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The emergency services belong to all of us – and we need to be kept in the know

It’s been a busy few days for the campaign, meeting people in places all over the county: Huntingdon, Wisbech, Reach, St Ives, Bar Hill, Cambridge, St Neots, Fulbourne, Waterbeach, Dogsthorpe, Paston, Great Shelford, Romsey, Ramsey, Orton, Woodston, Cambridge City, Abbotts Ripley, East Chesterton, Cambourne, Sawston, Histon, Warboys, Flitten, Littleport, Sutton, Ely and Peterborough. Some places I have visited several times and these visits can be seen here
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but police visibility is clearly a defining issue for many local communities. People consistently raise their desire to see more officers out on the beat.

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With Tory politicians’ unwise and damaging cuts to policing, this is a problem that will only get worse unless we make real change. There is a real thirst for a community police service which is visible, accountable and makes connections with the public – and this support comes from both within the police itself, and from outside.

This brings me on to the subject of the Dotty Cloud radio show I took part in last Thursday morning – I went on the show to discuss the need for serious discussion provoked by the Trumpington Park and Ride busway derailment in February, and specifically the controversy over emergency services’ response times to the incident.

For those who missed it, a report into the accident appears to indicate that 50 minutes had elapsed before two seriously injured passengers on the bus were given proper attention.

However, other passengers and emergency services who witnessed the event dispute this, arguing that the response time was in fact considerably faster. From conversations I have had with firefighters, I understand that they arrived at the site of the incident within seven minutes, but the call they responded to didn’t come from the county council. I also understand that the ambulance service is deeply frustrated about this.

There is no doubt that the questions raised by this report must be answered. The public must be told what really happened here. Did it really take 90 minutes for an ambulance to come and take more seriously injured passengers away, 40 minutes for the fire service and 31 minutes for the police, or is the council report just wrong? Did the protocols fail in this case – or were there none in place? 

Transparency on these issues is very important, and one of the reasons I feel I can serve the people of Cambridgeshire well as Police and Crime Commissioner, is that I have spent so much of my working life in the emergency services as a firefighter. I know the questions to ask, I understand the processes involved, and now as a Councillor and a researcher in Public Services, I know how to listen to and act upon the concerns of those who work in the emergency services and those who simply want them to be the best they can be.

I want to ensure we all enjoy the benefits of a visible, accountable community police service, and I know that I have the experience and skills to help make that possible.

Hello everyone,

Welcome to my first blog post! Keep a look out for more of these as I continue my campaign around Cambridgeshire. In the meantime, here’s some updates about what I’ve been up to over the past week, in my bid to become your People’s Commissioner:

I’ve met lots of you out in Peterborough, Sawston, Linton and Wisbech, and had a lot of conversations (sometimes in spite of the weather!) What has really struck me is people’s willingness to engage with the police service – people just want to feel as though they have  opportunities to do so on their own terms. This includes a real desire to see more police out on the beat, and really positive responses to the idea of setting up more meetings and events where members of the community can meet the police, discuss concerns, and have their opinions listened to. So many people across the county already have a positive vision for community policing, and I’m more determined than ever to help make it happen.

Here’s some photos of me out and about on the PCC campaign  – I’ll always try and let everyone know where I’ll be in advance, so if there’s anything you’d like to ask in person, you’ll have the chance somewhere near you!




I’ve also been to a CoPaCC Candidates briefing day,  a Police and Crime panel meeting in Peterborough, and made the trip down to London twice. The first time, I went to a Local Government Association Police and Crime learning event, and today I attended a Labour PCC Candidate briefing, where we talked about combatting Tory Politician’s cuts to policing with Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Burnham.

If you want to keep up with what I’m doing during the campaign, and find out more about events like these, follow me on Twitter @dave4CambsPCC. I’ll be tweeting my blogs and events, and am happy to answer questions or simply get in touch to say hello!

See you all out on the campaign,


The people’s Commissioner.

For all of the people for all of the time

It was a real honour to be selected to represent Labour in the election for PCC.
Whilst clearly it is disappointing to come second, we came close enough to put the Tories on notice that they do not own Peterborough and Cambridgeshire.
Our campaign, particularly the way we took to the streets to meet people and talk about our vision to bring the police closer to the people, gained votes – it also forced the other candidates to adopt out agenda.
We should now look to build on the links that we have made to learn from each other and build our party so that we can become a more effective force throughout the whole area.
Thank you to all the comrades who gave me their support.
Over and out

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I do hope that people will recognise the skills that I can bring to the role of PCC and vote for me

I have made a short video to help explain how PCC ballots are different

As a firefighter I learnt that everything is possible.
As an academic I learnt it’s better to knock on doors than kick them down.
As a Cambridge City Councillor I have learnt that winning elections is possible if you listen to what people want and they trust you to do your best to achieve it.

Police and Crime Commissioner are elected to set the police’s priorities and budget
I believe my experience, as a firefighter for over 30 years, then as an academic who wrote ARU’s Public Service Degree and lectured on Policing, and now a Cambridge City Councillor makes me ideally suited to be the people’s choice to become PCC. Continue reading