Elections

Police and Crime Commissioner elections, May 2021: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

Summary: Police and Crime Commissioner elections, May 2021
Polling date: Thursday 6th May 2021
Area: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Nicky MASSEY  (Labour Party)
  • Susan MORRIS  (Reform UK)
  • Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT  (Liberal Democrat)
  • Darryl PRESTON  (Conservative Party)

Questions for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough area candidates (6 questions)

Jump to question:  1   2   3   4   5   6 

# Question 1

Lowering the speed at which vehicles are driven is one way of making road users safer. Do you agree and what would you do to encourage lower speeds?

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

I do support 20 Mile Per Hour (MPH) is plenty campaign and that of the Louis Thorold Foundation, to lower the speed limits of all roads around our urban areas to 20 miles MPH. The lower the speed the lower the risk of serious injury.

Average speed cameras and speed enforcement cameras can help towards lowering speed, in 2019 there was a 22% reduction in collisions at camera sites.

However the real key is road design. We shouldn’t have roads that need policing speed enforcement because they have been designed as race track! Our police officers need to focus on the most serious crimes including dangerous driving and not on speed enforcement.

We need serious consideration on road design from the new roads that are being built to looking at existing roads. We already know that by changing the feel of a road through street furniture, small changes like chicanes, road colour and texture and signage - we can change the speed of a road and therefore making it safer for all roads users. In 2010 Sustrans the transport charity worked on a pilot project where residents could fundraise and work to help make changes to their roads to slow down traffic. The end result was brilliant partnership work with the community! It as well as the impact of the COVID19 road changes that have been quickly implemented, shows that road change layout doesn’t have to be costly.


By lowering the speed and making our roads safer will encourage modal shift, moving people out of their cars and onto sustainable transport modes such as walking and cycling.

We need to do what we can to move people our of cars that are damaging our environments and onto sustainable transport such as public transport , cycling and walking. Cyclist’s need help in making sure that the safe pass is actively campaigned on, better signage and better cycle lanes can help.

Susan MORRIS
(Reform UK)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Clearly lowering speeds reduce the likelihood of collisions and also the effect of those collisions.
It has to be a combination of enforcement and education.
We must make excessive speed (and not just speeding) as unacceptable as drink driving. That will take some time but we can start by:
1.) Add a modicum of speed awareness training in schools and colleges. This will help later generations be more thoughtful but also pressure parents into being more diligent.
2.) Support community schemes such as Speedwatch to provide societal pressure against excessive speed.
3.) Learn from best practice elsewhere (in the UK and more widely)
4.) On the physical side encourage schemes where all users of roads are treated equally and appropriately.
5.) As PCC I will provide resources - officers and technology - to enforce speed limits even where the NPCC has set some arbitrary reluctance for enforcement in 20 mph areas

Traffic calming does have a part to play but I prefer a rather broader approach - creating a roadscape that is naturally calm. Humps and chicanes can sometimes be counter-productive; those with a long memory may recall the early Cherry Hinton scheme which resulted in "competitive" racing.
It isn't just in towns that we must encourage lower speeds. Country roads are rather dangerous for all road users and the speed differentials can put people off cycling.

Darryl PRESTON
(Conservative Party)

Safer roads

36 people were killed on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough roads in 2019 and nearly 400 seriously injured.* Having had to deal with fatal road collisions when I was a police officer, I am acutely aware of the devastating impact this has on families, friends and local communities.

Indeed, I dealt with far too many serious injury and fatal incidents on our roads – and having to deliver that message to loved ones was, for me, the hardest job in policing.

They used to be called road traffic accidents – but of course most are not: they are avoidable by all of us taking personal responsibility and driving safely. Please see my article Speed is a choice – why Road Safety Week matters for some ideas on how to drive within the speed limit.

Partnership working is the key to tackling speeding and road fatalities

I fully support the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership's radical Vision Zero Partnership, launched last July, to reduce deaths and serious injury on our roads in the next twenty years.

It is clear we need better preventative actions. We need to be more data lead and utilise the information we collate from accidents to inform our decisions.

At the same time, we need to continue surveying our roads, making sure they are safe through technical solutions such as speed reduction and better road design.

I know that Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are working very hard on this. They have my full support and I am determined to make sure we achieve zero deaths and serious injuries by 2040.

