John Howson selected for Police Commissioner

Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner Candidate Announced

September 2, 2012 8:17 PM

The Lib Dems across Berks, Bucks & Oxon have selected a leading campaigner and magistrate as their Thames Valley candidate in the Police & Crime Commissioner election on 15 November – Professor John Howson.

John Howson

John Howson knows a thing or two about crime. Businessman, Academic, Licensing Justice, and victim of crime, as well as a former government adviser.

Commenting on his selection, Professor John Howson said: “Although the Lib Dems were happy with the existing arrangements for scrutinising the police, the new role has become much wider than just its original intention of holding the Chief Constable to account. Commissioners will play a strategic role in the management of the fight against crime across the Thames Valley, and this embraces discussions with many different agencies as well as the police.”

He continued: “As a businessman and former university head of department, I am used to the scrutiny of budgets, and have written about concepts such as activity based costing.

“Policing in England is a matter of consent. Currently, too much crime is linked to addiction, whether drug or alcohol related. Helping to stop re-offending is the best way to keep down police spending in the future.

“As a victim of a classroom stabbing when a teacher, having experienced four burglaries in my adult life, and been involved in two road traffic accidents, I know the effects crimes can have not only on the direct victim, but also on others in the wider community.”

A resident in Oxfordshire for more than 30 years, he also knows the diversity of the Thames Valley police area having been involved with training teachers across the three counties for more than ten years.

Lib Dem Regional Chair and West Oxfordshire councillor, Liz Leffman, said: “We are delighted to have such an experienced campaigner, with an excellent knowledge of policing and crime, as our candidate for Thames Valley.”

Contact: Prof. John Howson tel: 01865 203270, mobile: 07958 702292 e-mail:


  • John Howson served on the Lib Dems policy working party on crime and justice in 2008
  • Fought Reading East in the 2005 general election, and has been an active Party member since going to university in 1966.
  • In 1992 he was appointed to the Abingdon Bench as a Justice of the Peace, and has served as a magistrate for 22 years, now sitting on the Oxfordshire Bench from which he has taken leave of absence to fight this election. He is a Vice President of the Magistrates’ Association and a former Vice Chairman.
  • Between 8-16 September John Howson is going to Kampala to attend the Commonwealth Magistrates and Justices Conference.

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