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Tory West Midlands Mayor hopeful: It's time to scrap the PCC

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The Conservative candidate for West Midlands Mayor has called for the role of police and crime commissioner to be scrapped by 2020.

Andy Street says he believes the region's Mayor should take over the responsibilities of the PCC, a position currently held by Labour's David Jamieson.

The former John Lewis boss has also pledged to lead a Coalition Against Crime and secure greater powers to tackle anti-social behaviour on public transport.

Today he called on the Government to confirm the Mayor will take over the PCC's role in three years time, a move he says will allow for a more coordinated and cost effective approach to policing in the region.

"It is important the Government confirms precisely what is going to happen with the role of commissioner from 2020 onwards," he said.

"There is a natural synergy between what the mayor will do and the PCC's role.

"I want to see the Government confirm that by the second term of office the Mayor will take over from the PCC, so we can concentrate on working out a formal structure within the mayoralty."

Mr Street has pledged to work alongside Mr Jamieson and Chief Constable Dave Thompson to address key priorities on crime.

Regarding his proposed Coalition Against Crime, Mr Street said: "Although there has been good progress on reducing some crimes, including burglary and car crime, there is still too much organised crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as new threats like cyber crime.

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"The creation of the mayoralty is a new opportunity to co-ordinate our efforts across the region to address these threats.

"As mayor I will ensure we all work together in what I am calling a Coalition Against Crime. That needs to extend beyond the police to all agencies.

"Indeed, to beat crime, we need much more than a new £1 million initiative here or there. We must use the £2.3 billion combined war chest we spend each year on public order across the wider West Midlands – not just the mayoral area - in a coordinated way.

"As mayor, my focus will be on addressing the causes of crime through improving economic opportunities and on crime on public transport.

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"My renewal plan for the West Midlands aims to transform the use of public transport but people tell me they are concerned about anti-social behaviour on buses. This has to change.

"I will therefore adopt a zero-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour and more serious crime on public transport.

"I will also get the necessary powers to tackle public transport crime, for example banning repeat offenders from the whole West Midlands network, and giving bus drivers the authority to kick offenders off buses."

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