The Labour Party’s candidate for this year’s Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner election, David Michael MBE, said that his 30 years experience in the police service means that he can hit the ground running, if he is elected in May. He said:
“I won’t need to go through the manual on day one, however complex the issues are.
“If I get elected I will be using my vast amount of skills and experience, both as a practitioner and working at strategic levels inside the police service, along with other Criminal Justice organisations and agencies, to inform my role as police and crime commissioner.”
David came up through the ranks with the Metropolitan Police, from a constable walking the beat to a team leader at Scotland Yard deploying undercover police officers to infiltrate criminal enterprises.
With all this experience in the police service, can residents trust David to represent their policing needs and not to give the police too much benefit of the doubt? He said:
“The police and crime commissioner is a voice for the people, a strong voice for the people.
“Even when I was a serving officer inside the police force I was able to articulate an alternative point of view.
“If, for example, you look at the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and the Lawrence family having to bring a private prosecution before the official powers that be intervened. I said, “hang on that can’t be right”.
“I said it is not right for the Lawrence family as a victim of crime to get justice for Stephen by bringing a private prosecution.
“As a serving detective inspector, I organised fund raising and presented a cheque to the Lawrence family.
“I did an interview saying I would support a public inquiry into how the investigation of Stephen’s murder had been conducted by the Metropolitan Police.
“As a detective inspector I was not too frightened to stand up and say what was right.
“I love the police service, I loved my organisation and I had several commendations for detective work. But equally I was not afraid to stand up and speak up for people like the Lawrence family or people inside the organisation facing injustice.”
In 1998, The Independent called David one of Britain’s most high- profile black police officers. This was when it covered an out-of-court settlement between David and the Metropolitan Police after a four-year race discrimination action.
The Independent reported that the settlement included a series of measures designed to improve working conditions for black officers.
David said that his actions when standing up for what he believed was right, reinforced his commitment to the Oath he took when he became a police officer.
“I took an oath to do my duty without fear or favour, without malice or ill will and without prejudicing the right of others. I stood up and lived up to that oath for 30 years as a police officer.
“I have been retired a bit now but I still pride myself in terms of serving the community, I have lived up to that oath.
“So I am saying I am going to offer that determination to do that duty for the people of Bedfordshire.”
In a final message to residents, David wants voters to put policing before politics. He said:
“Look at voting for a candidate who knows policing and has been through a wide range of policing and criminal justice issues.
“I’ve got the experience to be able to have the appropriate conversations with the chief constable.”