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Crime commissioner election cost £800,000

By WMNAGreenwood  |  Posted: December 29, 2013

Crime commissioner election cost £800,000
Comments (17)

The election for Devon and Cornwall’s first ever police and crime commissioner cost £800,000, it has finally emerged, less than half that originally forecast.

The bill for the national November 2012 poll – estimated at £75 million by Prime Minister David Cameron – was one of many complaints about the Government’s flagship policing policy, particularly at a time of deep cuts to budgets.

In Devon and Cornwall, forecasts from the 12 local authorities in the region put the election bill at £1.9 million.

However Cornwall Council, which organised the election, has now confirmed that the election cost taxpayers £800,000 which has now been reclaimed from the Home Office.

Ten candidates, the highest number in the country, stood for election for the landmark post which was secured by Conservative Tony Hogg.

Among the other candidates was independent Brian Greenslade, former chairman of the now redundant police authority and a prominent Devon councillor, who came second.

Mr Greenslade admitted he was “somewhat surprised” at the final cost given initial estimates.

“From the public purse point of view it is obviously good news,” Mr Greenslade said. “But it is still £800,000 that was spent on an election that the public didn’t want.

“It would have been better spent on frontline policing which I think is something the public would have voted for.”

The ballot came at a pivotal moment for the force which was downsizing to meet budget cuts of £51 million by 2015.

Officer numbers have fallen from a high of 3,500 to just over 3,000 while some 400 civilian staff have also been lost.

The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, has been among Mr Hogg’s critics, particularly for the increasing cost of his office.

Sergeant Nigel Rabbitts, branch chairman in Devon and Cornwall, said £800,000 would have paid for some 25 officers for a year.

“It is a huge amount of money when budgets are being cut so hard,” Sgt Rabbitts said. “Is it adding value? Is it value for money? It just seems like more bureaucracy.”

The Government introduced the post, saying the American-style role would bring a level of democracy and accountability never seen in local policing before.

In an interview to mark the first anniversary of the elections, Police Minister Damian Green said the investment in reform had been worthwhile.

“For the first time, people have got direct input, they have got a face and a name they can go to, who is holding the police to account,” he said.

“I think one of the effects we have seen over the past year, since the elections, is that people are much more interested then they used to be in how the police are performing and what can be done about it and that is because they have got an individual, who is democratically elected, whose sole job is to hold the police to account.”

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17 comments

  • woe_is_me1  |  December 30 2013, 12:26PM

    With regard to keeping criminals behind bars, it's one of those situations whereby it is cheaper to react to the problem rather than solve it. A quick Google will show that official figures tell us it costs £65k to imprison someone then an additional £37k a year to keep them there. If there is a UK prison population of over 87k that's over £5.5b to send 'em down and £3.2b a year to keep them there. We all want cheaper public services so rather than try and solve crimes at great cost and then try for a prosecution, we just pay the most-wronged victims compensation and have the less dangerous scoundrels perform public services for free. It makes perfect economic sense, which sadly is the driver for everything these days, regardless of the feelings / damage to the victims.

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  • GAWker  |  December 30 2013, 6:15AM

    Kent's PCC is an independent, not a Tory.

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  • GAWker  |  December 29 2013, 6:28PM

    1. I have some sympathy for PCC Hogg. 2. The police criticising PCC Hogg and the PCC system should get their own house in order first. Police personnel are seriously deluded if they think that PCCs are the biggest problem within the police. 3. It does seem that PCC Hogg and Gary Streeter are just representatives of the police. Is that any wonder when the Tories are supposed to the be law & order party and PCCs are a Tory idea? Look at that PCC for Kent that had that redheaded Teenage PCC being foolish on Twitter and Facebook now not publicising details about the investigation into Chief Constable Learmonth stating that PCCs only have to publicise details of Gross Misconduct against Chief Constables so didn't have to publicise it. Is Kent's PCC a Tory? I don't know but she comes across as another Press Spokesman for the police rather than elected official whose role is supposed to lead to greater accountability and transparency. Weren't we sold PCCs on accountability and transparency? 4. Interesting to see Ian Watkins mentioned here in the comments. I wonder how three police forces seeming to ignore the information they had on him and seventeen agencies being cited in failures to address the sexual exploitation of teenage girls in Roachdale compares to the investigation into how Plymouth police proactively failed to investigate the friends of William Goad over several years? Three police forces ignoring the leads on Ian Watkins is little different from the way further victims and perpetrators that were known to Goad were dismissed and buried. 5. If PCC Hogg wants to be seen to do something and have some kojones perhaps he could get stuck into the very tardy investigation into what Goad's mates were up to and see some of the officers involved in that crime bought to justice. If we see people abusing disabled parking badges in The Herald when do we get to see the police officers that sat on the Goad case in The Herald?

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  • firkinjeffery  |  December 29 2013, 2:38PM

    josdave...so true. A million quid give or take a couple of quid That's a lot of Bobbies on the beat. The first three letters of the Eton blue boys plus Maggie party says it all really in despair at the hogg wash F

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  • DJANGO6421  |  December 29 2013, 12:53PM

    In the know 13, for five years the pop beast child rapist was reported by his ex girlfriend to various police forces, they did NOTHING, Much more easy for them to target motorists keeping the crime solved figures artificially high. It would not suprise me to find that they had a vested interest in ignoring what WATKINS was doing.

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  • TheGeofflane  |  December 29 2013, 12:43PM

    At least he's living like a true Conservative - high on the Hogg! I'd like to put him on a zero-hours contract, 24/7

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  • DJANGO6421  |  December 29 2013, 12:41PM

    The £800,000 it cost to elect boss hog was reclaimed from the home office? spent tax payers money was reclaimed from tax payers money held by the home office! makes sense does'nt it.we get robbed as usual.

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  • josdave  |  December 29 2013, 12:10PM

    Why are those in favour of criminals getting real punishment getting red arrows?

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  • Cheekymonkey  |  December 29 2013, 11:46AM

    What a waste.. add into this the expenses that this man has claimed and it becomes even worse and to be honest has anyone (including him) got a clue what he's really meant to be doing?

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  • Jenn11  |  December 29 2013, 11:23AM

    ridiculous price. If proper sentences were given out instead of the pathetic efforts we have seen in recent years crime wouldnt be as high so we wouldnt need this job!!!! or perhaps thats what he is going to ensure happens??? still ridiculous amount of money - could have filled the pot holes on Billacombe Road and roundabout at top of Novorosisk Road.

    Rate   13
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