PCCs – I’m Sick of Them Already. Whose Idea Were They Anyway?

Oh yes, Policy Exchange, I remember.

I know this is a little out of date but I’ve been thinking about matters for a few days, having a debate with an ex PCC Candidate on Twitter and generally just sitting here fuming.  My study has never been so fumed.

It seem s that now they are in office most, if not all, of the Police and Crime Commissioners are now appointing their deputies, and in one case 4 (yes FOUR) Assistant Commissioners, and we’re paying for it all.

Where do I begin?  It seems that Equal Opportunities has gone right out of the window.  Having been elected it would seem that these PCCs, regardless of their politics, are now appointing their chums as their deputies/assistants.  As far as I can see these posts were not advertised, applications were not invited in any way, more just “Do you fancy a job?”  “Right, You’re in, it’s yours”  Neither have these deputies/assistants been elected by us the public, nor are they the second-placed candidates from last month’s shambolic elections.

Lack of Equal Opportunities is just the start of it.

These deputies are being paid up to £68,000 per annum apparently, which just about enough to pay for 3 probationary Constables, even though the PCCs seem to have automatically inherited the staff from the defunct Police Authorities.  We are paying for this every one of us.  They do not have to advertise the posts and many have handed them to friends and political allies.

The Mail Online reports that it has raised concerns that the PCCs, who themselves earn up to £100,000  a year, are not as accountable as they were meant to be – and are wasting cash that could be spent on frontline services to catch criminals.
Sam Chapman, editor of the Top  Of The Cops blog on PCCs, warned: ‘If commissioners use taxpayers’ money to put their mates in cushy jobs no one else can apply for, they risk damaging public confidence.’
Yvonne Mosquito, a Labour councillor who will be paid £65,000 for a 32-hour working week by West Midlands PCC Bob Jones. He wrote that he chose her as she is a ‘black female’ who has the ‘empathy and emotional  intelligence’ to complement his business skills. She will continue to receive £27,000 for two council roles
Brian Ashton, ex-Mayor of Ely, who will get £28,000 for two to three days  a week in Cambridgeshire. Sir Graham Bright, the PCC, said his Tory Party colleague was a businessman who had experience of local government.
David Carroll, who will be paid £35,000 to work 22 hours a week  in Thames Valley. He sat with the PCC, Anthony Stansfeld, on the area’s old Police Authority committee and, like him, is a Tory councillor.

If that was wasn’t all ridiculous enough, now we get to the really tragic bit;
Adam Simmonds in Northamptonshire has appointed four ‘assistant commissioners’ – using a title given to senior officers in Scotland Yard – on £65,000 each, including his election agent, an established Tory activist called Kathryn Buckle.  Ms Buckle is clearly well qualified for the role having started her professional life at Enterprise Rent A Car in 2006 till 2007 as a Graduate Management Trainee.  For 8 months she  graced Windsor Conservative Association with her skills as an Agent, she has, to her credit, been a Volunteer for the Sue Ryder organisation since 1997 and most recently as Group Managing Agent for Northants Conservatives since 2009.  So I can completely see why she is well qualified for the role.  This resume’d CV is taken from her own contribution to Linkedin, so I assume that it is fair and accurate.
As Sam Chapman said at TopOfTheCops.com “Do you fancy a job dealing with policing and crime that has a fancy title, pays reasonably well, is available close to home, is flexible, possibly to the point of being part-time, and which allows you to be political but without the tedious necessity of getting elected, or proving that you are qualified for it in any way?”
Don’t worry, I haven’t finished yet.  Much was made when PCC Candidates originally signed up for their campaign that they had to be free from convictions, including, I believe, spent convictions from 30-40 years ago.  Now, I think that the same policy does not apply to their Deputies.  So we now have the scenario where Commissioner Squeaky Clean is long-term sick with a broken leg, can’t fulfil his/her duties and Deputy Commissioner Slightly Tarnished has to fill in.  How can this be remotely right.  It’s bad enough that PCCs are not being vetted, but the possibility of a Deputy with previous just doesn’t sit right.

Finally, it would be completely unfair to end without giving praise to Alan Charles, PCC for Derbyshire.  He has announced his intention to consult the public and place an advert in the paper in his quest to find a £56,000 Deputy
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One thought on “PCCs – I’m Sick of Them Already. Whose Idea Were They Anyway?

  1. The idea of Police and Crime Commissioners was ill-conceived and the role was badly drafted. Here in North Wales our PCC sees it as just a part-time role, and he wioll continue to workl as a barrister – and take hios PCC salary, obviously.

    Instead of fuming, we ought to organise a national petition to abolish the PCC role.

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