LETTER: Commissioner role agreement

Reader Mark Sohn concluded his recent letter by saying: “Time to either abolish the post of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) or, better yet, make it a voluntary, non-political appointment.” Mark is quite right.

The primary object of Sussex Police, like every other force, is the prevention of crime; the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. Therefore, could someone in authority tell Mark and I how much crime is prevented and how many offenders are detected and punished, by spending getting on for one-and-a-half-million pounds of taxpayers’ money every year on the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner’s office?

After all, this amount of money would be enough to pay for around an extra 50 constables to patrol the our county’s cities, towns and villages.

These would have been men and women physically meeting the objectives of an efficient police force, instead of spending it on the eight ‘managers’, eight ‘officers’ and four ‘heads’ based in the PCC’s Lewes office.

I suspect that they spend 
a great deal of time in meetings devising new policies and agendas that 
look great on paper but do little, if anything, to actually prevent, detect and punish crime.

Or are they not the jobs of people who have the words ‘police’ and ‘crime’ in their title?

Oh, and by the way, only one of these ‘managers’, ‘officers’, and ‘heads’ is an actual serving police officer who really knows what crime is all about.

Mark called for ‘a voluntary, non-political appointment’, and he is not far wrong when you look at the result of the last PCC election.

The winner, Katy Bourne, won 40 per cent of the votes of the 22 per cent of the electorate who bothered to turn out and vote, most of them clearly doing so along party lines. In other words, she got her £85,000-a-year job based on the support of just nine per cent of the electorate. Nice work of you can get it.

Eric Waters

Ingleside Crescent,

Lancing

Read more letters from this week’s Herald and Gazette

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