Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright Not Keen on Questioning


Friday, August 14th, 2015. 3:33pm

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

At times Police and Crime Commissioner Bright didn’t appear to be too keen on my presence, or questioning.

Richard Taylor: 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: When I’m speaking to the public it’s confidential between me and them.

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.

Richard Taylor: Hello.
Charles Kitchin, Director of Public Engagement and Communications, Office of the Cambridgeshire Police & Crime Commissioner Hi there Richard.

….

Richard Taylor: …. this contract, something which I’m worried about is…
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: Look. You’ve had enough. You’ve been here, we’re twenty minutes away.

Richard Taylor: You didn’t turn up for ten minutes of this session.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: The public. The public. I was here on time.

Richard Taylor: You were not here on time. Anyway..
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I want to talk to the public and not to you. So finish. OK. Turn that thing round.
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: [Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright lunges at the camera and spins it round]
Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright: I want to talk to the public.

Elements of our discussion were very interesting and productive; for example he made a commitment to return to Cambridge’s Area Committees and, if those committees wish, to discuss the information they have available when setting local priorities. He also committed to look into the use of out of court disposals for burglary and gave an assurance (which I’m sceptical of) that the IT system is entirely separate from his despite his @cambs.pnn.police.uk email address.

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3 comments/updates on “Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright Not Keen on Questioning

  1. Richard Taylor Article author

    YouTube contacted me on the day I met Graham Bright and published the video to say they had received a complaint about a breach of privacy in relation to the video embedded above.

    The message YouTube sent to me does not state who has complained but indicates the complaint was from either Police and Crime Commissioner Graham Bright, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Outreach Officer Rebecca Avery or Police Constable 579 John Hopper. (Those individuals identifiable from the start of the video)

    YouTube stated they will take public interest and newsworthiness into account when taking a decision on if to remove the video. I added an comment to the video’s page on YouTube linking to one of the news articles which reported on the encounter. As the complaint was made ten days ago now it appears likely they have decided to allow the video to remain on their site.

    Freedom of Information requests to the Police and Crime Commissioner and the police may reveal who complained and why.

    It is possible the complaint was made by someone purporting to be one of those featured in the video; it could have been a malicious complaint by someone who opposes my activism. (Such people exist)

    Many hours of video are present on my YouTube channel and they reflect a huge amount of effort which has gone into attending events, and then processing the footage. I hope they are a valuable historical record and it would be a great shame if YouTube were persuaded to remove them.

    I do have vimeo account however that does not allow, for free, videos of the size permitted by YouTube to be shared. I have added the video in question to my Vimeo account in case YouTube do remove it. I have looked into Liveleak but their size limits are too restrictive, and I don’t think the material comes into the scope of what Wikileaks covers.

    I have not received any complaints about the video directly from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office or from the Police.

    1. Richard Taylor Article author

      While I have no details of any complaint to respond to my view is there is no breach of privacy given the filming took place on the public highway where no-one has any reasonable expectation of privacy. It was clear to all those present that I was filming as I was doing so overtly with a camera on a large tripod. The camera was acknowledged by the Police and Crime Commissioner, the footage shows he asked me to turn it off.

      It is perfectly reasonable to ask an elected representative questions about their role and to seek to publicise the responses; I think such actions strengthen our democracy and hopefully could lead to better representatives and a safer, more pleasant, society in which to live.

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