Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has announced he will not be standing for re-election when his term in office ends in May.
Mr Simmonds, who became the county’s first ever Police and Crime Commissioner in November 2012, said he was very proud of the work he has achieved in the past three years but felt it was time to let someone else do the job.
The 38-year-old said he had not decided what his future role would be and vowed to give total commitment to the remainder of his term in office.
He said: “My life’s work so far has been dedicated to helping people and improving the society we live in, and my passion for this remains unchanged. Although I am unsure what the future holds for me personally, I am determined to continue this work on leaving the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire.
“My decision to not stand again is purely a personal one, enabling me to take up other opportunities and allowing the PCC model to refresh itself. Being Police and Crime Commissioner is all consuming and a 24/7 role; Northamptonshire will benefit from fresh eyes over the next four years.”
Mr Simmonds said he hoped that a number of the projects and initiatives he had set up during his term of office would continue under the next police and crime commissioner.
He said: “Being the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire has been the most incredible journey and adventure and one that I feel extremely fortunate and proud to have undertaken.
“It has been a privilege to serve the people of Northamptonshire, to engage with literally thousands of residents in the county and to have helped improve their public service.
“My fantastic team and I have led the way on national agendas, such as integrating bluelight services in to a more singular organisation to make a more effective emergency service. We have set out a clear agenda for tackling child sexual exploitation, with more money and more people dedicated to protecting all our children, and have led the way on challenging the video and gaming industry about how it protects - and how it hasn’t properly protected - our young people. We have also worked with Northamptonshire Police to fundamentally reform police stop and search powers.
“It has been an honour to have been a national leader on these issues, and to have seen the progress made across the country and Northamptonshire as a result of our work,” he said.
“I’m similarly honoured to have helped create the likes of Voice, the county’s first integrated victims and witness service, as well as the first Institute for Pubic Safety, Crime and Justice – which will soon be the go-to organisation for innovation in public safety – and the country’s first Office for Faith Based Community Initiatives, which works with over twenty projects across different cultures and faiths and as a concept is set to be adopted elsewhere in the UK.”
Mr Simmonds said he believed he would hit the target of 900 special constables by next May and said he hoped to put in a place a series of Parish Special Constables across the county.
Due to the fact he had
one of the highest staff spend of police and crime commissioners in the country,
Mr Simmonds has been accused by critics of ‘empire building’.
But, Mr Simmonds said the fact he was standing down demonstrated that he was not using his work to increase his own power.
He said: “People have accused me of empire building but I am potentially now at the top of my game and I’m leaving. I believe I am leaving firm foundations for the future.”
‘Ambulance service should be integrated with police and fire’
Outgoing police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds has predicted that the ambulance service will become more closely collaborated with the fire and police service in Northamptonshire in the next few years.
Mr Simmonds, who has led the integration of the fore and police service in the county, said he believed Northamptonshire did not currently get a good deal from being covered by the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).
He said: “It takes a long time to get an ambulance in Northamptonshire and we could get a localised Northamptonshire paramedic service.
“We could buy ambulances and firefighters could retrain as paramedics. There would be no risk to jobs.
“In New York fire crews also double up as ambulance crews and on 9/11 that was crucial.
“I think there will be a Northants ambulance service rather than EMAS. I think that is where the future lies.”
Mr Simmonds said he believed public services were currently unaffordable and sometimes “resistant to change” but said leaders had to be able to make tough decisions.