08:20 Thursday 16th May 2013
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: A new job has just come up to help tackle local crime and anti-social behaviour problems in Peterborough and The Fens. The position of Outreach Worker for the Police and Crime Commissioner is currently being advertised. Sir Graham Bright is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire of course. Morning Sir Graham
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Morning to you.
PAUL STAINTON: What exactly is this job?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well this job keeps us in touch with what concerns people. Legislation requires me to consult with the public, and to represent the public. Indeed, I always keep saying that I am the face of the public, not the police. Now you can only do that if you actually talk to people. But you can’t do this randomly. You need to be systematic. And I’m very concerned in getting down as low as I can, to parish councils, talking to schools, talking to businesses, talking to the voluntary organisations. And it’s a big area. When you look at the size of Cambridgeshire with Peterborough. And the idea is to reflect more on what people are concerned about, dealing with the issues.
PAUL STAINTON: So this job will be effectively doing your job in the North of the County. Is that right?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: This job will be ensuring that we are consulting with the public. And yes, it’s part of my brief to ensure that we do this. And that person will be reporting directly to me.
PAUL STAINTON: So the County’s a bit too big for you to get around. Is that what you’re saying?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: I’m not saying that at all. The County is huge. Could you go and visit over 300 parishes during the course of a year, and speak to all the various voluntary organisations?
PAUL STAINTON: Well that’s the job you took on though, isn’t it? You get well paid for it.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Could you do that? You’re being a bit silly here aren’t you?
PAUL STAINTON: Well do you want to swap? I’ll do the job if you want.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: We’re being a bit silly. We’ve got to ensure that we’re listening to every single person. There’s other things that I’ve set up on this. We will be having that person based, for instance, at certain times on Sainsburys in March and in Peterborough, so that people can come and talk to us, tell us what concerns them. I already go round to lots of meetings and hear what people have to say.
PAUL STAINTON: Does your Deputy go to lots of meetings as well?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Deputy does as well. Yes. And so do some of my staff. It is a big thing, but our responsibility is to listen to what people are saying. Now this is a pretty exciting job for someone who wants to get out and about and listen to people.
PAUL STAINTON: Where does the money come from for all these jobs?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well it comes out of my budget.
PAUL STAINTON: So you’ve got you, your Deputy, now an Outreach Worker. Any more coming up?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: I’ve got staff of ten people in my private office. And I employ 2400 people within the police force. I have a budget of £132 million. And, you know, it’s a big organisation, a very big organisation. And what we have to do is to constantly remember that we’re representing the public. And we have to do that by listening to them. And this is what this is all about. It’s keeping in contact at the very lowest level, visiting schools, visiting businesses. We obviously will be putting messages out, but the main source of this is bringing messages back to us. What are people’s priorities? We have to address them.
PAUL STAINTON: Isn’t it important that you listen to people’s priorities, you personally, and you make the effort to go to Peterborough and The Fens?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well what do you think I’m doing? I’m doing just that.
PAUL STAINTON: Well you’re advertising for somebody to do that for you.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Come off it. You cannot be everywhere at once. I am out on a regular basis at meetings, in the evenings, visiting people during the day,. talking to businesses, as well as doing the job of ensuring that we’re running a smooth police force.
PAUL STAINTON: And all the money for all these positions, yourself, Brian Aston gets £28,000, the £21,000 for this. This is all coming out of your budget.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: It comes out of our budget which is still under what the old Police Authority was. So we’re still under what was being paid originally. What we’re trying to do is something that is effective. Representing the public is a very important job. And I don’t have to be told how to do it. I was an MP who did it for many years as well. I am still out there. I still have surgeries. I still talk to people. But, because it is such a big area, we must make sure we don’t leave people out. We’ve got over 300 parishes. We want to talk to parish councillors.
PAUL STAINTON: So are you confident now with this Outreach Worker that will be it. You’ve got your team in place. And if so, what is your next priority?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: This is going to be a post that we’re going to appoint. It’s going to be on a year’s contract. We’re going to see how it works. And if it delivers what we expect it to be delivering, I shall be looking at appointing another one for the Southern part of the County.
PAUL STAINTON: Wow. You’re not going to go anywhere soon.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: That is .. I don’t know where you get this silly idea from.
PAUL STAINTON: Well if you’re appointing people to go to the North of the County ..
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Now come off it. You’re being silly.
PAUL STAINTON: No I’m not.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: You are being very silly.
PAUL STAINTON: Well can I put a question to you?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: I’m going out and about all the time. And I shall continue to do so. I don’t sit on my backside you know.
PAUL STAINTON: So you’re going to go together to all these meetings.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: No. Of course I’m not going to go together.
PAUL STAINTON: Let me get this very clear. Graham ..
GRAHAM BRIGHT: You’ve got three or four meetings at once.
PAUL STAINTON: You’re going to have somebody in the North, somebody in the South. Where are you going to go then?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: I shall be going around the whole area. And I shall be doing so on a regular basis. People obviously want to see me. And I’m going to be around and about. We’re talking about listening to what people have to say. And this is going to be done systematically. Are you saying to me that we’re not going to go out and listen to people? Because that’s what you’re suggesting.
PAUL STAINTON: No. What I’m suggesting is you’ve got you and your Deputy earning thousands and thousands of pounds. Surely there’s enough there to listen to people all across the County.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: .. some sort of Superman that could do it all. Well I’m prepared to accept that we have to do this .. I’m charged to do it. This is the way we’re going to do it.
PAUL STAINTON: OK. What’s your next big priority then? When you’ve got all of these people in place, what are you going to be focusing on?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: We’ve got lots of priorities.
PAUL STAINTON: No, what’s your big priority?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: The biggest priority is to ensure that we upgrade all the police communications. We’re investing in IT. We’re going to have every policeman with his (UNCLEAR) having a smartphone.
PAUL STAINTON: How does that help?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: They can report in immediately. They don’t have to go in and write their reports. They can do it from the corner of the street or a car or the coffee shop.
PAUL STAINTON: Where’s the money for that coming from?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: It speeds up.
PAUL STAINTON: Where’s the money coming from for that?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Well that’s out of the police budget. We pay £133 million. It actually saves us money.
PAUL STAINTON: OK.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: I’ve got to save ten million, which I’m going to do by 2016. And believe you me I shall do it.
PAUL STAINTON: Do you think you’re winning round the people of Cambridgeshire Graham? Do you think? because they were pretty disillusioned. Not many voted did they? Do you think you’re winning them round with what you’ve been doing?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: Answer yes. I know that from going out and talking to people myself. And some of the things that we have done .. and people say we’ve never had this sort of service before. The 101 service which I have reduced from people hanging on for ten minutes down to thirty seconds. That was an important issue that people told me about, and we’ve put it right.
PAUL STAINTON: Whereabouts did they tell you? Was that in the North of the County or the South of the County?
GRAHAM BRIGHT: It was throughout the whole County.
PAUL STAINTON: Right.
GRAHAM BRIGHT: North and South, it’s a county. I was having this fed into me everywhere from Cambridgeshore, from Huntingdon, from Peterborough, from March, from Ely. People were telling me that and we’ve put it right.
PAUL STAINTON: Graham, thank you for coming on this morning. Sir Graham Bright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire. Big priority is giving the police smartphones. You heard it here first. He’ll have Outreach Officers in the North of the County and if it’s a success in the South of the County. And he and his Deputy will continue to go around and talk to everybody.