THIS week, the Oxford Mail will be speaking to candidates from the different political parties standing to win power as the next Thames Valey Police and Crime Commissioner on May 6.

Today is the turn of Alan Robinson, a retired police officer who knows what it’s like to be on the front line.

Mr Robinson, who is known as Al, says politics should stay out of policing and that if he is voted in he will remain accountable to the constituents rather than any political parties.

Here is everything you need to know before voting in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections>>>

We put 10 questions to him, here’s what he said:

Oxford Mail:

1. What is your name?

Alan Robinson, people call me Al Robinson.

2. Where do you live?

I live in Banbury currently, but I grew up in Witney so I’m a Witney boy.

3. Why do you want to be the police and crime commissioner?

Because I’ve been upset with the way policing is going. I started the job, as a police officer, in 1993. I was posted to Abingdon as a constable before transferring to Witney and then I was promoted to Oxford in 2006 until I retired after 25 years, in December of 2018. It was a lot of fun. I put my heart and soul into policing but I have a lot of frustrations with how it went from serving the public to serving politicians, which has ultimately led to not only a broken police service but broken officers and staff. I could be enjoying my retirement but I simply couldn’t sit back and let the policing service continue to disengage with our communities and demoralise its officers and staff.

4. Why should people vote for you?

I have got something that the other candidates don’t have: I know what I’m talking about. I am not a politician so I’ve got a heart and a soul. They should vote for me because I have got to listen to them, what matters to them and I have had first knowledge of policing too.

5. What do you do for work at the moment?

I have a little electric van and I travel across the country delivering parcels including medical supplies. It’s my own company – called ‘Another Load Off Your Mind’. It’s the only rural courier company so by default it’s the best. I’m not an eco-warrior, I’m an ecocourier and I really enjoy it.

6. Using three words, how would you describe yourself?

Passionate and courageous with integrity.

7. What makes you different to the other candidates?

I have been a police officer. I also stand up for what I believe in. As Mahatma Ghandi said, ‘be the difference you want to see in the world’. I’m standing as an independent party, so I’m free from political interference and I’m held accountable to the people.

8. What are your main election campaign promises?

More bobbies on the beat to make them visible for the communities. For police to be able to use their common sense more. More engagement with the community. Raise the morale of police officers – this will actually keep police in the job longer, so retaining staff and cut down on police who are off sick – which is a pandemic in itself.

9. Other than meetings and creating a police and crime plan, what’s the first thing you’ll do if you’re elected?

I’ll change the culture of policing from the offset. Make it an inclusive and respectful place.

10. What’s the most important crime that should be targeted?

County lines [drug dealing] and knife crime. The Harun Jama case, a teenager who was killed in Oxford, really impacted me.


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