Listening to local concerns

Not only will I be working with all the partners involved in this initiative but I will also be listening to what residents have to say. People know their communities better than anyone and I will put forward their ideas:

Campaigns to reduce speeding, dangerous and drink/drugs driving.
Investment in technical solutions such as cameras and speed warning signs.
Investment in physical traffic calming measures such as speed humps and 'gateways', which are particularly effective in villages.
And, in consultation with local communities, reducing speed limits in residential areas to 20 mph where there is a good case to do so.
However, we do need robust enforcement of our road traffic laws by the police – catching those who break the law and deterring others.

Road safety really matters to me

My plan if elected, is

1. Lead and support the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership.

2. Ensure more police officers are on our streets – making resources available to the Chief Constable to increase the numbers of road policing officers along with more local police officers to deter and enforce the law.

3. Drive the use of innovative technology, data analysis and artificial intelligence to prevent accidents from happening.

4. Listen to local communities and support local campaigns to reduce speeding and dangerous parking. I will work with local authorities to make funds available for preventative local solutions such as traffic calming where appropriate.

5. Support the lowering of speed limits in residential areas but also in between villages where there is a good case to do so and is supported by local residents.

6. Progress the Vision Zero initiative by putting in place a clear plan and strategy.

# Question 2

The offences of driving on the pavement and causing an obstruction to the highway (which includes pavements) can be enforced by police under criminal law. What role do you think the police should play in ensuring our pavements are safe and accessible for local people walking?

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

Parking on pavements is a huge problem as is driving on the pavements which we do see motorcycles scooters and even cars do, especially on Mill road in Cambridge City but across the county. Drivers who do this do need to be prosecuted for dangerous driving if they are driving on the pavement, and we do need better enforcement for vehicles that are obstructing the highway. The police do have a place to enforce this and I have seen occasions when a car has been towed away due to obstructing the highway, we also need our parking enforcement officers to play their part in both ticketing offenders but also reporting them. The issue I feel is under reporting and we need to encourage better reporting of the problem.

Susan MORRIS
(Reform UK)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

I would expect officers to not ignore dangerous parking.
Where Civil Parking Enforcement is active, the Civil Enforcement Officer can issue a penalty charge notice where a restriction exists on the carriageway as that carries to the highway boundary.
I will explore with the Chief Constable also giving the Enforcement Officers the power to enforce (with criminal penalty) pavement parking (i.e. obstruction without a lawful excuse).

Darryl PRESTON
(Conservative Party)

I am aware that many local authorities across our region have, or are, introducing parking enforcement schemes. I would expect the police to support the civil enforcement of unlawful parking. Furthermore, I would expect the police to take positive action in the case of dangerous parking.

# Question 3

Cambridgeshire Police have an online facility to report anti-social driving using video evidence, but it is currently poorly used, as the police do not provide any information on what they have done regarding the reported crimes. What role do you think video reports from the public should play in improving the safety of our roads?

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

Videos from public should play a huge role in improving the safety on our roads. Many cyclists and car drivers now use dash / helmet cams and the footage from these can really help inform data on crimes, including the likes that we see from RING doorbell and similar. The data is valuable and needs to be treated as such. The police website is not a great one and it makes reporting of all crimes very difficult.
We do need to improve the communication between the police and the public full stop, the police often say they will not communicate back onto a case which does leave the public feeling like nothing is being done, even though that is often not the case. We need to change this and look at what other forces do to improve this, including looking across the world for best practise.

Susan MORRIS
(Reform UK)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Operation SNAP has been embraced by many forces and has resulted in many successful prosecutions. It provides a portal to allow members of the public to upload video evidence of anti-social and dangerous driving. It also does provide feedback.
For some reason Cambridgeshire Police do not to use the portal and have a much more cumbersome process which actively discourages reporting. If elected, I will move Cambridgeshire to the same, successful mechanism as other forces and ensure that the outcomes are publicised.

Darryl PRESTON
(Conservative Party)

Any person reporting a crime to the police should get a response and this is included in the victims code. I fully support the use of online reporting and the ability to be able to 'upload' digital evidence and if elected in May, part of my six point plan refers to the ability for our communities to be able to contact the police. See more at; darrylpreston.org.uk

# Question 4

Cambridgeshire has some of the highest cycling rates in the UK, but is behind other regions in specific efforts to deal with close passes and careless / dangerous driving around cycling. What do you think should be done to ensure people drive safely near people who are cycling?

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

We need to do what we can to move people our of cars that are damaging our environments and onto sustainable transport such as public transport , cycling and walking. Cyclist’s need help in making sure that the safe pass is actively campaigned on, better signage better information and better cycle lanes can help.

