PCC press briefing 13/2013

25th March 2013

This week’s briefing covers stories from 18 police areas in England and Wales across the following BTP regions:

London North (4): Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk;
London South (3): Hampshire, Kent, Sussex;
North East (5): Durham, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire;
North West (3) : Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Staffordshire;
Wales & Western (3): Avon & Somerset, South Wales, West Midlands.

In this issue:

PCC appointments scandal

A [Mail on Sunday] investigation has found that at least eight police and crime commissioners have created well-paid senior adviser jobs, with some going to friends and political allies.

  • The PCCs for BedfordshireCambridgeshireGreater ManchesterKentLancashire, StaffordshireSouth Wales, and West Midlands are all named, with some offering assistants salaries of £73,500 pa.
  • Mark Burns-Williamson, the PCC for West Yorkshire, has angered his political opponents by writing to his Labour Party colleagues advertising a vacancy for a £53,000-a-year deputy, writes [The Times]
  • [The Times] also write that Adam Simmonds, the Conservative PCC for Northamptonshire, is under fire for sitting on the interview panel that selected two of his election workers for £65,000-a-year jobs.


Electoral Commission report

Ministers wrongly assumed that “simply holding” elections for police and crime commissioners would be enough to inspire the public to vote, a damning report from the Electoral Commission has found. [Daily Telegraph]

  • Norfolk’s PCC has welcomed the report conceding mistakes were made in the inaugural elections for the role. [Norwich Evening News]
  • The PCC for South Yorkshire criticised the Government’s handling of the election. [The Star]

APCC formed

Fledgling police and crime commissioners and law enforcement governance bodies have formally agreed to form a body that will represent their interests on the national stage. [Police Oracle]

  • The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners was already operating in a transitional manner as the successor to the Association of Police Authorities. [Police Professional]

Other national stories this week

At least 10 police officers are now suspected of involvement in an alleged plot to discredit the former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, who was accused of calling Downing Street armed guards “plebs”. [The Sunday Times]

  • [The Times] reports this morning that Scotland Yard is preparing to send a file to prosecutors on the alleged incident.

An overhaul of how police deal with missing people could put vulnerable children at risk of being groomed and sexually exploited, the NSPCC has said. [Daily Telegraph]

MPs on the Home Affairs Committee said it had been supplied incorrect data by the UK Border Agency for six years and “repeatedly misled” by former head Lin Homer. [BBC News]

A [Private Eye] investigation questions the data analysis used by the Centre for Crime Prevention when it declared community sentences were “a failure”.

News by BTP area

London North

Suffolk’s new chief constable has revealed plans to invest millions in new laptops so bobbies can stay out on the beat while completing their paperwork. [Diss Express]

The issuing of cautions to suspected burglars by police in Essex is to be reviewed after criticism from the PCC. [BBC News]

London South

Hampshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner is confident he has hit the ground running as he marked his first 100 days in the post. [Basingstoke Gazette]

North East

Julia Mulligan, the PCC for North Yorkshire, has marked her first 100 days in office with the launch of an anti-social behaviour task force. [Craven Herald & Pioneer]

Durham PCC Ron Hogg has made assurances that frontline police services are safe despite a £10m budget cut. [Northern Echo]

Wales and Western

The new Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police is to consider giving Police Community Support Officers the power of arrest. [BBC News]

Over £46m in criminals’ cash and assets has been recovered in the last decade by police and other agencies in Wales. [BBC News]