PCC hopeful: ‘I would ban 
the burkha’

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A woman battling to be the next police crime commissioner has spoken of her aim to see the burka banned in Biggleswade.

But English Democrat Toni Bugle insists she is being neither racist nor extreme.

“All I’m doing is talking common sense,” said the 47-year-old mum, who is busy raising £5,000 through GoFundMe to fund her PCC campaign.

“If people are wearing a burka they can’t be identified if they commit a crime. I don’t mind hijabs, because the face would still show on CCTV. But burkas should definitely go.

Toni, who lives just outside Biggleswade, is also pushing for the St George’s flag to be flown from all local police premises to wish that officers’ political correctness should fly out of the window.

“I don’t care what creed or colour people are. They could be black, white or sky blue pink with polka dots - but police officers should be able to treat them all the same without getting weighed down by political correctness,” she said.

Criticised by national media for her far right views, Toni admits to once shaking hands with an English Defence League protagonist - “It was a long time ago when I was naïve; I wouldn’t do it now.”

But she is also a personal friend of House of Lords crossbencher Baroness Cox, with whom she has bonded over a humanitarian mission called MARIAS – Mothers Against Radical Islam and Sharia.

“I founded MARIAS. It’s my baby,” said Toni. “We fight against ill treatment and sexual abuse of underage girls, many of them from the Muslim culture.

“I spend hours with these poor girls and I know what they go through.

“I was gang-raped myself when I was 15 and went through hell. Afterwards I ran away to London and lived on the street for a year, only to witness more girls abused – and then get ignored by police because they were prostitutes.

“That’s why I want to be a PCC - to change things. I think police around here do the best they can, but I don’t think they get it right.”

Toni wants to see big businesses pay a tariff towards employing100 more beat bobbies for Bedfordshire. She would also like the fast-track graduate entry scheme to be scrapped in favour of encouraging more young recruits to start at the bottom by pacing the streets.

She said: “People can call me extreme. And I know I’m outspoken. But I’m confident that what I’m doing is for the greater good of policing in Bedfordshire.”