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Serving the community as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner

Matthew Barber

Some of my fondest memories were the very friendly (but frank) debates with my tutors. A genuine challenge of ideas and a real freedom to debate.

Matthew, Alumni

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner

Politics and Philosophy BA - 2002

From UK

Previous Institution

Cokethorpe School - A Levels

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

I was fortunate enough to make some great connections through student politics at Brunel and so my first steps into employment after leaving got me straight into working behind the scenes of local and national politics.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

It sounds rather cliched, but there isn't a typical day. As a politician a huge part of the job is about engagement with the public, so there's a big chunk of casework that comes in from people who have experienced problems that they need help with. A large part of the job is driving strategy for the Force, and this involves meeting Officers on the front line as well as working with colleagues nationally to establish best practice and seek to support innovation in policing. Finances are a constant challenge; no-one knows what the future holds, but Thames Valley Police has a budget of nearly half a billion pounds with constant pressures to deliver resources to the frontline.

What’s been the highlight of your career journey so far?

Prior to working with the Police, I served as Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council. It presented huge challenges, particularly in delivering additional housing, but I am proud of a great deal that we achieved.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

The connections I made whilst at Brunel were fantastic, and I am still in touch with a number of people professionally today that I met during those days.

What is your best memory of studying here?

Some of my fondest memories were the very friendly (but frank) debates with my tutors. A genuine challenge of ideas and a real freedom to debate.

If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?

Make use of the amazing brains around you, whether it’s the staff or students; you may only realise how amazing they are years later.

#IamBrunel