“Police chief’s roles should be abolished,” say Milton Keynes Labour

Witnesses should call the police on 101
Witnesses should call the police on 101
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The top police role in Milton Keynes should be scrapped and help to save taxpayers £50million, according to the Labour Party.

Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, has called on the government to scrap the post of Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner.

The post was only created by the government two years ago, but Mr Pakes echoed an announcement by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls at the Labour Party Conference.

The current commissioner earns a £85,000 salary, while his deputy is paid £35,000.

Mr Pakes said: “Police and crime commissioners have failed to provide any local accountability over police services. This is a costly vanity project on behalf of the government who wanted to import the idea of US style sheriffs into Britain. Thames Valley is simply too big an area for a single elected representative to be held account, let alone one elected by fewer than 15 per cent of residents.

“It would be much better to scrap this costly, bureaucratic experiment and give councils greater powers to co-ordinate crime and safety work. With public money still being tight we don’t need such a costly post in place. This money could be better spent investing in frontline police officers and helping to prevent crime in the first place.”

He added: “In the West Midlands, a recent by-election for a new Police and Crime Commissioner cost £3.7 million and saw only one in ten people vote.

“The next Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2016 are expected to cost more than £50 million across the country.”

> Focus:

There are 47 positions of Police and Crime Commissioner in England and Wales.

Just one in seven voters turned out for the elections nationally, or 15 per cent. And only five areas had a lower turn-out that in Thames Valley.

Anthony Stansfeld won the vote to commissioner for Thames Valley, with 34.7 per cent of votes cast. But the low turnout of 13.34 per cent meant that just one in 21 people eligible to vote supported him at the ballot box.