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'Concern' at accountability of PCC appointments

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Many of the 41 newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) have opted to appoint friends and former colleagues to their teams, as they are allowed to by law. But should there be a greater degree of accountability in how appointments are made? Local Police and Crime Panels (which include local councillors) can review the decisions and make recommendations, but they have no power of veto.

Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire who stood as a Conservative candidate, said: "I took on a team that was minus 17 people and used to supporting a committee structure. I have set out a paper about what I think the scope of PPC role is about and I've not been anything but transparent."

On the subject of accountability he added: "I have to abide by the Nolan principles in relation to recruitment. I currently appointed interims with very good experience and will give me good value for money.

Jon Collins, deputy director of the Police Foundation, explained: "This is a new job and there is no blueprint. It is a big job and they will need help around them to do it." He added: "They need to hit the ground running. Adam's choice to bring interims whilst he decides what the needs long term maybe sensible."

He admitted: "The concern is not that the wrong people have been appointed, There is an appearance that there isn't an open and transparent process. That will further damage confidence in the role... It's important they don't make appointments which appear to involve cronyism."


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