Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Tory police commissioner (up for re-election next year) wakes up to fair funding campaign

Conservative Police Commissioner Tony Hogg is up for re-election next May and he has coincidentally decided that now is the right time to launch a campaign for 'fair funding' for rural police forces.

Mr Hogg claims that the Devon and Cornwall force is under-funded by £12 million per year and he says the current funding formula doesn't take account of the huge number of visitors to the region each year. He's right in both cases, of course. So why has it taken until the start of his re-election campaign for him to do anything about it? And surely the benefit of having a Conservative commissioner at the time of a Conservative government is that he can knock on Theresa May's door and get a better deal.

Before anyone should take Mr Hogg's campaign seriously, he should clean up his own act:

  • He should stop claiming public money for rent on his second home when he could stay in purpose built police accommodation for free.
  • He should cut the ridiculously high spending on consultants and agency staff. When the Lib Dems joined the administration at Cornwall Council, we cut such spending by 59% in the first year.
  • He should cut the amount spent on his office. It now costs more to run than the old police authority, despite promises that it would make savings.
  • He should stop giving golden good-byes to staff such as the £165,000 given to the former chief executive he didn't get on with.
  • He should stop wasting money on branded pens and post-it notes.

And while Mr Hogg complains about the government's decision to prioritise spending on policing cities rather than rural areas, perhaps he should look at his own patch where front counter and custody centres in Launceston are to close but those in Plymouth and Exeter are being saved.

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