more than 30 years.

"That doesn’t make me resistant to change but it does give me a unique understanding among my opponents of how important an effective police service is to our security and sense of community and, more importantly, how to achieve it."