John Tizard says he’ll restore community policing and be a PCC with integrity

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(l-r) Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst and Police and Crime Commissioner John Tizard
(l-r) Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst and Police and Crime Commissioner John Tizard. Image: Office of the Police and Crime Comissioner

The triumphant Labour candidate John Tizard says his success in becoming the new Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner is down to “his commitment to restore community policing and being a PCC with integrity”.

Mr Tizard, who topped the poll with 40,738 votes, told the local democracy reporting service: “It’s a great result for Bedfordshire and for the Labour Party.

“…people in the county and across the country are seeing Labour as the answer to their problems, offering hope and a positive programme.”

Mr Tizard, who had his first day in office yesterday, (May 9), met his team and the Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) offices.

Speaking about taking up the role, he said: “I am privileged to have been elected to serve as Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner for the next four years.

“I am wholly committed to championing the interests of residents, victims of crime, and communities across our county and ultimately keeping Bedfordshire safe.

“It is time for change with a new approach and mission and I look forward to meeting with many of you over the coming weeks and months as I develop my new Police and Crime Plan”.

As well as having held leading roles in numerous businesses, charities, and public sector organisations, John has also served as a councillor and a leader on the former Bedfordshire County Council.

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst added, “I’m delighted to welcome John into the role.

“Together, we can build on the foundations that have been laid here in Bedfordshire, to strengthen the trust and confidence that local people have in their police.

“I look forward to working with the Commissioner and our partners to tackle more crime, reduce offending, and ensure Bedfordshire is a safe place for all communities”.

Priorities

The BBC’s local democracy service spoke to the new PCC earlier in the week as he prepared for his new role about his priorities, the main one he said will be, “beginning to consult on and draft a new police and crime plan”.

He says, “This will set the agenda for policing in the county.

“But I also want to be reaching out to key stakeholders, other public services, community leaders and the wider criminal justice system in the county, so we can begin to have a coherent and comprehensive approach to preventing and resolving crime.”

Asked what this plan would contain, he replied: “There were six visions in my manifesto. The most important, relevant and urgent is to restore good community neighbourhood policing.

“This is where police officers are based in communities, working with them, helping to solve problems, and developing partnerships with councillors and the wider local community.

“I want to set out a new platform building on the successes and the achievements of the police in Bedfordshire.

“But I’ve a clear vision of a different style of policing and a very different style of PCC. My message is we need to be tough on crime, but we must also have zero tolerance about the causes of crime.

“I want to work with communities and other agencies to get crime prevention, particularly around young people before they fall into the trap of crime and into the criminal justice system.”

Reflecting on policing in the rural areas of the county, Mr Tizard added: “I live in Shefford and I’ll represent every town and little village.

“Every part of Bedfordshire deserves to have an outstanding police service. We need to develop a plan which ensures those resources are allocated equitably and fairly where the need is.

“The big populations are in Bedford and Luton, but we must never ignore the small towns, villages and hamlets of the county.”

Additional reporting by
Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter