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EXCLUSIVE: PCC Simmonds tells police ‘there is no more money’

Northamptonshires first ever Police & Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds.

Northamptonshires first ever Police & Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds.

 

New police commissioner Adam Simmonds has written to all police staff and officers to warn them “there is no more money”.

Mr Simmonds started his first day in his new £70,000-a-year job yesterday by sending out the two page letter, which has been leaked to the Chronicle & Echo, warning he could not guarantee jobs in the force and how he intends to “close” the county’s police HQ.

The internal memo, which said he was preparing to make “big” and “radical” changes, was sent to all Northamptonshire Police staff as they arrived at work yesterday morning.

In the leaked message, he said: “This is a challenging time. I was elected on a manifesto of ambitious change. Achieving that will not be easy, but it is necessary. We must make substantial savings over the next five years.

“We must recognise that there is no more money. So I cannot guarantee jobs.”

He also warned police and staff about his plans, as revealed during his campaign, to “close” Northamptonshire Police headquarters.

The force HQ is currently based at Wootton Hall, off Mereway, in Northampton.

He said: “What I do intend to do is to build and protect a more effective frontline policing, strengthening intelligence and enabling the frontline to work smarter to prevent, as well as tackle, crime and to deliver great service to the public.

“That means looking at all our other costs. How management costs can be significantly further reduced and different models for back office services. “Looking at all the property owned and reducing those costs, including closing the current headquarters site. And finding more innovative ways to support front line policing.”

He told staff how he plans to implement a “single response centre across all agencies” to deal with anti-social behaviour and enlarge the cadet scheme.

Mr Simmonds, the Conservative candidate, also praised officers and told them he want to “support them in their work”.

He added: “I personally recognise the good job that the police do, your commitment and service. As Police and Crime Commissioner, I will not be ‘politicising’ the police. I have already sworn an oath of independence. The chief constable continues to be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Northamptonshire Police.

“My aim is to cut crime and to ensure our police force is effective. My job is to bring a more public voice to policing by asking the public to shape police and crime priorities and ensuring the police budget is spent as effectively as possible.

“As PCC my role is wider and much more substantial than the former Police Authority. The buck will stop with me. People will know who I am and how to call me to account on policing and crime.

“I want to support you in your work. I want us to be the brightest and best in the country. I want us to go further still in reducing bureaucracy and replacing it with common sense. This will free up money and people for the front line.

“I want our police better equipped with the tools to do the job they do best.”

 

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