PCC candidate – Peter Andras (Lib) outlines:

Thank you for your email.

Personally I am in the favour of supporting cycling. I am a local councillor in North Jesmond and as you know we are doing local consultation here about how to improve cycling access through Jesmond.

The question of a liason officer for the cycling community is an operational issue of the police. My principled position about the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is that the PCC should not interfere with the operational organisation of the police. Thus, I could not commit myself to resolve a such operational issue as the establishing of a liason officer for the cycling community.

In general I am happy to support policies and priorities that help the safe cycling and the reduction of bicycle theft in cities and rural areas as well. And I think that this is the level where the PCC should act. My view is that the PCC is there to facilitate the communication of local community priorities towards the police, but the role of the PCC is not to come up with the priorities without consulting properly the local communities.

Re: PCC facilitating communication of local community priorities towards the police:

As you point out if this communication is understood to be just with democratically elected bodies then it is likely to ignore minority opinions and priorities. My intention is to go beyond this level of communication with local communities and engage with communities of holders of minority views as well. Thus I would aim to set up mechanisms of consultation that allow the involvement and participation of all community groups, including those that do not represent the majority of the larger local communities. This would apply to the community of cyclists as well. Naturally, I could not promise to support all priorities indicated by all community groups, but it is important to to know about these, even if they are minority views, and to channel them towards the police organisation in order to be taken into account during policy formulation and priority setting.