Richard Taylor Interviews Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright – Full Video and Transcript


Saturday, August 15th, 2015. 8:16pm

On Friday the 14th of August 2015 I spoke to Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner at a “meet Graham Bright” event he held on Cambridge’s Market Square.

I found the session very productive:

  • I obtained a clear commitment from the Police and Crime Commissioner to return to Cambridge’s Area Committees, and to appear at those meetings in-front of the people of Cambridge and their elected representatives. Mr Bright has attended each committee once, but has not made good on a promise to return regularly.
  • I obtained a clear commitment from the Police and Crime Commissioner to look at the information provided to councillors responsible for local priority setting in Cambridge. I am now hopeful he will ensure the police distinguish domestic from other violent crime, provide information on motoring offences and crime and road related injuries, and report on the costs of crime.
  • I urged the Police and Crime Commissioner to assure himself, and the wider public, that when burglars are offered out-of-court disposals rather than taken to court that is being done in appropriate cases. I’m hopeful he will now improve scrutiny and transparency in this area.
  • I obtained a clear statement on how the Police and Crime Commissioner considers his @police.uk email address to be entirely separated from police IT systems. The accuracy of this statement will I hope be subject to investigation by me, and others.
  • Around the fringes of the event I received an assurance, in person, and by email, from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication Charles Kitchin that all my questions in relation to the recruitment of a new Chief Constable for Cambridgeshire will be addressed by the Police and Crime Commissioner in his report to the Police and Crime Panel. If this commitment is met it will be excellent and provide greater transparency.

Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright also came up with quite a few silly statements during my encounter with him. He initially asked me to turn my camera off and described the event as “confidential”; he also complained:

I’m here to talk to the public, and I’ve got this man, who isn’t the public, talking to me.

At one point Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright lunged at and attacked my camera and told me to go-away. I also encountered some problems with a police constable who stood next to Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright during my interview and intervened on a couple of occasions.

Full Transcript of Interview With Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright

Richard Taylor: Hello Commissioner. Welcome to Cambridge. Thank you for coming and allowing members of the public to come and speak to you about your role. Can I ask you a few questions? That’s presumably what you’re here for this morning isn’t it?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Well I’m here to speak to the public.

Richard Taylor: Yes. I’m a resident of Cambridge.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I’d appreciate if I’m speaking to anyone turn that off.

Richard Taylor: Well I can get…
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: This is confidential.

Richard Taylor: You’re on the … in public here Commissioner in the Market Square.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: If I’m speaking to the public it’s confidential between me and them.

Richard Taylor: Well I’d like to speak to you on slightly different terms then about your policies and about what you’ve been doing. So what have you done in you role Commissioner, is there anything you can point to that you’ve done, which you’ve instigated, so apart from the cadets scheme and appointing more PR officers is there something that you’ve instigated that isn’t something which the Chief Constable has recommended or your staff have recommended?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The biggest thing is the victim’s hub. Which is an enormous operation.
Richard Taylor: So that’s your own idea was it?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: It was my idea. We were the first constabulary in the country to have it. It’s really working. We’re dealing with hundreds, in-fact thousands more people than were being dealt with before and the idea has been picked up by other Police Authorities.
Richard Taylor: They’re Police and Crime Commissioners now, you’ve replaced Police Authorities.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Well other police organisations. Vera Baird who is a Labour member came and looked at it and picked the whole thing up and planted it in Newcastle, the same has happened in Cheshire.
Richard Taylor: So what does it do Commissioner? I don’t know what it does. What is it?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Well I’m surprised you don’t know because you seem to delve into everything.
Richard Taylor: Well it’s very difficult to find out what you’re up to Commissioner. So this is your flagship thing and I don’t know what it is.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: It’s all online. I’ve said to you before I thought you were literate. It’s all on our website.
Richard Taylor: You can’t simply summarise in a couple of sentences what this victim’s hub is about?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: It helps victims. We look after victims first and care for vulnerable and if anyone is a victim of crime they’re dealt with.
Richard Taylor: So something I’ve wondered about this focus – I feel that I am not a victim but I suffer from burglaries just because I live in an area where there are relatively high burglary rates. Why is there a focus on people who’ve been burgled as opposed to all of us?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: There’s a focus on every single crime. We’re not picking and choosing. A crime is a crime. The police investigate it. And if you are a victim then you are offered the services of the victim hub. Before we set that up there was only a couple of hundred at the most now it’s everybody and there have been some incredible successes.
Richard Taylor: So a couple of hundred victims got contacted by the police beforehand?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: by victim support.
Richard Taylor: by victim support.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Now it’s all in one place, a victims hub incorporates the County Council, their services, voluntary organisations, I’ve put three psychiatric nurses in there, because often people are very frightened and they need help and the right person to talk to them. That’s all there.
Richard Taylor: I was burgled before you became Police and Crime Commissioner and just to let you know I found the contact with someone who had been burgled quite formulaic and a bit silly; they did call me regularly to say they’re still trying to investigate this and gave me an update on what they’d done but I found the officers who were charged with going through a sheet of calling up people to whom they didn’t really have an update to give felt it was a bit of a futile exercise.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We’re talking about history.
Richard Taylor: Yes. I just wanted to let you know my experience was beforehand.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: It’s a much better experience for everybody.

