Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carroll

A top English Defence League figure wants to be in charge of crime and policing in Luton - the scene of ugly clashes between the far-right group and Muslims.

Kevin Carroll is standing for the post of Bedfordshire's first-ever police and crime commissioner as the candidate for the newly-created British Freedom party.

He is also a co-founder of the EDL. Supporters have raised the £5,000 necessary to register a candidate.

But as Carroll runs for office in the town which spawned the EDL and witnessed radical Mulisms burning Remembrance Day poppies, he will face accusations that as the founding father of the most controversial street movement of recent times, he is part of the problem, not the solution.

Carroll describes himself as a "proud Lutonian." But the strong anti-Islamic agenda of the EDL is likely to give residents cause to worry. How would they be represented by the man described by some as the right-hand man of EDL leader Tommy Robinson? The demographics look against him. In Luton, nearly a third of the population is non-white. The Muslim population is five times the national average.

His British Freedom manifesto states a policy of "zero tolerance for extremist and terrorist activity in Bedfordshire".

Also on the list is the promise to "aggressively pursue so-called honour crimes" and to "end politically correct two-tier policing" along with pledges to put the rights of victims of crime first and getting tough on drugs.

The new role of elected police and crime commissioner is likely to present challenges for a fringe candidate, say experts, because the winning candidate has to take a civic oath to represent all sections of the public "without fear or favour".

A Home Office spokesman told IBTimes UK: "If there were complaints from the public that the commissioner was not serving the community as set out in the oath, then it's unlikely that person would last very long.

"Each police and crime commissioner elected will take an oath and they will swear to maintain impartiality. It is also about keeping transparency so that people know how and why they are making decisions and that the commissioner upholds that."

Police and crime panels of councillors will act as watchdogs and scrutinise commissioners at public meetings. Dissatisfied local residents can call for a by-election for a new commissioner.