I’ve had a varied career in the military, civil service and education, both secondary and higher, all of which has given me a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from.
That includes an appreciation of the unique character of a uniformed service and the importance of establishing the right sort of culture to enable it to function effectively. I am also familiar with the importance of prudent budgetary management having had personal responsibility for resource planning where resources run to several hundred million pounds with direct impact on operational delivery.
Further down on this page you will find more information about some of what I have done during my career and a few reflections on what I have learned.
However, it is my experience of working with young people who have been caught up within the criminal justice system, and as Chair of Lincolnshire Police Independent Advisory Group which has inspired my interest and passion in making a difference to policing and criminal justice across the county.
I have seen first-hand the incredible work done by so many dedicated staff within Lincolnshire’s youth justice system. But there is so much more that can and must done to prevent young people from falling into crime; the PCC must be at the centre of driving that agenda forward.
I have also been privileged to witness first hand the commitment and dedication of Lincolnshire’s Police officers and staff and have developed a deep knowledge and understanding of the challenges they face. But I am clear that things can and must be done better. Yes this is about funding and resources. But it is also about leadership, ambition and innovation. It’s about a PCC having a vision for Lincolnshire that it’s Police Force will be rated outstanding in every area, most of all in having earned the trust and confidence of every part of every community across the County.
And finally, since this part is about me, as you may have guessed from the photo, I am an enthusiastic cyclist, even if I do have a minor allergy to hills.
The 8 years I spent with Ofsted in operational and project delivery was challenging and fast paced.
Wanting every school to be outstanding and every child to be given the best education possible was inspiring and motivational. Demanding a similar level of excellence in the inspection process was completely justifiable.
It’s the same for policing. Every person and every community has the right to feel safe and for their police service to be delivering an outstanding level of service.
It is the role of the PCC to ensure that is the case and to be ready and capable of responding quickly and decisively when things do not go as well as they should.
Community relations and the military are not always mentioned in the same breath. But a population of several thousand uniformed personnel living and working within what are often rural or more remote areas of the country demands and understanding of and sensitivity to local needs.
It also demands a level of integration so that the ‘uniforms’ are not seen as being apart or separate from the people they live alongside. This applies even more so to the Police in that the communities within which they live and work are also those which they serve.
Being seen as part of those communities and trusted by them is crucial and the PCC's role in ensuring that is the case is vital.
My tours in Northern Ireland and Kuwait brought culture into sharp focus for me emphasising why listening and understanding others is so important.
In Northern Ireland it was about understanding a different experience and perspective to the one you might hold.
In Kuwait it was about getting to know the person or people you are dealing with; every meeting, social or business, no matter how important, always began with tea and talk, getting to know each other before doing business.
Yes this did mean things could often take longer to get done, but the value of understanding each other better was incalculable.
Another key lesson for policing and the PCC's role in being at the centre of an ongoing conversation with communities.
And lastly, teaching and education.
Education is a critical factor in determining a persons’ future and shaping their personality and behaviours. I began my professional life as a teacher, later working with Ofsted before entering higher education as a University lecturer in Lincoln.
What did I learn? That where children and young people get the education they need and deserve they can and will flourish. Where they don't however, things often can and do go wrong as my experience with youth justice all too often shows.
That is why it is so important for Police and Crime Commissioners to be supporting and championing education and opportunity for our young people. The time and effort spent on motivating and incentivising young people, preventing them from falling into anti-social behaviour and crime is worth far more than having to deal with them when it’s too late.