A COUNCILLOR from West Malvern has thrown his hat in the ring as the Green Party's candidate for the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

John Raine is best known in the Malvern area as a parish, county and district councillor,. but he is also a professor of management in criminal justice at the University of Birmingham.

He has been an active member of the Green Party since the early 1980s, was first elected as a parish councillor in 1995, then as district councillor in 2000, before becoming a county councillor in 2013.

As an academic, he has specialised in criminal justice and in recent years a key strand of his research has been concerned with local police accountability, and the role of police and crime commissioners.

A member of the Criminal Justice Council for England and Wales, he has a long track record of research and consultancy for the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Victim Support and local criminal justice agencies, including magistrates’ courts in the West Mercia area.

Among his priorities are strengthening neighbourhood policing, with more police and community officers on the street, more enforcement of speed limits, and addressing the issues of under-reported crime, notably domestic violence and sexual abuse, by providing better treatment from the police.

He said: "I have a lot of interest in issues of police accountability, which I have been researching and writing about for many years, and now that I've semi-retired from the university, I hope that I would have the time for it."

He is currently vice-chair of Malvern Hills District Council, chair of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a member of the Malvern Hills Conservators.

Among the other candidates for the post are Daniel Walton for Labour, who also lives in the Malvern area and contested the local parliamentary seat last year.

John Campion is the Conservative candidate, Peter Jewell is standing for UKIP and Barrie Sheldon and Andrew Caitlin are standing as independents. The election is on May 5.