Politics and policing ‘don’t get on’ says UKIP’s commissioner candidate for Northants

Sam Watts has been selected as UKIP's police and crime commisioner candidate for Northamptonshire.
Sam Watts has been selected as UKIP's police and crime commisioner candidate for Northamptonshire.

A former police officer who is now a pet care company owner and town councillor is set to stand for UKIP in the upcoming Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Burton Latimer town councillor Sam Watts has been announced as a candidate in the May vote, though the father-of-three claims to offer an antidote to party politics.

Councillor Watts owns Doggies Day Out, a national pet care and dog walking company, which has branches around the country.

But the 36-year-old also has a background in policing, having worked as a constable in the Metropolitan Police and has been a security guard in Corby town centre.

He is the former chairman of the Northamptonshire Police Independent Advisory Group for Kettering and Corby, and in 2001 picked up the Northamptonshire Police Authority Unsung Heroes Award – for his work as a security guard in his early 20s.

He said: “Having lived and worked for most of my life in Northamptonshire I am proud to be selected as a candidate for the upcoming police and crime commissioner election.

“Northamptonshire is home to me and my family. I want us to all feel safer and visually see an increased police presence on our streets. There will be challenges ahead but together we can work for a safer Northamptonshire.”

Despite his recent successes in business, Councillor Watts, who lives in Burton Latimer, says he is keen to re-enter the world of policing and claims to offer an alternative to what he says are his “career politician” rivals.

“In my opinion politics and policing don’t get on very well.

“Look at he fiasco we have had with (current commissioner) Adam Simmonds, he is purely political.

“Career politicians have never had to deal with crime on their streets or had to knock on a door to tell someone their loved one has passed away.

“This job needs someone who has had experience of dealing with crime, not someone whose only concerns have been what colour tie to wear.”

Jonathan Bullock, Chairman of UKIP in Northamptonshire said: “Sam Watts will be an excellent candidate who combines both experience as a policeman on the front line with community involvement as an elected representative in his town.

“The Tories huge failure with Adam Simmonds, who is not re-standing, means we need someone to give leadership and support to the police locally. Sam Watts has the qualities to do this.”