Susan MORRIS
(Reform UK)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Part of this is education, both of current drivers, but also of drivers of the future - in schools and colleges.
But enforcement has a part to play, using schemes such as "Operation Close Pass" that has been very successful in West Mids. More use of helmet and dash cams (as above) will also help, especially if we publicise the resulting prosecutions.
If we make the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians, more people will walk or cycle feeding a virtuous circle where everyone gets the health and societal benefits of reduced car usage.

Darryl PRESTON
(Conservative Party)

Tactical options would include awareness campaigns, greater inclusion in theory tests for learner drivers and better enforcement of current laws.

Strategically I would raise this as a standing item at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety partnership, with a clear stated outcome of reducing collisions involving cyclists.

# Question 5

Cycle theft is the number one crime in Cambridge City (with a total estimated cost to victims of at least £1.5 million) and has a significant impact on residents across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region. How will you support efforts to tackle this issue?

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

Cycle theft is of huge concern in Cambridge city but also all over the county and in Peterborough also. Cycle crime is an acquisitive crime, and it can often lead to further serious crimes including drug dealing.
The concern over the increasing number of cycle thefts highlighted by a Facebook page led to joint meetings with Camcycle and the police, and that led to a creation of a cycle crime prevention task group, and a separate task group looking at the issues of Cycle point at Cambridge Station.
The task group is made up of partners such as Camcycle, Greater Anglia, County council, City council officers, Cambridge University, Planning Officers, Brookgate, Anglia Ruskin.
I know that the key to real prevention and action is true partnership working, especially with specialist groups such as Camcycle who are a valued partner and their input and feedback is critical to make sure that the right actions are being taken. My whole Ethos in community safety is about crime prevention and real and true partnership working and that includes the community in that partnership which for this task group Camcycle brings.
The work is constantly in progress and to date our achievements are :

An audit of the city’s cycle stands, details of condition noted. Data overlaid for cycle crime hotspots and then fed into the GCP work for locations for secure cycle areas. Info collected such as potential for CCTV increased lighting and other interventions to stop an area being a hot spot.

The plan will be to have a city council standard of cycle stand.

Working with Camcycle I managed to change the way that cycle crime is reported via the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough police website.

There is an issue with police capacity being able to view all recorded cycle crime theft CCTV. In working closely with CamCycle we have come up with a solution of using volunteers trained and screened by the police to be able to pull data from city council CCTV hub of cycle thefts where we have the data of date and time.

I have written to those shops that are known to sell poor quality locks asking them to work with us on a project that declares the standard of locks on sale according to how strong they are so the public can make an informed choice.
Much like stores like Halfords and Decathlon does already.

The issue of a good standard of lock is one that is often down to cost, and so I have already started a campaign of “asks” asking for stores, companies, public to donate good quality locks to our food hubs for those that need them most and has already had some responses.

I am working in Partnership with CamCycle on others on advertising how to correctly lock your bike through leaflets and other media.

I have written also written to companies such as Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree asking them to make it a policy that anyone who sells a second hand bike MUST show the bike frame number to allow people to check if the bike has been stolen. This will also encourage the public to register their bikes and dissuade from selling stolen bikes in this way. Gumtree has already responded positively, and I have a meeting planned with them in the next few months.

There is work to integrate cycle point CCTV with our city council CCTV so it can be monitored live by our operatives. This work is important as our operatives will be able to follow on screen potential thieves.
There are other interventions happening at cycle point to make it a safer place to leave your bicycle.

I have also put out an ask to those companies that collect abandoned bikes to retain some of them for them county to be used at Food hubs for those that need them.

The police have had some great successes in tackling proficient cycle thieves and that work is still ongoing. By working together with our communities and partners we can achieve so much more.”

Susan MORRIS
(Reform UK)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

Cycle crime is a serious problem in Cambridge and it seems that the local force has not always given it the priority that the people of Cambridge would like.

I will make sure that what is nationally acknowledged as Serious Organised Acquisitive Crime (SOAC) is given the proper priority. Cycle theft can have a significant effect on the victim - not just in the cost of replacement but also interfering with life such as going to work, collecting children from school or socialising. It is also a barrier to cycle use more generally.

