Former Detective Inspector Mike Rees has confirmed he is standing again as an independent candidate for Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner.
He has the backing of former Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who was central to the capture and conviction of double Swindon killer Christopher Halliwell.
Mike, who lives near Malmesbury, said: “After much deliberation with my family and due to the thousands of people who voted for me, I’ve made the decision following the fiasco of the first election back in May.
“That process was an eye-opener to say the least and I still think it's an appalling waste of public money that it has to be run again - something which could and should have been avoided.
“However, I’m so appreciative and humbled by the support I received, and it is this which has motivated me to stand again.”
Central to his decision was the support of former colleague Steve Fulcher, who left Wiltshire Police in 2014 after becoming subject to an investigation over decisions he made when questioning killer Halliwell over the abduction and murder of Sian O’Callaghan.
Halliwell admitted killing another woman, Becky Godden Edwards, and offered to show Steve where he’d buried her body. Steve’s story was told last year in an ITV series A Confession, in which he was played by actor Martin Freeman, and Steve has also written a book telling his side of the story.
Halliwell is currently serving a whole life sentence for the murder of these two women. Steve has always stood by the decisions he made in the fast-moving situation of a high-pressure murder case.
Mike has always supported Steve around making a moral choice in an extraordinary situation.
Steve said: “I’m so pleased to support Mike again in this second campaign. Mike was an officer of real passion, dedication and integrity – and he’s now a businessman with the same ethics.
“Fulfilling the office of PCC is a significant commitment and there are considerable challenges for policing. I believe Mike is the man to face these challenges head on.
"He has spent his career serving the people of Wiltshire and is determined to ensure the police service is one in which he and the community, can take pride.”
Mike has set out his four main priorities if he is elected as the new PPC:
- stronger presence.
- wise and responsible spending.
- supporting communities.
- safer streets.
Mike said: “I have my views around the existence of the PCC role, but firmly believe that if there is to be one, it should not be filled by a politician with allegiance to a political party. I’m under no illusion about the task before me having gone through this process already.
“I’m really pleased and grateful to have Steve’s support again. He genuinely cares about people, whether they be staff, members of the public or victims. I know like me, he’s passionate about delivering a quality service to the public.”
Mike grew up in the Rhondda Valleys in Wales, living on a council estate, the son of a steelworker and a cleaner. He was educated at a local comprehensive school achieving seven O’ Levels and two A Levels. Mike’s passion was sport and he won several titles as a boxer and played football to county level.
At the age of 18, Mike left home, joining Wiltshire Police as a constable. Most of his service covered working in Swindon but his work also took him all over the county and he was involved in many high profile cases.
He retired as a detective inspector in 2014 having completed 30 years. He’s since gone on to run a specialist cleaning business.
Mike has been married to Angela for 20 years, is father of three sons, and he’s also a proud grandfather. He founded Fatboys, a registered charity, in 1999 following the death of a close friend.
The charity has raised in excess of £350,000 to date and supports children throughout the UK suffering from cancer and leukaemia. Mike can also be found at his local amateur boxing club, where he is the head coach.
Steve’s Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/