Asking Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright About Chief Constable Recruitment


Friday, August 14th, 2015. 2:30pm

On Friday the 14th of August I attended a “meet Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright” event on the Market Square in Cambridge.

The event was held the morning after Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright announced Alec Wood as his preferred candidate for appointment as Cambridgeshire’s Chief Constable.

I asked Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright why he thought Alec Wood was the right person for the role and about the recruitment process so far.

Richard Taylor: So can I ask you: Did you interview the Chief Constable candidates along with a panel of people?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We issued a statement on that and I’m not saying any more about it.

Richard Taylor: It doesn’t say what role you had in the process. What role did you have in the process so far?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I’ve issued a statement and I’m not saying any more about it. It’s up to the panel.

Richard Taylor: It doesn’t say if you’ve interviewed the candidates. Have you interviewed some candidates?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We’ve issued a statement.

Richard Taylor: It doesn’t tell me if you’ve interviewed any candidates.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We issued a statement quite clearly.

Richard Taylor: It doesn’t make you look like you’re in control. It says the whole process was overseen by the College of Policing. What did you do in this process commissioner?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The College of Policing was appointed by us to ensure the whole thing was done in the right way.

Richard Taylor: So you handed it.. you delegated it all did you?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: No. The panel understood. Now I’ve said what I’ve said. I’m saying no more.

Richard Taylor: How many people have you interviewed for the role of Chief Constable commissioner?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I’m saying no more.

Richard Taylor: Who sat with you on the interview panel?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I said we’re not saying any more.

Richard Taylor: Was the inspectorate of constabulary there commissioner? Any representatives of central government there commissioner? Any councillors, local elected representatives there with you?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We’ve made our statement and that’s the end of it.
Police Constable 579 John Hopper: The gentleman has indicated Mr Taylor that he doesn’t wish to say anything else.

Richard Taylor: Would you like to stop me from continuing to ask him questions?
Police Constable 579 John Hopper: [Shakes his head indicating "no"]. ~”I’m just here to say”

Richard Taylor: I would like to carry on I’ve only got a few more questions.
Police Constable 579 John Hopper: All right. Do you want to ask me anything, but I’m not doing it in front of the camera.

Richard Taylor: No, because he’s the elected representative who I want to ask my questions to.
Charles Kitchin, Director of Public Engagement and Communications, Office of the Cambridgeshire Police & Crime Commissioner There will be a full report going to the Police and Crime Panel.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Absolutely.

Richard Taylor: Just straightforwardly: why Alec Wood? That question wasn’t answered in your statement.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I’ve said all I’m going to say.

Richard Taylor: So you won’t tell us why Alec Wood is the right man for the job?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The process is not over yet for goodness sake. You should know that. You obviously don’t.

Richard Taylor: If I was publishing the statement that you’ve done that’s proposing a new Chief Constable I would say why he’s the right man for the job.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: He was recommended.

Richard Taylor: Who by? Who recommended him to you Commissioner?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The process is not over.

Richard Taylor: Who recommended Alec Wood to you?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The process is not over.

Richard Taylor: You mean you’ve recommended him… you’re saying you’re proposing him.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The process is not over. It’s up to the panel.

Richard Taylor: I think I’ve asked some reasonable questions there.

I would have expected a Police and Crime Commissioner appearing in public the morning after proposing a candidate to become a new Chief Constable to be able to say a few words about him, explain why he would be a good choice for Cambridgeshire, and to be able to answer some basic questions on the recruitment process.

I’m left wondering if any other candidates were seriously considered for the role and if the Police and Crime Commissioner contracted out his duties and responsibilities to the College of Policing.

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One comment/update on “Asking Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright About Chief Constable Recruitment

  1. Richard Taylor Article author

    Papers to the Police and Crime Panel’s confirmation hearing on the 16th of September 2015 show there was only one applicant for the position of Chief Constable and the interview panel was Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright, his friend Brian, and an independent member approved by the College of Policing.

    It appears Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright’s irritation at my questions was due to him not wanting to admit that he’d failed to attract a strong pool of candidates from which to select Cambridgeshire’s new Chief Constable.

    http://democracy.peterborough.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=543&MId=3600&Ver=4

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