Police commissioner candidate hits out at sponsorship plan

Labour's candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, Lee Barron, second right, meets residents
Labour's candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, Lee Barron, second right, meets residents
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Labour’s candidate for police and crime commissioner for the county has criticised a proposal for every county parish to fund its own police officer.

Lee Barron made his comments after Conservative candidate for the role, Adam Simmonds, backed the plan drawn up by the Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils.

The proposal would enable every parish council in the county to have its own local officer through a relaunch of the special constabulary.

As part of the plan, parish councils would raise £5,000 through council tax precepts, or even through sponsorship, to pay for the training of a volunteer constable.

Mr Simmonds said: “The costs for training would be met by a partnership between the police and by those parish councils joining the scheme, with smaller parishes able to club together if they wanted to.

“This plan would bring an increase in visible policing, proven to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and fear of crime. Police officers based on the spot would build even greater local relationships and local intelligence supporting the wider work of the police.”

Mr Barron said the proposal would put even more pressure on families struggling to make ends meet.

He said: “I am amazed that at this time of real pressure on household budgets Mr Simmonds is suggesting the way to bring more police onto the beat is to make the citizens of our county pay even more.

“To suggest training police officers via sponsorship is akin to privatisation of the force. Adam needs to set out who he thinks will sponsor this training and what would they want in return for their investment.”

Mr Barron has been out and about in the county explaining his plans if he is selected.

He said: “I’ve been meeting people in Corby and Daventry and they agree that we need a police and crime commissioner who will stand up for the people of Northamptonshire to make it a safer place to live.

“Our much-valued and hard working police officers are facing monumental cuts being imposed by central Government. The last thing they need is someone who on the one hand is a cheerleader for those cuts but then attempts to do something about it by demanding more money from local people.”

The position of police and crime commissioner will come with a salary of £70,000.

Matt Stockdale and John Norrie are independent candidates for the role and the Liberal Democrats have still to put forward a candidate.