Put your questions to police chiefs at Rugby meeting

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People in Rugby can put their questions to Warwickshire Police’s chief constable and the county’s police commissioner at a special meeting on Wednesday June 25.

The event takes place at Lawrence Sheriff School in Clifton Road from 6.30pm. The first half-hour will give the public an opportunity to chat to commissioner Ron Ball and Chief Constable Andy Parker before the formal meeting starts at 7pm.

Top of the agenda - following general introductions - will be 45 minutes for public questions. Other agenda items will include police performance and integrity, domestic abuse, and an update on the alliance between Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces.

Anyone unable to attend the meeting will be able to watch it live via www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.

Mr Ball, who was elected by the public in 2012 after standing as an independent candidate, said: “Residents should be able to have their say - in public - on key issues of crime, policing and community safety.”

Mr Ball, whose main responsibilities include holding the chief constable to account, is halfway through his four-year term in office. He said: “I don’t know what I was expecting the job to be like, but it could have been designed for me. No two days are alike and I meet a lot of interesting people doing interesting things. I absolutely love it.”

Mr Ball’s campaign was based in part on developing a reputation for plain-speaking. He said: “I pledged, from the outset, to be totally honest, open and transparent in all my dealings as Police and Crime Commissioner. That’s the way I work.”

And the former commercial airline pilot is convinced that many people’s lives are blighted by the fear of crime. “You don’t have to be a victim to feel vulnerable,” he said. “The reality is that overall crime is falling in Warwickshire – yet many people feel they live in more dangerous times. This restricts the things they do, and their willingness to interact with others.

“It can leave them feeling lonely and isolated in their own homes. With an ageing population and more people living alone, it’s a growing problem.

“As a society, we have to find ways to tackle it.”

Mr Ball is proud of the alliance between Warwickshire and West Mercia police. He said: “Some people think a full-blown merger of our two forces is inevitable.”

“I am not of that view. We can reap major benefits from our alliance without losing a distinctive voice and identity for Warwickshire – and I am determined to retain both of those.”

Ron Ball: What he does and what he earns

Ron Ball appoints the chief constable, sets the force budget and ‘precept’ - the amount of council tax charged for the police - writes the local police and crime plan, oversees policy and practice and challenges the chief constable to provide what the public want

He can be contacted by emailing opcc@warwickshire.gov.uk or calling 01926 412322

Mr Ball is paid £65,000 per year for his role

The cost of running his office last year was £840,139

See www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk for more