Suleman bids for police job
A businessman and community leader is to stand for elected police commissioner as an independent.
Suleman Nagdi, who lives in Leicester, said he believed party politics should be kept out of the £75,000-a-year role.
Mr Nagdi, who is active in a number of community groups, including Leicestershire Federation of Muslim Organisations, said he would "put the feelings of victims of crime and law-abiding citizens first" if he was elected in November.
He said: "Over the past 25 years, I have been actively engaged in providing a critical voice to the police to ensure that members of the public receive the highest standards of service.
"In order to create stronger, safer and integrated communities, we need to support our police – not to play party politics with them.
"That is why I am standing as an independent candidate. The person who is elected police and crime commissioner (PCC) should be accountable to the people and not to political parties.
"I believe my experiences in business and in the community will stand me in good stead for this vital role."
Labour and Conservative candidates – city councillor Sarah Russell and retired Air Chief Marshall Sir Clive Loader – this week both stressed they would not make decisions based on party affiliations.
The PCCs will replace police authorities, which have traditionally set police budgets, appointed senior officers and scrutinised force performance.
The Home Office believes commissioners will be more accountable to the public because they are elected, whereas police authority members include appointed councillors, magistrates and independents.
Mr Nagdi is the second person to tell the Mercury of their intention to stand as an independent in November's election.
However, the first, city magistrate and businessman Rick Moore withdrew from the contest last month.
Mr Moore said he believed an independent could not win the contest because of the financial resources available to the main political parties.
He said: "I worked out that to send a single letter to every home in the county would cost about £80,000 – an independent simply cannot compete with mainstream parties."
The deadline for nominations is mid-October. Each candidate must provide a £5,000 deposit and a document signed by 100 residents.
A national think tank this week suggested politicians would not attract widespread support among voters.
A YouGov poll for Policy Exchange found 59 per cent of voters said former police officers were their preferred candidates.
Others said they would back "ordinary people with an interest in policing issues" or those from a military background.
Only 13 per cent backed candidates from the business world, while six per cent said they would choose a politician.
A website about the November 15 election is at: