Elections

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, November 2012: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

Summary: Elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), November 2012
Polling date: Friday 16th November 2012
Area: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Ansar ALI  (Independent)
  • Graham BRIGHT  (Conservative Party)
  • Paul BULLEN  (UK Independence Party)
  • Stephen GOLDSPINK  (English Democrats)
  • Farooq MOHAMMED  (Independent)
  • Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Ed MURPHY  (Labour Party)

Questions for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough area candidates (8 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8 

# Question 1

In our view, better, safer and more cycling in and around Cambridge requires enforcement of anti-social driving, distracted driving, drunk driving, aggressive driver behaviour, speeding, parking in cycle lanes, etc. We want a police force which has a better understanding of the needs of cyclists in traffic, is well educated about the rights of cyclists, which requires advanced bikeability training for all officers, employs officers on bike patrol to assess and prosecute driver behaviour, is aware of the impact of bike theft, and is explicitly supportive of the bicycle as a means of transport, and helps to educate cyclists about the proper and safe use of the bicycle in traffic. How important would you regard these issues if elected?

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

Firstly, can I say that am well disposed to your campaign and if I am elected as the Police Commissioner, would very much welcome having a meeting with you.

Q1: All these objectives are good and I would like to see the police address them. Most of this is an operational matter which has to be dealt with by the Chief Constable and I would certainly encourage him to address these issues. I would particularly like to see police patrolling Cambridge on bicycles. This has proved quite effective in London. It requires a great deal of education for both cyclist and motorist with a particular emphasis on knowing and obeying the Highway Code.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

Crime is crime and it should be prosecuted regardless of who it is done by and to. Of course I believe that prevention is better than the cure but actual traffic laws and driving test requirements are outside of the remit of PCC.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

As a cyclist myself I well understand these issues. As with most elements of policing, improvement in this area is a question of resources and the state of things today is a direct product of the Police being overseen by the Conservative, Labour and LibDem dominated police authority - about to become defunct. In other words, we need real change to see real change. I believe I have the experience and determination to release resources for the front line, by cutting waste and inefficiency.

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

I agree that officers should be properly trained and well educated about the needs and issues facing cyclists especially in Cambridge which has such a high number of bicycle users. In principle I like the idea of police bike patrols, not just to assess motorists activity in relation to cylists but as part of community policing and engagement. As to the 'importance' of such issues, priorities will be decided through the new Police and Crime Plan into which groups such as yours will be able to input their views and concerns.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

A police force can only work effectively if it is part of the community it serves. Cambridge is a 'cycling city' so I would expect officers to be at least pro-cycling as the residents. So in Cambridge these issues are very important.

That isn't to say that cycling doesn't take place outside Cambridge but the challenges there are more about encouraging cycling uptake. This can be helped by the police, and others, making the environment as safe a possible for the cyclist and other road users.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

This is very important and I will commission and grant aid organisations to help with this task. We need to encourage other authorites to put the needs of pedestrians and cyclists first. Resources have too often gone to the motorist.

# Question 2

What experience do you have of cycling in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area?

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

The only cycling I do in Cambridgeshire is in my village to go to the local shop. I used to be a keen cyclist but am not happy in traffic.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

My experience of cycling in Cambridgeshire in particular is that the City Council do not provide enough facilities for cyclists, of which there are many. I believe Cambs CC need to do more but this is not the role of the PCC.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

For 30 years I have owned and used a bike regularly in Peterborough and Fenland. I have no fingers on my right hand and therefore use a back-pedalling brake. I have no fear of travelling on the roads, despite numerous near misses, and have learnt the necessity of a well maintained bike, good lighting and reflective clothing.

More recently I have used Barclays Cycle Hire in London on a regular basis - and have persuaded others to do the same. What a great scheme - we need one in Cambridge and Peterborough.

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

As a father of four children I have always cycled with the kids and still do so with my youngest, who is aged 13 (albeit I am a fair-weather cyclist) and do occasionally get frustrated by motorists who cut in and show lack of consideration. I greatly admire the work done in schools to teach children about road safety, on cycle or on foot, and only recently came across such an exercise where I observed the use of hand signals, how to deal with a junction and many other sensible tips. We are fortunate in Peterborough to have the Green Wheel and safe cycling routes around the city although we have a big problem with cyclists who flout the law by riding on pavements and through pedestrianised areas with no thought for other users. As with everything in life, one must try to see things from every angle.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

I have a Dawes Super Galaxy with Magura hydraulic brakes which I've had for several years. When I moved into Cambridge from Welney I decided to have a good bike rather than a car. I now have a car which I bought when I started having to visit the Police Staff College at Bramshill on a regular basis.
Now I'm in Queen Adelaide, I cycle less than I did in Arbury as I'm either doing something very local or quite a distance away.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

I use my bike in Peterborough. I have also worked to have hard solutions such as cycle ways built and routes kept open.

