Control of media and communications team ‘handed back’ to chief constable by Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds says he has handed back control of the police press office to the new chief constable, reducing the number of his staff employed by 10.
Mr Simmonds has been accused of “empire building” and faced criticism after it emerged his office cost £1.4 million a year to run in March 2014, almost double the cost when he started in November 2012.
A Freedom of Information request by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, based on figures from 16 months ago, has also shown the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), employed 37 people, more than any other force in England and Wales.
However, Mr Simmonds said his staffing levels had dropped considerably in the past two years and he would be handing back control of the media and communications team, which had previously been shared with the chief constable.
Mr Simmonds said: “When I came into the post I wanted change the way the force engaged with the media.
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“Over the past three years I have reduced the size of the communications team. I have found that 95 per cent of the work they do is proactive and reactive work for the police.
“With the new chief constable coming in I thought it was the right time to hand over control of the communications team.
“I will not be having any dedicated media support.”
Mr Simmonds said he was extremely thoughtful about how he spent public money and was reducing his staffing levels towards the end of his term as certain projects came to an end.
He said: “I think I am good value for money and people are able to see what I have delivered versus other police and crime commissioners.”
Mr Simmonds said he had not decided whether he was going to put himself forward to be a candidate in the PCC elections next year.
He said: “The Conservative party does not make a decision until October. I have not yet decided what I am going to do.”