Information to Support Local Priority Setting

Richard Taylor: So something I’ve asked you about before is … we’ve got local police priority setting in Cambridge by our local councillors. And all the area committees around Cambridge have said they’d like to have better information on which to base their priority setting. At the moment they don’t have any information on harm, on injuries caused, on the costs of crime, and also they don’t even have information on motoring offences. I asked you at the North Area committee if you would support the councillors who want better information.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The police attend those and they can ask the police .
Richard Taylor: They do regularly.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: That’s fine that’s what it’s all about.
Richard Taylor: But they won’t provide the information which is being requested. They won’t for example provide a breakdown of violent crime into domestic and crime on public spaces.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I’m only hearing what you say. And bearing in mind what’s been said about you in the last few days I don’t necessarily believe you all-right?
Richard Taylor: Well you’ve actually been to the North Area committee with me there and you’ve heard the request actually came from the councillors, it’s actually in all the minutes, the minutes of all these police priority setting meetings. And you’ve actually said they’re [the minutes] are coming to you.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: There’s nothing secret about it.
Richard Taylor: So can we get this better information on injuries and on the breakdown of violent crime.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Do it through that committee. Yes.
Richard Taylor: Well they’ve been asking now for a number of years. The South Area Committee has been at it for three years or so now.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: You need to talk to the police because they’re the operational part of the organisation. I’m not.
Richard Taylor: and they are not doing it.
Richard Taylor: So?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: If they’re not.
Richard Taylor: I’m coming to you now because the police are not, consistently over a number of years, despite our elected representatives clearly asking for it.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Maybe we can look at that.
Richard Taylor: Excellent.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I shall do so with the committee, not with you.
Richard Taylor: Will you come back to some of the area committees then? You said you would be attending the area committees once a year; you’ve come to each of them once and you haven’t come back. So will you come back to deal with this particular issue?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I shall be, but not necessarily with that particular issue because there are lots of other issues as well. I mean I don’t know. You set your own agenda. I’ve got mine, you’ve got yours.
Richard Taylor: I do. My agenda is a safer city, a city that I want to live in.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: That’s exactly where I come from. That’s exactly what we’re doing.

