The Home Secretary Theresa May defended the introduction of police and crime commisioners - describing them as a “huge step forward” - during a visit to Northampton today.
Mrs May, who is the longest serving Home Secretary for 50 years, joined Conservative candidate for Northampton North Michael Ellis on the campaign trail in the Westone area of the town.
The Labour party has said it would scrap police and crime commissioners (PCCs) if they were voted into power, which it claims would save £50 million that would be reinvested into front line policing.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper labelled police and crime commissioners as a ‘costly experiment’ during a visit to Northampton in December.
But Mrs May said it was “wrong” to scrap PCCs as “overall they had done a good job.”
She said: “PCCs are a huge step forward. They replaced police authorities that were unaccountable, unelcted and invisble.
“PCC are elected, accountable and visible to the public.
“If there is a Conservatove government after the election, there will be PCC elections next year when the public will get to decide who they want their PCC to be.
“Adam Simmonds in Northants has been very active in a number of areas. For example, looking to bring the fire and police service closer together to make efficiencies and provide better services for people.”
When asked about where she thought the police HQ should be based when the new Wotton Hall Park school opens, Mrs May said it should be where it makes “most operational sense” for Northamptonshire Police officers to do their job to the best of their ability.
Mrs May praised Mr Ellis for leading the campaign to get more money spent on repairing potholes in Northamptonshire and, as a result, across the country.
In response to a question about whether she wanted to carry on as Home Secretary if it was a Conservative government, Mrs May said she was just concentrating on making sure the Conservatives won the election.
Mr Ellis said he was delighted to welcome the Home Secretary to Northampton.