Lib Dem James Barker to fight North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner by-election

James Barker has been selected to stand again as the Lib Dem candidate in the forthcoming North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner by-election. James was our candidate for this role in May. The by-election was caused by the resignation of the previous incumbent for his disgraceful observation in the wake of the details of Sarah Everard’s murder being made public. He said:

“So women first of all just need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested.

“She should never have been arrested and submitted to that.”

Although he apologised, the county’s Police, Fire and Crime panel passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in him, which led to him stepping down.

The Harrogate Informer reports on James Barker’s selection:

James is a City of York Councillor, representing the Rural West York ward since his election in 2019, when he overturned a huge Conservative majority to win his seat from the former York Conservative party leader.

James’ background is in the armed forces, having joined the RAF as an Officer Cadet in 1996, graduating in 1997. 24 years of military service has seen him deploy to Iraq three times and he has also been deployed in support of operations in Afghanistan as well as a number of other countries on exercises and training tasks. James continues his military service as a reservist with 7644(PR) Squadron based at RAF Halton.

James lives in York with his wife Mandy and two adopted children. Outside of work James is a Scout leader and a qualified rugby coach.

James said:

Following Philip Allott’s resignation there is work to do to rebuild the trust lost with victim’s groups, women’s groups and the public at large. If elected, my priority on Day One would be starting the long process of making sure everyone can have faith that the PFCC listens to and supports victims of crime.

I try to make a difference in whatever I do and my aim is to build a resilient, professional and diverse Police and Fire service representing and working for the people of York and North Yorkshire. I want to bring openness and transparency to its operations and make the case for adequate funding to be devolved to these services to tackle local issues.

I have identified a number of key priorities across York and North Yorkshire and want to hear more about what residents view as the key issues and required improvements for local Police and Fire services.

He set out his priorities if elected:

Restoring trust

James is committed to restoring trust in the post of PFCC that has been lost with victims’ groups, women’s groups and the public at large. The PFCC must listen to and support victims of crime.

Responsive Policing

As a councillor, James encourages residents to report any concerns about criminal activity using the non-emergency 101 number. But when people do call, they are often left hanging on the phone and just give up. Improving this vital service will be a top priority for James.

Visible Policing

James wants to see increased Police visibility in both city and rural communities in England’s largest county. Key to this will be strengthening partnership working between the Police and local communities, who are often best placed to identify the measures needed to ensure that residents feel safe.

Tackling the causes of crime

James is committed to developing an approach through which the Police work more closely with local education, social care, mental health, drug and alcohol and other services to ensure that people have the help and support they need to build lives free from crime.

‘Team Blue Light’

Bringing together the Police and Fire Services has created an opportunity for more collaborative working, with a focus on service delivery and getting best value for money. James wants to see a reversal of years of under-investment in Police and Fire Services which have held them back. James wants to build a flexible and resilient service that is able to adapt to ever changing circumstances.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • John Marriott 2nd Nov '21 - 9:47am

    He may be ex military; but what does he know about policing? There. At least this article has produced ONE response!

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