Dave Baigent is the Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Cambridgeshire. He was a Firefighter for over 30 years, studied for a first degree / PhD in Sociology, wrote ARU's Public Service Degree and lectured on Policing. He is now a Cambridge City Councillor and is standing to be ‘The People's Commissioner’.
My number one priority as Commissioner will be to give the people of Peterborough and Cambridge the type of police service that they want. One way to do this is by improving police/public relations through a new approach to community policing.
This is an often-made claim, but these are not just words. I am a can do person, hard working, trustworthy and smart. These skills will help me to bring about my specific vision of a police service that reflects its community, is accountable to residents, and speaks/listens to them.
That is exactly what I do when I campaign - I get out and talk to people in their communities and I listen to them - that is how you build trust.
As a consequence, my vision as a Commissioner would be to personally go with the police into the community to recognise the local priorities.
And when I say I will go with the police to the community – I mean I will go with senior police officers. And we will meet with the people and talk to them as individuals, in groups, in schools, with their representatives and those agencies that also help the community. The prime aim of this will be to agree local policing priorities. And when the community and the police agree priorities, then the police will have been part of that process.
Then in turn the agreed police/public priorities would become my priorities. And of course my priorities then become the police’s priorities.
I would also expect when this happens that in due time the community will increase their trust in the police and PCSO's. There are very positive outcomes when this happens.
Why do I think this would work for everyone (except criminals)? We all appreciate that the police, often by very clever detective work, solve crimes. However, much less spoken about is that most crime is solved by evidence the police get from the public. In effect, it is we, the public, who provide the evidence that catches criminals.
And whilst the police are an enormously hard working organisation, at times, the way they do their work can be a barrier to getting public support.
If elected as 'The People's Commissioner’, I would have the authority to improve police public relations and to help the police recognise that to get public support they must provide the sort of service that will mean the public want to help them.
Maintaining and improving the police/public relationship will be at the core of everything that I do as Commissioner. Getting PCSO's, beat constables and the public talking to each other is an important step in this process.
A wider explanation can be found here including my aims for improving the police, when in 2001 I wrote and led the two Public Service Degrees at Anglia Ruskin University. These degrees, which are aimed at students who want to join uniformed public services (primarily the police), are now offered at Cambridge, Peterborough and Harlow. Please get in touch with me, on these, or any other police issues. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @dave4CambsPCC