To reduce cycle theft, I will draw from the National Police Chiefs' Council Cycle Safety and Security Plan in four areas:

Enforcement: We must link up with other forces and Operation Opal - the National intelligence Sharing Unit for SOAC - to share best practice and intelligence and reducing the onward routes for the sale of cycles.
We must support the use of target action in hotspots, using techniques such as tracking decoy cycles.
The decoy shop in Rose Crescent some years ago was very successful.
Work with online property reselling sites to provide an easy route to report suspicious activity.
We should issue more penalties on the spot to increase the likelihood of punishment rather than the expensive and unwieldy court system.

Prevention: I would campaign for a single mandatory registration scheme which can then be used to require resale sites and dealers to check ownership and not resell bikes recorded as stolen.

Environment: I would work with landowners to relocate racks into areas with more footfall and more visible from, e.g. a reception area. I would also ensure that CCTV, where available, is used properly.
I would restore the Safer Neighbourhood Team to help cycle parking become 'secured by design' and publicise the safer locations.

Education: We must help cyclists choose the better locks and locations.

And, overall, put real effort into cycle crime.

Darryl PRESTON
(Conservative Party)

My family has been the victim of bike theft, two stolen in the past year from our local railway station. The bikes were locked and left unattended at the station cycle racks.

The impact of this crime should not be underestimated. In my case, both bikes belonged to my son, a sixth form student. Obviously there is the financial impact; around £200 each in my case, and this was his only method of transport, going to college and part time job, to the gym and meeting friends.

But there is something else – the bikes were given as birthday gifts, they had sentimental value, only to be stolen by callous criminals.

Bike theft has sadly increased in recent years and is estimated to cost our county at least £1.5 million a year*. Furthermore, our county is one of the worst impacted by this crime. The bike crime rates are so high owing in part to the significant amount of crimes in Cambridge City, but as in my case, it is all too prevalent everywhere and this is unacceptable.

As an ex police officer having worked in Cambridge City, and many years ago targeted bike thieves, I am well aware of the motivations to steal bikes. Yes some may be opportunists, but most is organised criminality often carried out to fuel the drugs trade with ‘handlers’ making significant ill-gotten gains. It is a business and a business we need to bust.

I am a strong advocate for preventing crime from happening in the first place, and there is much that can be done to protect your property. In my case we should have had better locks, the cycle park could have been more secure, the bikes should have been registered on the national database*and of course reported to the police. In addition, the root causes of criminals entering into a life of crime needs to be addressed along with rehabilitation of offenders.

However, I am also a strong advocate of robust law enforcement. Those who choose to steal bikes and make profit from these crimes need to fear being caught and punishments need to act as a deterrent. The police and other partners need to be supported and target bike crime where this is a priority for local communities, particularly the ‘handlers’ with courts handing out significant sentences and confiscating their illicit assets. In addition I fully support the use of Criminal Behaviours Orders when thieves are caught, preventing them from entering certain areas and having to prove a bike is theirs.

I believe most of us accept the police must prioritise the most harmful crime types. Furthermore the police can not ‘arrest there way’ out of the scourge of bike theft. A coherent joined up approach is needed with strong leadership to cut bike theft.


If elected in May, I will show strong leadership by:

1. Making resources available to the Chief Constable to recruit many more frontline/neighbourhood police officers and detectives
2. Bring all partners to the table, police, councils, train operators, other businesses, Camcycle and local residents with a firm objective of reducing bike theft and monitoring progress
3. Support the police in targeting criminals, using all the tools at their disposal and making funds available for ‘bait bikes’
4. Invest in evidence based preventative initiatives to cut bike crime

# Question 6

We are joining the Action Vision Zero alliance in calling for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidates to commit to:
1) Make road danger reduction a priority
2) Tackle speeding—the greatest threat
3) Be transparent and accountable
4) Work with your community
5) Improve the post-crash response.
What action will you take to tackle road danger?

Nicky MASSEY
(Labour Party)

Between January 2019-November2019 There were 1468 road accidents recorded (according to Office of national statistics) and sadly 24 deaths. We know some small accidents may not be recorded and so the true number of accidents on our roads will be much higher.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough does have vision zero road safety partnership with a vision of having no deaths or serious injuries on our roads by 2030. I would argue that though its great having a target it feels like a tick box exercise, we need to Vision Zero to be looking at preventing deaths and serious injuries from NOW so I remove the target and rebrand as Vision Zero NOW.

Vision Zero and it’s work needs to be looking at how road design has an impact on drivers such as speeding and what interventions can be done NOW to make roads safer.

We need to be gathering and looking at near miss data and information from our communities in order to prevent some of these accidents from happening before any accidents are recorded, as well as looking at accident hot spots before a death occurs.