Burglars Not Being Sent To Court

Richard Taylor: Commissioner, you’ve talked about a focus on burglary.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I talk about the big things.
Richard Taylor: I was about to speak to you about burglary.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: You talk about silly things.
Richard Taylor: I don’t call local priority setting a silly thing.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I have managed to keep. I have managed to keep. I have managed to keep the same number of police.
Richard Taylor: Excellent.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We haven’t got rid of the front line.
Richard Taylor: You have shifted from PCSOs to PCs which is brilliant.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We’ve saved money and we’re getting more specials in as well so we’re keeping visibility up there. There’s 30% more visibility than there was because of the technology that we’ve introduced and that’s what people are asking for.
Richard Taylor: Yes. You’ve also talked about a focus on burglary.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I want to talk to the public.
Richard Taylor: Why do some burglars not go to court, why do you deal with them with an out of court settlement?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I don’t
Richard Taylor: Under you it happens and your scrutiny committee, the out of court disposals scrutiny committee, hasn’t yet considered any of these cases of burglars not going to court.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: It’s the prosecution service that do that.
Richard Taylor: No, no, it’s the police force who decide to deal with some people via an out of court disposal. That’s a police decision.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: If it’s a minor thing then that’s a good thing because it stops cluttering up the courts.
Richard Taylor: So some burglary can be a minor thing can it? The problem is that some burglars are being offered out of court disposals and what I’d like to ask you to do Commissioner is ask your out of court disposal scrutiny committee to look at some of these cases of burglars being offered out of court disposals so that you, and I, and the wider public, can have some assurance that the out of court disposals are being used in appropriate cases.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I mean the whole process of that is being looked at at the moment as you know the MoJ have changed everything and we’re taking on board; we’re also working with Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire in dealing with these matters.
Richard Taylor: What do you think of my idea of actually getting the committee to look at some of these burglary cases.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Well, yes, well I hear what you say. It’s an operational matter and as you know I’m prohibited from getting involved. I’m prohibited to get involved in operational.
Richard Taylor: Well you are represented on the scrutiny committee.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I can ask questions, and we do.
Richard Taylor:There’s a seat on this out of court disposal scrutiny committee which you don’t personally take, you send one of your staff in your place.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Absolutely right.
Richard Taylor: You could go in person instead of sending one of your staff and you could put-forward the suggestion that instead of the random dip sampling which has not yet hit a burglary case you could say: ‘a member of the public has come to me in Cambridge, he’s concerned with burglary being dealt with out of court, can we have a look at the cases of burglars dealt with out of court?’.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Well it is monitored, it doesn’t take me to monitor it.
Richard Taylor: Well it hasn’t happened yet Commissioner.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright:That’s what I have an office for. That’s what I have an office for.
Richard Taylor: Well I’m telling you it hasn’t happened yet Commissioner.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Well I wouldn’t believe a thing you said to me anyway.
Richard Taylor: Well it’s all referenced, the FOI requests that I’ve made for the activity of the out of court disposal scrutiny are all on the website WhatDoTheyKnow.com1,2 so you can go and read them as well because you haven’t pro-actively published them, as with a lot of information that comes out, or rather is in, your office. So it’s actually quite difficult to follow the out of court scrutiny process.

Call for Help?

Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Hello Charles. [Charles is Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner's Director of Public Engagement and Communication]

Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I’m here to talk to the public, and I’ve got this man, who isn’t the public, talking to me.

Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication: Hi there Richard, are you all right…

Appointment of a New Chief Constable

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 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 not saying any 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 Constable 579 John Hopper: The gentleman has indicated Mr Taylor that he doesn’t wish to say anything else.

Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We’ve made our statement and that’s the end of it.

Richard Taylor: [Addressing the constable:] 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. 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.

