We've interviewed all the candidates for this year's elections. See our piece explaining how to vote here.

Russell Fowler is standing as the independent candidate in the election of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner on May 2, 2024.

Originally from Newport in Wales, the 63-year-old now lives in Gerrards Cross and runs his international anti-fuel theft business FuelDefend Global Ltd from Chalfont St Peter.

His work as a diamond explorer for De Beers in Botswana in the 1980s led him on adventures through the Kalahari Desert and even saw him crowned chief of the village of Xai Xai by the Basarwa people.

READ MORE: Meet the other PCC candidates – Tim Bearder (Lib Dem), Matthew Barber (Conservative), Tim Starkey (Labour) and Ben Holden-Crowther (Independent)

He also lived in post-Soviet St Petersburg in the mid-90s and has served on the boards of EasyJet and tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds.

If elected as PCC of TVP, he has promised to ‘put more bobbies on the beat’ and root out corruption from what he calls a ‘parochial and dysfunctional organisation’.

Here we question Mr Fowler further about his suitability for the role:

What experience do you have for the role?

I have had a very detailed insight into the workings of TVP for six years including the Chief Constable’s office, Professional Standards (PSD), the Office of the PCC and IOPC in conjunction with senior lawyers, ex-senior police and specialists.

Why should people vote for you?

I am skilled in evaluating senior management performance and making staff, organisational and cultural changes as required to ensure top performance.

Which crimes will you prioritise?

Violence and the epidemic of shoplifting.

How will you prevent more crime?

There will be better management of the force’s staff, improving staff skills and staff motivation to build public confidence in the professionalism, honesty and integrity of the police.

How will you solve more crime?

Poor investigative abilities and low determination to solve crime, even when clear and compelling evidence is readily available, within TVP needs to be improved. 

Will officers notice a change?

Good officers will notice a new agenda to professionalise officers and will be excited. Poor and bad officers will soon leave.

Is the position unnecessarily politicised?

There is no need for the PCC role to have political alignment. It must be seen to be very separate.  The PCC should have freedom to make statements, both praising and critical of TVP performance.

Where would you spend more money?

In improving police management, making large organisational changes and clearing out dead wood and corruption.

How would you ensure budget cuts do not lead to crime rising?

A re-invigorated, better motivated police force will create efficiencies to cover any budget cuts.

How important is the police’s relationship with the public and how will you develop this?

It is vital. The public’s trust in the police is at an all-time low. The public does not want to see a PCC waving the PR flag on behalf of TVP, but a PCC demanding better performance.

How will you ensure TVP deals with officers who commit crimes?

TVP have been quiet on statements about rooting out police and ex-police corruption. Officers whether junior or senior must be actioned, removed and jailed where appropriate.

How you make sure everywhere in the large Thames Valley area is represented?

A series of overview management teams involving more individuals from ‘the real word’ will be involved to evaluate the varying requirements across the patch. 

How will we be able to measure your success after your first 100 days?

I have a clear agenda developed for an improved TVP/OPCC performance using public feedback – see ReportThamesValleyPolice.com – and benchmarking against the best forces in UK.