Labour announces Police and Crime Commissioner candidate ahead of May election

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John Tizard. Image: Labour Party
John Tizard. Image: Labour Party

A former Bedfordshire county councillor has been selected by the Labour Party to contest this year’s Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner election.

John Tizard has lived in the county for almost 50 years. He served as a county councillor for 18 years, with 14 years as the Labour group leader, and was also a member of the Bedfordshire Police Authority.

The post of police and crime commissioner is currently held by Conservative Festus Akinbusoye, who was elected in May 2021 for a three-year term.

It would usually be a four-year appointment, but the pandemic meant the elections planned for 2020 were cancelled. His Conservative predecessor Kathryn Holloway remained in post for an extra 12 months before deciding not to seek re-election.

In a statement, the Labour Party said: “John has a strong track record of senior leadership experience in the public sector, education and in business at a Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 company.

“He’s also familiar with the voluntary sector as an executive and trustee of several charities, and would listen to what all of our communities have to say.

“His priorities for policing in Bedfordshire would include a return of effective and visible neighbourhood policing, reducing hate crime and violence against women and children, and tackling anti-social behaviour, with an emphasis on crime prevention and wider social injustice.”

Speaking after his selection, Mr Tizard said: “I believe crime destroys lives, as does the fear of crime.

“This has an impact on working people, communities and local businesses, damaging social cohesion and local economies. Tackling that is an issue of social justice.

“I would always listen to residents, businesses, and community and faith groups to shape a police service that can ensure their safety, and be responsive to their needs and accountable.

“We need an efficient and effective police service which offers value for money, but above all one which has the confidence of the people of Bedfordshire wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.”

The election for the county’s police and crime commissioner is due to be held on Thursday, 2 May.

by Euan Duncan
Local Democracy Reporter