Staffing levels

Richard Taylor: Now I’d like to ask you about your staffing levels Commissioner. Now when you took over from the Police Authority they were spending three-hundred and forty-seven thousand pounds a year on staff, you’re now spending almost three times that, nine-hundred and sixty-two thousand pounds.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: As you know and I’ve said so many times we’ve taken over other operations
Richard Taylor: So you distribute some grants now… that doesn’t explain…
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: You didn’t ask me that. You said about the staff.
Richard Taylor: Why the extra staff, yes?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Because we’ve taken over estates, we’ve taken over public contact, we’ve taken over finance, these are all extra people we took away from the force, they came onto our side. But what someone like you ought to look at, I know you’re incapable of doing so, is you look at the bottom line. The bottom line is we’re saving four-point-nine million pounds. That’s what you’ve got to worry about, not the fact I’ve spent another two-hundred thousand in doing so.
Richard Taylor: I came here in November 2012 and you made a clear pre-election promise to cost less and to have fewer staff and I’m just coming here now a couple of years on to say: ‘why haven’t you made good on that promise?’
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Saving four-point-nine million pounds and not setting a precept is seriously good news.
Richard Taylor: You’re not too bothered about the fact that a key pre-election promise has been massively broken?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We were there to save money. We’ve saved money. Four-point-nine million this last year. We didn’t put a precept on. That helps the public.
Richard Taylor: You’ve asked people like me who are looking at your office expenses to remove from those expenses all the grant money that you’ve had coming in.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Absolutely right. We were just the distributor.
Richard Taylor: However you are holding a lot of undistributed grants and have asked us to take the money that you’re holding off your expenses. I think that’s highly misleading. Why did you do that commissioner?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Not at all. Not at all.
Richard Taylor: Well you did do that Commissioner. You’ve asked us to take the whole £1.2 million off when you’ve only actually distributed £1.06 million of grants, so that leaves what you call your net office expenditure reduced by the amount that you’re holding.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: All of that will be distributed. All of that will be distributed. It’s not for us to keep it.
Richard Taylor: So when you’ve distributed it that bottom line figure, that net expenditure, then goes up by about 168 thousand pounds, you’ve been highly misleading over this in my view.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Not at all.
Richard Taylor: You do understand the issue?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: It’s just that you can’t read, you can’t read accounts. And neither can the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Richard Taylor: The Taxpayers’ Alliance were unclear. However your statement was also terribly unclear in the other direction because you asked us to reduce your office expenditure by the amount of undistributed grants, which of course just because you’re holding some undistributed grants doesn’t mean that you’re any cheaper, that you’re any more efficient.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I’m not pretending to be any cheaper. I’m looking at the bottom line four-point-nine, four-point-nine million pounds saved.
Richard Taylor: I think you did actually say you were cheaper.

[The Police and Crime Commissioner's statement gave his net office costs as £563,000. The Police Authority's office costs in 2011-12 were £623,000]

Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Now you couldn’t even comprehend that because you’re not able to comprehend it.
Richard Taylor: Well I think what you’ve done there Commissioner is you’ve just approved some proposals [from the police].
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: and the fact that we’ve kept the same number of police on the front line
Richard Taylor: Excellent. I’m not saying that’s not excellent.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: and the fact that we didn’t have a precept this year.
Richard Taylor: Well you did. You are still charging us for the police, what you mean is no rise.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: That’s right.
Richard Taylor: There’s a difference. You are still….
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright:We didn’t put it up.
Richard Taylor: Yes.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: That’s it. No more.

Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication: Richard, he is here to talk to more people. I appreciate you’ve got your questions.

Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: You’re keeping people away from me.
Richard Taylor: When you choose Micosoft Commissioner.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: You’re keeping people away from me.

Microsoft Contract

Richard Taylor: Two quick questions. Now is the information which is within the Microsoft contract, is that all in a proprietary format, or could a new Police and Crime Commissioner easily move that to another supplier?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: That’s up to if there is a new Police and Crime Commissioner.
Richard Taylor: No. Is the information tied up with Microsoft? Have you got us into a situation where it might be really difficult to use a new supplier there?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Without looking at the those terms I don’t know.
Richard Taylor: You don’t look at that kind of detail? Well that’s, to me, that would be a key question to ask when awarding that contract.

Alert System

Richard Taylor: So Commissioner, on the “Alert” system you told the Police and Crime Panel that we, everyone in Cambridgeshire, would be able to go online and find out what crimes occurred in our areas the previous night, and the previous week, that’s not something which I can do.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: and you can.
Richard Taylor: I don’t think I can. There’s no comprehensive police log available to me of what happened in North Cambridge last night. What we’re seeing is a very patchy service. In some places there’s great service where the local police will actually give details of burglaries that have happened, how they’ve happened, to enable people to protect themselves but that doesn’t appear to be available to me.

Police Constable 579 John Hopper: Do you go onto Ecops?
Richard Taylor: Yes I do.
Police Constable 579 John Hopper: What does that tell you?
Richard Taylor: as I’ve said..
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright It tells you everything you’re asking…
Richard Taylor: Sometimes, in South Cambridge for example we’ve had some very specific cases and descriptions of types of burglary.
Police Constable 579 John Hopper: Sorry, where do you live then please just [inaudible: so I know?]
Richard Taylor: I live in North Cambridge.
Richard Taylor: Now I’d like to ask the elected representative who is accountable for this contract. Now something Commissioner I’m worried about is that …
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Now look
Richard Taylor: that you’re very susceptible to [I was going to say travelling salesmen].
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Now you’ve had enough. You’ve been here. [Checks watch]. We’re twenty minutes away.
Richard Taylor: You didn’t turn up for ten minutes into the session.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I was here on time.
[See video of me standing at the venue with the bells chiming for the 11am start time, with no sign of Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright]
Richard Taylor: You were not on time Commissioner.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I was here on time.
Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication: We will stay extra.
Richard Taylor: Anyway
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I want to talk to the public, not to you, so finish.
Richard Taylor: I am a member of the public Commissioner.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Now turn that thing round.
[Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright lunges at and attacks the camera].
Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication: You’ve had a good turn.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I want to talk to the public. Please go away so I can.

[Break as Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright tries to find anyone to talk to. He's talking to his officers so I approach him again]

Separation from the Police Force

Richard Taylor: Can I ask one more question?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: One more question.
Richard Taylor: So another key plank of your candidacy was to say you were going to separate yourself from the police. You’ve spent a lot of money doing that by putting your office in Cambourne Commissioner, now ..
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Not a lot of money. Honestly. I don’t understand where you get that’s lots of money.
Richard Taylor: So have you successfully got that division?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Absolutely right, yes.
Richard Taylor: The email address that you publish to contact is a police email address and your IT systems, are they distinct, is the separation for show or is it
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The communications systems are totally different. The fact that my office and I am not in Police Headquarters. I have to hold them to account. If you’re holding them to account you can’t do that and also be having coffee with them in the canteen and walking around the same building. It’s absolutely essential and I wasn’t the only commissioner to do that and I think that it’s right that we’ve done it. There’s a respect between the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office and the Constabulary.
Richard Taylor: So is it symbolic? My concern is …
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: It’s not symbolic, it’s a reality.
Richard Taylor: Why is your email address still a police.uk email address?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: That’s just a detail.
Richard Taylor: It’s not a detail. If I want to contact you I can’t contact you directly as an individual other than by coming here today.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: We use that because of security all-right.
Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication: There are practical reasons for having a police … in terms of our we have to have restricted, protected, different levels of security, which you can’t access.
Richard Taylor: Well the Police and Crime Commissioner could deal with on his own Twitter account for example, the one he deleted straight after the election
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: No.
Richard Taylor: or he could deal with the public on his own domain. It’s only a question as to if it’s symbolic or genuine.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The police are held to account by me and the one thing I didn’t want to do was to go native with them in the headquarters, and I haven’t. My staff also hold them to account and if they’re all working together it would be difficult to do it. It’s the right move.
Richard Taylor: You’re obviously not concerned about the IT system and the e-mail being on the same system.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: No. No because that’s just back-office communications.
Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication: We have a separate isolated system that only we can access and the force can’t, so we have our own protected area, so the police cannot, or do not, obtain, an email that I write to the Commissioner?
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Not unless we pass it onto them.
Richard Taylor: They’re entirely routed separately.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Not unless we pass it onto them.
Charles Kitchin, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Director of Public Engagement and Communication: They can’t see our systems, they can’t get our emails.
Richard Taylor: Very interesting. Thank you very much Commissioner.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: OK. Well done.

6 comments/updates on “Richard Taylor Interviews Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright – Full Video and Transcript

  1. Richard Taylor Article author

    Following his visit to Cambridge the Police and Crime Commissioner announced he “enjoyed meeting public in Cambridge”. His press release following the event referred enquiries to his expensive media and public relations consultants Better Times Limited.

    The consultant’s website states:

    As a specialist provider of media and communications services, including crisis management, to Policing Governance teams and their Criminal Justice partners, we understand the pressures that face them.

    More than that, we provide them with real and rapid support when under the media spotlight.

  2. Affected Dog

    Sir Graham “Bright” appears confused about what constitutes the public.

    This interview:
    “I’m here to talk to the public, and I’ve got this man, who isn’t the public, talking to me.”

