The Liberal Democrats have revealed their candidate for next month’s Durham Police and Crime Commissioner election. 

Former Darlington councillor Nigel Boddy has been selected by the party for the role. The solicitor announced he will run on a platform of sensible spending, a return to best policing practices, and making the wellbeing of police officers a priority.

The Police and Crime Commissioner covers the whole of the Durham Constabulary force area, which includes County Durham and Darlington. 

Mr Boddy has 50 years of criminal justice experience, which he says inspired him to stand as a candidate.

“It’s been my enormous privilege to work alongside the police throughout my professional life, and I have seen our criminal justice system from all angles, and I know how it all fits together,” he said. 

“I also know that the public and our police officers deserve better in Durham. I have been around the police and the criminal justice system my entire life. I was the youngest of six children – three of us became criminal defence lawyers, and one of my brothers became a police officer, so I have seen just what a tough job our police officers have.

“I know what we need to do to get this broken system working again. Handing down stronger sentences in a vacuum isn’t the magic solution. For a start, the prisons are full. We have to find new ways of approaching criminality.”

The Liberal Democrat candidate was a councillor for North Road in Darlington between 2019-2023. 

He criticised the “immense amount of money being wasted” on criminal justice and blamed it on poor management and inefficiency. 

Mr Boddy added: “Look at our local system. We have a custody suite in Spennymoor, and a courthouse in Newton Aycliffe. That means our taxes are paying private companies to ferry prisoners between them. That just doesn’t make sense.

“Spending our money more wisely means we can afford to put more police officers into our communities with better resources to do their jobs.”

He also questioned whether police officers working 12-hour shifts is effective. 

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And Mr Boddy ruled out a forceful takeover of the Fire and Rescue Service. He said: “My understanding is that the Fire Brigades Union doesn’t want to fall under the control of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Durham, the way it’s been done in other parts of the country.

“They know their service best, so if they’re against it, I’m against it. But I would be keen to work closely with all our emergency services to ensure the best provision possible for the public.”

The Durham Police and Crime Commissioner election takes place on Thursday, May 2. The other candidates standing for election are Joy Allen (Labour) and Robert Potts (Conservative).