# Question 3

Do you support our view that traffic policing (including fining of cyclists without lights or using pedestrian-only pavements) should become a greater police priority?

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

This should be part of a normal police approach. Again it is operational and again I support action being taken.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

I think that anyone who commits a traffic offence should be dealt with.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

Yes, but as I said above, we need someone as Police Commissioner who really can release more resources to the front line, despite overall funding cuts. During my camnpaign I have already challenged the police about cycling in Huntingdon High Street after meeting a concerned elderly resident there.

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

In principle, yes. But of course we have to be realistic and manage the public's expectation with the resources available.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

It should certainly be a priority. Early intervention reduces later costs in terms of collisions and injuries. I can't pledge to prioritising specific activities now as I don't yet have the full picture and already have a number of interested groups requesting primacy. That being said I shall be able to ask for there to be time-limited campaigns to encourage good behaviour through penalties and education.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

This has been a local priority in North Cambridgeshire, fines are used. However I think warnings should also be given.

# Question 4

Would costs be reduced if police apprehended bad drivers rather than spending time dealing with crashes caused by such driving?

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

Yes of course. This goes without saying. It relates to the whole county including our major roads such as the A14. I am amazed still at the number of people who openly using mobile phones whilst driving.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

Prevention is always better than the cure. I will not tolerate any cyclist who breaks the law in the same way as I would a motorist.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

The difficulty is catching them before the accident occurs! And that comes back to resources. Given the financial human and economic cost of crashes, prevention is definetely better than dealing with the aftermath

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

If the number of road accidents was reduced by preventative measures, apprehending bad drivers as you suggest and perhaps forcing them to take refresdher driving lessons, then almost certainly costs would be reduced although difficult to state without in-depth analysis of re-allocating resources. The biggest and most welcome reduction of course would be the emotional impact of avoiding death and injury and the knock-on effect of such accidents on those involved.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Quite clearly, dealing with the root cause of a problem is always more effective than dealing with the symptoms. So, the answer is, very clearly, yes.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

More than likely - and lives saved too.

# Question 5

How will you ensure that those affected by bad driving, be it careless, inconsiderate, or dangerous driving, get a full and proper response from the police? We continually hear of cyclists who are fobbed off when making a report.

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

This should be a matter of course. If cyclists are serious in making complaints, then having witnesses is absolutely essential. Otherwise if there is a prosecution, the CPS find it difficult to put a case together.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

The actions of the police is dealt with by the police chief and it's important that they remain independent. However, as PCC one of my main roles would be acting as a go between if any person or group of people feels that the police are not carrying our their duties properly and fairly. This I am determined to do and would put communication as one of my top priorities to ensure people can come to me with any concerns.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

At present, Police performance answering 101 and 999 calls is unacceptable and the number of abandoned calls is too high. Residents can wait a very long time for a response - if indeed they choose to hold on and don't give up. If I become commissioner, by July 2013, at least 85% of calls to 101 will be answered within 30 seconds, with no more than 5% abandoned, and at least 90% of calls to 999 will be answered within 10 seconds, with no more than 1% abandoned.

This, and the recording of crimes, is again a matter of resources.

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

I would expect that our police should treat all reports of crime with the same care, attention to detail and respect for the person making the report. No-one should ever feel they have been 'fobbed-off' regardless of the crime and if elected I would see it as the duty of the Commissioner to be diligent in making sure all members of the public are treated with respect and their reports logged and followed-up as efficiently as possible.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

I think you'll find that it isn't just cyclists who get the feeling of being 'fobbed off'. I had to go to great lengths to report a piece of appalling driving I saw on the A428 some time ago - I was only a bystander but had to work really hard to be able to report it.
The real problem is that the standard of evidence for prosecution is quite high and is rarely available on the road (although more people do now carry video equipment). I would look to something akin to Speedwatch where there is a mechanism to record and deal with sub-standard behaviour that isn't the full sanction.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

By making this a priority and monitoring it. Also encouraging awareness amongst staff. One or two keen cyclist in the force would make a difference.

# Question 6

We want a more transparent process of collision reconstruction, regular updates and statistical analysis of bike-related collisions and thefts, and a concerted effort, together with other agencies, to reduce collisions involving cyclists. How would you work towards these?

