Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats

John Howson's election countdown Q&A Day 13

Day 13 - Q. What do you understand to be meant by the expression ‘hard-to-reach groups’? What experience do you have of consulting with such groups, and what do you think the challenges might be?

For many years some groups such as travellers, often experienced prejudice and were not listened to. The PCC must be prepared to listen to everyone and judge situations on the evidence. I have been used to evaluating evidence in my professional life.

I am used to being lobbied by those with power and influence. An example was attending a session for young people with learning challenges, that were being educated about the election process. I regarded it as a privilege to help take part in the session and answer their questions.

The challenges are always to identify these groups and try to avoid the power of one’s own prejudices based on life experiences. A drug addict beaten up in the street is a victim in the same way as a house-owner robbed of their possessions; both deserve the same respect and attention.

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