We need to lower speeds in urban areas. We need to look at changes to road design which has been successfully done Helsinki and Oslo who have managed to cut pedestrian deaths to zero by implementing changes to road design. There have been great schemes in the past led by charity Sustrans where streets have been changed to slow down drivers and create a more of friendly street scene, that shows you "people live here". It doesn't have to cost lost of money, the evidence is there. Lets save lives.https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/projects/2019/london/community-led-design-in-marks-gate/

Susan MORRIS
(Reform UK)
The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Rupert MOSS-ECCARDT
(Liberal Democrat)

The whole Vision Zero approach must be followed. It isn't just the steps but also the belief that it is not inevitable that people will be killed or seriously injured within the road system. And, indeed, we must aim for the sort of safety case that we have on the railways. Not only does that reduce road danger but also resets the balance of costs (in all its meanings) of transportation systems.

I embrace the vision but I will take concrete action.

With the government providing more police officers I will target some to the "Roads Policing Unit". As I've said above, if we make the roads safer for cyclists, then we'll increase ridership making roads safer for us all.
I will reinvigorate the Road Safety Partnership with resources but also a sense of urgency.
I will work with all agencies and other groups to amplify our efforts by working together and not being precious about jurisdiction.
Support and reinforce community schemes like Speedwatch and LorryWatch to enable communities to help themselves.
I will press for investigation of any serious incidents, not just fatal collisions, to learn how to improve matters. I will protect officers from being hurried by impatient drivers when gathering evidence.
Where road design contributed to a collision I will press for a redesign.
Above all, to develop a culture where no-one accepts death or serious injury as "one of those thigns"

Darryl PRESTON
(Conservative Party)

I am fully committed to Action Vision Zero and is part of my six point plan to keep Cambs and Peterborough safe;

Safer roads
Part of Darryl Preston’ six-point plan to #GetCrimeCut in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Safer roads – by investing in better policing of our roads, we can reduce injuries and catch those who are breaking the law.
________________________________________

36 people were killed on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough roads in 2019 and nearly 400 seriously injured.* Having had to deal with fatal road collisions when I was a police officer, I am acutely aware of the devastating impact this has on families, friends and local communities.

Indeed, I dealt with far too many serious injury and fatal incidents on our roads – and having to deliver that message to loved ones was, for me, the hardest job in policing.

They used to be called road traffic accidents – but of course most are not: they are avoidable by all of us taking personal responsibility and driving safely. Please see my article Speed is a choice – why Road Safety Week matters for some ideas on how to drive within the speed limit.

Partnership working is the key
to tackling speeding and road fatalities
I fully support the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership's radical Vision Zero Partnership, launched last July, to reduce deaths and serious injury on our roads in the next twenty years.

It is clear we need better preventative actions. We need to be more data lead and utilise the information we collate from accidents to inform our decisions.

At the same time, we need to continue surveying our roads, making sure they are safe through technical solutions such as speed reduction and better road design.

I know that Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council are working very hard on this. They have my full support and I am determined to make sure we achieve zero deaths and serious injuries by 2040.

Listening to local concerns
Not only will I be working with all the partners involved in this initiative but I will also be listening to what residents have to say. People know their communities better than anyone and I will put forward their ideas:

• Campaigns to reduce speeding, dangerous and drink/drugs driving
• Investment in technical solutions such as cameras and speed warning signs.
• Investment in physical traffic calming measures such as speed humps and 'gateways', which are particularly effective in villages.
• And, in consultation with local communities, reducing speed limits in residential areas to 20 mph where there is a good case to do so.

However, we do need robust enforcement of our road traffic laws by the police – catching those who break the law and deterring others.

Road safety really matters to me
My plan if elected, is:

1. Lead and support the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership.

2. Ensure more police officers are on our streets – making resources available to the Chief Constable to increase the numbers of road policing officers along with more local police officers to deter and enforce the law

3. Drive the use of innovative technology, data analysis and artificial intelligence to prevent accidents from happening

4. Listen to local communities and support local campaigns to reduce speeding and dangerous parking. I will work with local authorities to make funds available for preventative local solutions such as traffic calming where appropriate

5. Support the lowering of speed limits in residential areas but also in between villages where there is a good case to do so and is supported by local residents.

6. Progress the Vision Zero initiative by putting in place a clear plan and strategy.

* Source [2019 RTAs]
https://www.cambstimes.co.uk/news/cambridgeshire-police-reveal-road-deaths-are-on-the-increase-4911628

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.