Former lord mayor named as Green police and crime commissioner pick

Green Party Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Martin Schmierer. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Green Party Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Martin Schmierer. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A former lord mayor of Norwich has been revealed as the Green Party's candidate in the police and crime commissioner election.

Martin Schmierer, who served as lord mayor in the 2018-19 municipal year, will stand for the party in May's election, which will select Lorne Green's successor. 

Mr Green is not due to stand for re-election, having decided last year to stand down for the post - only for the Covid-19 pandemic to postpone the 2020 vote, resulting in him serving another year.

But with this year's local elections set to go ahead, parties have began naming their candidates for the upcoming poll.

And Mr Schmierer, who also stood for the post in 2016, is once again the Green's pick for the role.

He said: "I understand how crime and anti-social behaviour blights people’s lives. As someone who grew up in Norwich and currently lives in the city centre - an area which has a disproportionately large amount of crime – I sadly see first-hand everything from graffiti-ing and flytipping to drug dealing.

“A decade of cuts to social services, local councils and the police force have sadly meant that the residents I have spoken to over the last few years feel more unsafe than ever before.

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"One of the reasons I am standing is to highlight how the police cannot simply arrest their way out of the problems they are facing. We need a fundamental change in approach from national government to deal with the underlying causes of crime."

In picking Mr Schmierer, the Greens become the latest party to announce their candidate for the post, which is currently held by the Conservatives.

The most recent person to throw his name into the hat is David Moreland, who previously ran to be member of parliament for UKIP. He will be standing as an independent candidate.

And in February, the Liberal Democrats named former headteacher John Crofts as its candidate.

Michael Rosen, who has previously served as a director of children's services at Norfolk County Council will be standing for Labour,  while former army officer Giles Orpen-Smellie is the pick of the Conservatives.