New police chief comes under fire
Questions are being raised as to why the new police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne needs a deputy to help her.
Ms Bourne was elected as the commissioner by the people of Sussex in elections held last November. The post replaces the former police authority.
But her decision to appoint Steve Waight as her unelected deputy commissioner is causing concern among people who say the money would be better spent on employing more police officers on the beat.
John Ungar, Eastbourne’s representative on the Police and Crime Panel, which acts as a critical friend to the commissioner, said this week, “If the commissioner goes ahead with this appointment I believe she will be flying in the face of the original intention of introducing police commissioners. I question why she needs a deputy when she already has a large staff team to support her.”
He went on to say he believed the money could be better used employing more police on the beat in our communities.
On Wednesday lunchtime Ms Bourne said Mr Waight’s appointment would be confirmed next week.
She said, “Sussex is a large area and there are many calls on my time. I am convinced the support of a deputy is absolutely necessary to help ensure I can do the best job possible for residents during my time in office.
“I have inherited a small team of eight full time staff previously employed by Sussex Police Authority who are doing a great job. Steve’s experience and links with the local community as former chairman of the Police Authority and a local councillor will be an invaluable addition to the team. He will play a vital role in supporting me in working with the police, partners and the public to ensure we are all safer in Sussex.”
Mr Waight will be paid an annual salary of £45,000 and his role is expected to be given the go ahead next Friday.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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