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

Yes again. It is an operational matter. It does take up manpower but I am a great believer in having a blitz so that all road users and pedestrians are aware that if they cause accidents, they can be held responsible.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

This again is down to the police but I once again state my determination to be the go between and help sort out any issues. Fundamentally, however, theft is theft and crime is crime and they must all be treated with the seriousness of which they are due.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

This is a matter for the police on the ground, but they currently don't have the resources they needs and if a candidate from the mainstream parties gets the job there will be no new thinking and the same old platitudes. For REAL change on November 15, please support me.

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

This is a highly detailed question that is difficult to answer without greater insight into existing processes. My response to Q5 covers to a certain extent and I would of course support any ideas that reduce road accidents whether involving cyclists or otherwise. Groups such as yours can be the standard-bearer for any improvements that are required and the police would be just one element of a co-ordinated effort.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

The partnership working with other agencies is key here, particularly the ambulance trust, the Fire and Rescue service and the County Council. Working with them to drive down collisions and thefts is another way to gain overall efficiences. By working together the various services can contribute without duplicating effort.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

This will be done through the Community Safety Ppartnerships with a target to reduce collisions. Unless the car candidate wins.

# Question 7

Cycle theft accounts for over 10% of reported crime across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and it is clear that despite this high figure there is also significant under-reporting. Do you agree with us that cycle theft is a widespread problem? Further, what will you do to ensure that the councils address a key cause of the problem, namely lack of secure cycling parking? Our Campaign is keenly aware of this problem in and around the City of Cambridge.

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

Cycle theft is far too high and wearing the hat of Crime Commissioner, I would like to work with the Local Authority and in particular Network Rail to ensure that there was secure parking for cyclists and this goes beyond the Local Authority and the Rail operator to both business and education establishments. I would envisage that this is something that we could work together on if I become the Police Commissioner.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

Again, theft is theft and I believe that it should all be reported and dealt with and people prosecuted, if possible. I agree that there is a problem here and this is why I believe in a zero tolerance policy to stem this crime and stop it escalating into other crimes. I believe that having a greater police presence will help to stem the number of crimes occurring and increase crime detection rates. As I previously stated, I do not believe that Cambridge City Council provide enough facilities for cyclists.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

I do agree with you. The problem with cycle parking is that town planners seem more concerned with innovative (and space hungry) design to cycle racks rather than maximum storage with minimum street footprint. I will lobby to hange this.

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

This is indeed a high figure and if asked to do so would be happ yto work closel ywith lcoal councils to encourage them to provide secure cycle parking... an eminently sensible idea especially in these days of high fuel prices and environmental concerns where people are more and more being encouraged to use alternative transport.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycle theft is a widespread problem but it is particularly acute in and around Cambridge. My campaign manager, Kevin Wilkins, has repeatedly asked for it to be a City-wide priority and it will be a priority if I am elected.
The PCC does not have direct authority over the Community Safety Partnership but can require it to join in strategy development. I would use my influence to get all agencies especially local authorities to engage in the 'secure by design' approach where problems are dealt with in the built environment. I want to reduce crime. This sort of thing helps.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

Councils will play there part in ensuring this is a Community Safety Partnership action so that steps are taken to reduce thefts and damage.

# Question 8

Please comment upon how you see cycling contributing to safe and efficient transport.

Ansar ALI
(Independent)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Graham BRIGHT
(Conservative Party)

Cycling is a healthy pastime. It is very environmentally friendly and if the use of cycles reduces the amount of motor vehicle use on our roads, it effectively brings about a safer environment.

Paul BULLEN
(UK Independence Party)

If people wish to cycle then they should be able to knowing that any problems they come across are dealt with, that cyclists aren't discriminated against and also that cyclists obey the traffic rules.

Stephen GOLDSPINK
(English Democrats)

Look at London and the cycle hire scheme there - a valued part of multi modal transport, green and fitness enhancing. Let's get the same thing moving in this county.

Farooq MOHAMMED
(Independent)

Cycling is just one part of the jigsaw when it comes to 'safe and efficient' transport and it is up to each individual how they choose to travel. Clearly we have to ensure that those who do cycle can do so safely and in the knowledge that the police are there to support them if necessary.

Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycling is quite clearly a great way to travel. There are health benefits, it uses road space more effectively and also parking space, it does vastly less environmental damage and is more fun as you are able to enjoy the changing seasons and your surroundings.
But we do need to make sure there aren't barriers to uptake caused by poor road design or indifferent law enforcement.

Ed MURPHY
(Labour Party)

Cycling is one of the keys to safe and efficient transport. It also contributes to healthy living and wellbeing but we must make sure cycling is safe in orde to do this.

Camcycle is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views. Information published by Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign), The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DL.