Relevant experience: Dealing with and communicating with people – a career in retail sales requires significant consultative abilities, and the ability to listen to what people want you to provide.
As I work in a small family business, I have worn many “hats” in addition to direct sales, including marketing, PR, budgetary responsibility, product design and training.
Why Oxfordshire should vote for me: Claims to be “tough on crime” and “tough on the causes of crime” make good soundbites, but looking at the legacy of failure on the part of the three old Westminster parties when it comes to criminal justice exposes the terms as the hollow promise that it is. I will encourage a robust approach to policing.
Which crimes in Oxfordshire and Oxford city will you prioritise? Alongside the more general regional and countywide problems with anti-social behaviour and burglary, Oxford city obviously has a significant problem with other thefts, particularly bicycle theft.
How will you prevent more crime? It is clear that a small number of repeat offenders are responsible for a disproportionate number of crimes. Alongside the crucial work in engaging with young people to divert them from criminal activity, I also believe that there has to be a move to communicate the consequences of crime in a punitive sense to establish a deterrent.
How will you solve more crime? This comes down tactically to the senior officers in the local area, but what I can do is allocate adequate resources to them. We also need to cultivate a sense of responsibility in the community.
Where in Oxfordshire and Oxford city would you spend more money? One of the first things I intend to do regionwide is to emphasise tackling anti-social behaviour (in its myriad forms) since that has universally been communicated as a priority for people.
Where do you see opportunities for the force to save money in Oxford and Oxfordshire? A 2.5 per cent precept rise (about £4 a year on a Band D house) has already been approved by the outgoing police authority for next year, but I actually think that is too low and that it is dangerous to let increases in police funding fall behind the rate of inflation. I will, of course, conduct consultations before raising taxes.
How would you ensure budget cuts do not lead to crime rising? I cannot promise anything in this regard. That the police budget is being cut at all is scandalous and indefensible in my opinion, particularly when confronted with some of the Government’s spending priorities.
How important is the police’s relationship with the public and how will you develop this? It is crucial. There has to be mutual respect. This has broken down over the last few decades, largely due to the end of “local bobbies” who knew their patch intimately and were a familiar local figure.
Thames Valley is a large area, how will you make sure Oxford is represented? The Thames Valley is already broken down into local policing areas, so there will be senior commanders on the ground who are focused on local policing needs. Other than that, it comes down to communication.
How will we be able to measure your success after your first 100 days? A lot of the first few months will be spent in meetings across the region with key bodies and groups, alongside the establishment of mechanisms of communication to facilitate democratic input into the police and crime plan.
Since this plan has to be published within the first 100 days, I would say that if people read it and see that I am responding to their concerns and priorities, that strategically I was delivering the sort of policing that they want, I could be judged an initial success.
- A POLICE and Crime Commissioner will be elected in the Thames Valley for the first time on Thursday, November 15. The £85,000-a-year post’s responsibilities include setting the police force’s budget and priorities. They will also have the power to appoint and dismiss the chief constable.
The winner will start work on November 22. Elections will be held every four years.