Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Ball, has announced that he will not be standing in next year’s elections for the post.
Mr Ball was elected as an independent in November 2012 to become Warwickshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.
I can honestly say that I have enjoyed almost every moment of being the county’s Police and Crime CommissionerRon Ball
Speaking about his decision, he said: “It has been my huge privilege and honour to serve the public of Warwickshire for the past three years, so this has not been an easy decision for me to make.
“I can honestly say that I have enjoyed almost every moment of being the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner. No two days have been alike, but that has been one of the attractions of the role.
“Not all of my fellow Police and Crime Commissioners were treated to as warm a welcome as the one I received from Chief Constable Andy Parker and his deputy Neil Brunton. Both from an operational and financial point of view, I inherited a very strong position from the Warwickshire Police Authority, and I will be passing on an equally strong position to my successor.
“My early decision to endorse the alliance between the Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces has been more than vindicated and is now irreversible. That has not prevented me from being an unwavering supporter of Warwickshire as an independent force contributing to the Alliance, which is why I insisted on us retaining a Chief Constable for Warwickshire.
“I am greatly encouraged by our new Chief Constable Martin Jelley’s first six months in post. Significant work is now being undertaken under the StraDA banner (Strengthening and Deepening the Alliance) and I am satisfied that the Alliance can face the coming challenges with confidence.
“With no background in either policing or local government the only way in which I could gain any credibility in the role of Police and Crime Commissioner was to commit myself wholeheartedly to it, which is what I have done. I think that now, as the Alliance is about to take its next leap forward, is the appropriate time for some fresh thinking and energy to be brought to the project.
“I am past the normal retirement age and looking forward to spending some more time with my children and grandchildren, but will probably find something else to do which is both less demanding and less time-consuming. It probably won’t involve golf though – that tends to have a detrimental effect on my language!
“With over six months to go until the next PCC elections there is still plenty more to be done and I will not be easing up until I am across the finishing line. I believe it is right to make my decision known early for a number of reasons, not least because it would be a distraction to the forthcoming election process if other candidates or potential candidates were not clear about my intentions.
“With the forthcoming consultation about the police precept looming I will now be able to focus solely on what will be good for Warwickshire, without having to concern myself about my own electoral prospects.
“I described my choice to stand as Police and Crime Commissioner as a ‘deathbed’ decision, by which I mean: I did not want to get to my deathbed regretting not having chosen to put myself forward. That, together with my choice of Dr Eric Wood as my deputy, are two of the best decisions I have ever taken. It has been a huge privilege to do this job, but it is the right time for me to step aside.”