    This windy encounter: https://youtu.be/AfDg1DdgfVg?t=1m22s
    “But surely your job is to answer questions from the public…?” “You’re not the public!”

    And this electioneering moment: https://youtu.be/vDYzgG-30qs?t=1m14s
    “[I'm here to] engage with the real public, not with you.”

    Meanwhile: a screenshot of the moment Sir Graham “Bright” lunges for the camera would nicely illustrate the democratic accountability of his office: https://youtu.be/2sOqJn_TC44?t=21m52s

  3. Richard Taylor Article author

    I should add there was no-one else around waiting to speak to the Police and Crime Commissioner when I was there.

    Some children were trying on police headwear as he arrived. I approached him after they, and those accompanying them left. After we spoke there was no-one around, as can be seen from the footage when the Police and Crime Commissioner spins my camera around. The Police and Crime Commissioner spoke to his own staff for a bit, he approached a two passers by introducing himself as the Police and Crime Commissioner and those exchanges were over within a matter of seconds. One person approached the Commissioner and his group and asked if they were councillors.

    After I spoke to the Police and Crime Commissioner Cambridge Resident and Police and Crime Panel member Edward Leigh spoke to him for about twenty minutes.

    So in the 45 minutes of the event I was aware of the Police and Crime Commissioner spent about 17 minutes talking to me, a similar amount of time speaking to Edward Leigh and the remainder either with is staff or making largely unsuccessful approaches to passers by.

  4. Richard Taylor Article author

    One of my local councillors, Martin Smart, spoke at the North Area Committee on the 10th of September to recommend people watch the video of my interview with Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright. Cllr Smart said:

    I don’t know if I missed something but who I’d really like to meet is Sir Graham Bright. He’s not here and he isn’t here to talk to the people of the North Area which I think he should be. It would be useful for him to be here and it would be useful for us to be able to talk to him I think.

    When he was in the Market Square on the 14th of August one of the people in this room was talking to him. He didn’t seem very keen to talk to that person at all so I think I recommend that everybody watches Richard Taylor’s YouTube video on that because it seems to me that Graham Bright doesn’t want to speak to us at all and it’s very bad. Very bad indeed.

    The Police and Crime Commissioner’s representative replied to say:

    I appreciate that and I addressed that at the beginning but I will repeat. I did extend your kind invitation to myself to Sir Graham. He could attend on the 17th which was the provisional date as Tony said but unfortunately he is not available tonight. We will make arrangements to come to each meetings. He has got arrangements to go to another one of the area committees so you know I’ll liaise with Tony and I’ll get that down for you and things.

    With regards to the street surgery. So the street surgery is and hopefully we are trying to get the word out and hopefully people kind of know they are happening. The whole point of a street surgery is to give members of the public a chance to come out and speak to the commissioner you know without any agenda, you don’t have to make an appointment, you know you have police there as well so if you want to talk you have you know we try and make a bit of a thing of being really highly visible so that if people have got any thing they would like to come and ask they can. That said people stop in the street want to talk to as many people as possible but video cameras can tend to be quite obstructive to ordinary members of the public who are wanting to come up and speak to their Police and Crime Commissioner and ask questions at questions at that time. Its not a case of he’s not answering the questions its just a full set of members of the public you know have very very valid questions but those questions aren’t necessarily more valid that someone else that you know has just popped to the shops, popped to M&S or whatever, and is walking past and would like to ask a question of their Police and Crime Commissioner and they feel that they can’t and it’s just that kind of awareness and to get that balance and let the commissioner be able to answer questions and have members of the public be able to approach him when they have the opportunity.

    I suspect the Police and Crime Commissioner’s representative was providing a line-to-take agreed by Graham Bright. As I have noted above there were no members of the public around as I was speaking to Graham Bright. I was not preventing, or delaying, anyone else’s opportunity to speak to the Police and Crime Commissioner. I don’t think I took an unreasonable amount of time, particularly given there was no-one around. I would expect the same sort of amount of time if I spoke to my MP at a surgery.

    It appears the Police and Crime Commissioner is being quite explicit that he doesn’t want to be meeting people with thought out questions to ask him (an agenda) at his street surgeries.

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