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Thames Valley PCC candidate – John Howson, Lib Dems



We are providing all the candidates seeking election as Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) with the opportunity to tell our readers what their priorities are, and to tell us a little more about themselves.

We’ve asked the same four questions to each candidate, for straightforward comparison, and we have invited candidates to supply social media and website links if they choose to.

In this article we speak to John Howson, standing for the Liberal Democrats.


Related topics:


(1) Please tell us a little about yourself.

County Councillor in Oxfordshire since 2013, and 20 years a magistrate, including national deputy chair of the Magistrates’ Association.

Teacher, lecturer, civil servant and business owner, as well as columnist and blogger

Trustee for six year of charity working with children with a parent in prison.

Been burgled three times and stabbed once, so can relate to how victims feel.

Worked in multicultural settings in Tottenham and lived in Thames Valley since 1979 in both Oxford and the Vale of White Horse.

Been a parliamentary candidate 4 times for Lib Dems. Don’t own a car but use public transport.


(2) What do you feel are the policing priorities in our area?

A Police Service not a Police Force. A Service that treats all the same.   Rural or urban, young or old, regardless of who you are.

My experience on the national stage in the education world and the criminal justice system, plus 20 years as a magistrate, and eight as a county councillor mean you can trust my judgement.

The PCC must stand up for victims, I have experienced 3 burglaries and been stabbed: I know about the trauma of being a victim.

Local policing and swift justice are vital. Cases take too long to come to court, and justice delayed is justice denied.


(3) What initiatives would you seek to implement if elected on 6th May?

Swifter Justice for victims; greater emphasis on communities and community policing and building trust with all parts of society, especially the young by working with schools and children’s services to deter young people from a life of crime. 

Reinforce the ‘policing by consent’ by a police service not a police force. Recognise that the police need to play a part in tacking climate change.

Discuss use of stop and search with Chief Constable and ask for a review of policing crime in rural areas.

Above all, initiatives to make people safer including more officers to replace those cut by tories.


(4) What skills/experience would you look to bring to the role?

For over 20 years, I was a magistrate in Oxfordshire, dealing with criminal cases in our communities and listening to the accounts of victims.

I was the national deputy chair of the Magistrates’ Association.This gives me the experience necessary to set the policing strategy and make sure this is achieved.

I have worked with professionals and politicians at all levels. This includes the Home Secretary. I am not intimidated by positions of power, such as a Chief Constable or Council Leader.

As the PCC for Thames Valley, I would serve the public interest and hold the right people accountable.




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