Northamptonshire commissioner lambasts Labour plan to scrap his job along with 40 others

Northamptonshire's police commissioner Adam Simmonds says Labour is playing 'party politics' by pledging to scrap the commisioner role.
Northamptonshire's police commissioner Adam Simmonds says Labour is playing 'party politics' by pledging to scrap the commisioner role.

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has hit back at Labour for ‘refusing to back down’ over plans to scrap his post if the party wins the election.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said 1,000 police officers’ jobs and £50 million could be saved if the country’s 41 commissioners (PCCs) were removed.

But in a blog post released via the Conservative Home website today, Northamptonshire’s commissioner, Mr Simmonds accused Labour of ‘political point scoring’ by ‘refusing to back down’ on their determination to scrap the elected officials.

He said: “It is a great shame that Labour are too intent on playing politics to accept that in reality PCCs can help them to reduce crime, protect neighbourhood policing, and continue their work on serious crimes such as the abuse and exploitation of children.”

The commissioner said reversing the legislation and coming up with a workable replacement for the PCC role would “take up valuable time, resources and money.” “Would Labour not be better off leaving PCCs where they are instead focusing on tackling the important crimes they have committed to?” He added.

Mr Simmonds also disputed the claim that scrapping PCCs would save £50 million and questioned how Labour would replace his current role.

He said: “The (Labour) manifesto includes vague ideas about giving the public a ‘say over the appointment of local police commanders’.

“I can’t imagine those who perceive PCCs as politicising the police would be too happy with electing those at the commander level.”

When Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper spoke to the Northampton Chronicle & Echo in December she labelled police and crime commissioners as a ‘costly experiment that people just haven’t supported.”

She also said a Labour Government would not move back to the old police authority system, but proposed giving local residents the chance to decide policing priorities in their area, including deciding the number of officers on the beat through local forums.