Essex Police Crime Commissioner Nick Alston "Value for money"

FOUR out of six police forces in the East of England are spending more on police commissioners than the old authority system, one by more than 60%, figures have shown.

Freedom of Information requests have found increases in Bedfordshire (9.7%), Cambridgeshire (3.8%), Norfolk (8.62%) and Northamptonshire (61.5%).

However, Essex under PCC NIck Alston has reduced the costs compared to the Essex Police Authorities (EPA).

According to figures, the EPA cost £1.19 million a year compared to Nick Alston who costs an estimated £950,000 a year.

On a purely personal level, Your Thurrock has received more communications from Mr Alston’s office in a year than the last ten years in Thurrock when the EPA was in existence.

The PCC replaced the old police authorities in 2013.

The BBC compared the figures for the last full years of the police authority – from April 2011 to April 2012 – with the first full years of the police and crime commissioners (PCC) – from April 2013 to April 2014.

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds’ office costs have increased by more than 60% compared with the old police authority

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore says he has kept his office costs down

Andy Sawford, Labour MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, said he had particular concerns about the PCC expenditure in Northamptonshire and its 17-strong management team, which includes the press office.

"At a time of cutbacks in policing, it is totally wrong for the police commissioner to waste so much money on the press office. Nobody really wanted these commissioners because it’s wrong to politicise policing. The sooner the role is abolished the better."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has labelled PCCs a "failed experiment". But the Home Office said they had replaced "invisible and ineffective police authorities".

Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire PCC, defended the role and said: "The huge remit that I have and the huge agenda I have set out requires me to have a staff. I am not embarrassed by that. I have a lot of work to do."

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