Northamptonshire police commissioner will not resign following new wave of criticism

Stephen Mold says he’ll continue to carry out ‘statutory’ duties
Standing down - Northamptonshire PFCC Stephen MoldStanding down - Northamptonshire PFCC Stephen Mold
Standing down - Northamptonshire PFCC Stephen Mold

The Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has said he will ‘continue to carry out his statutory obligations’ amid an ongoing crisis.

PFCC Stephen Mold yesterday (Wednesday, March 20) faced an unprecedented barrage of criticism from his own senior police and fire staff who said his remarks about incoming fire chief Nikki Watson were ‘abhorrent’.

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Mr Mold has been banned from attending training sessions about misogyny in the Northamptonshire force and is said to have lost the confidence of rank and file officers.

He has already confirmed he will not stand for re-election in May following public pressure and adverse media attention.

Following yesterday’s statements released by local representatives of senior police officers and fire officers, this newspaper asked Mr Mold’s office if he would now resign.

He said: “I made a serious mistake that has caused considerable offence. I am sorry. I accept total responsibility and as I have said, I will not seek re-election as police, fire and crime c/ommissioner.

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“I don't want my presence to cause further challenges for all three organisations but I will need to continue to carry out my statutory obligations in this period in order to keep the organisations running smoothly and ensure a smooth transition.”

Mr Mold’s chief constable Nick Adderley is currently suspended pending criminal and misconduct investigations into his behaviour, which is said to include wearing military medals to which he is not entitled.

According to the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the role of a police and crime commissioner is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They must also secure efficient and effective police for their area; appoint the chief constable; hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary, dismiss them; set the police and crime objectives for their area; set the force budget and determine the precept; contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and bring together community safety and criminal justice partners.

Mr Mold has been under fire for months, since he appointed his close friend Nicci Marzec to the role of chief fire officer. She resigned shortly afterward but was then given a job with the Police Digital Service, of which Mr Mold is a director.

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Northamptonshire has only had two PCC’s since the inception of the role in 2012. The first, Adam Simmonds, faced a criminal trial in 2017 charged with unlawfully obtaining or disclosing personal data. It was alleged that he leaked information about a criminal probe into disgraced former Wellingborough MP Peter Bone and his wife Jennie over payments they made regarding Mrs Bone’s mothers’ care home.

A jury sitting at Southwark Crown Court was discharged after failing to reach a verdict and the CPS decided that a retrial would not be in the public interest.

Like his successor, Mr Simmonds announced in 2016 he would not stand for re-election amid a public campaign to force his resignation.