A second contender has thrown his hat into the ring for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex.

Paul Richards, a former Labour parliamentary candidate, says he wants to represent the rights of victims of crime.

He follows Conservative Peter Jones, leader of East Sussex County Council, in declaring his intention to run – though neither has yet secured the nomination of their parties.

Elections are due to take place for police and crime commissioners in each police force area on November 15.

The commissioners will be paid £85,000 a year to set the police budget and priorities, and hold the chief constable to account for policing, standards, the running of the force and getting value for money.

The directly-elected figures will replace police authorities, which are made up of councillors and independent people, though a panel will remain in place to scrutinise the commissioner.

Mr Richards, 44, of Summerdown Road, Eastbourne, stood as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Lewes in 2001.

Declaring his intention to run, he said: “This is a big role and it needs a big candidate to fill it.

“It is vital people in Sussex elect someone on the side of the victims of crime, and who can work with the police without forgetting who they represent.

“I will be meeting with local people and groups to tell them about my campaign for victims’ rights, and to ask them how to improve policing in Sussex.”

Mr Richards said he would give a third of his salary, if elected, to charities for police and victims of crime.

Labour Party members in East Sussex and West Sussex are due to be balloted by post to select a candidate this spring.

Coun Peter Jones declared he was putting himself forward for selection for the Conservative candidacy last year.

He said details of the party’s selection procedure have not yet been made available.

The Liberal Democrats are opposed to fielding political candidates and are waiting for independent candidates to come forward to whom they could give their backing.

The Greens have not yet announced their plans.

Sussex Police Authority has launched a website about the post, at www.sussexpcc.co.uk.

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