West Yorkshire’s elected Police and Crime Commissioner could receive a £100,000 salary – and still be cheaper than the 17-strong Police Authority.
That was the claim of Policing Minister Nick Herbert at Moorside Community Centre in Bramley, Leeds, during a regional tour to encourage people to stand as PCC candidates.
He said a decision had yet to be made on the recommendations of the Senior Salaries Review Board, which alsosuggested PCCs in South and North Yorkshire should earn £85,000 and £70,000.
“The PCCs will cost no more than the existing police authorities we are scrapping,” he said. The only additional costs would be the four-yearly November elections – which would not come out of local policing budgets – and amounted to 0.15 per cent of police spending.
On powers of PCCs over chief constables, Mr Herbert said that “agreed procedures would be in place” and the new system was a “significant step forward “ which would give the public a say and the ability to remove those making unsuitable decisions.
“It is right the public has a say on issues such as how much money is taken from them for policing.”
PCCs were not an attack on democracy, but more democratic than “effectively invisible” members of current police authorities.
On the question of accessibility of PCCs he said the public “would know who to go to” as they did currently with MPs and approaches could be made through police and crime panels and all local councils would be represented.
They would be a “visible single person” accountable “through the ballot box” something police authorities did not have. That was the “strength of the office” and why elected mayoral systems worked,
Mr Herbert was resolute on proposals by the Association of Chief Police Officers to shut down the Sheffield-based police helicopter as part of a Government plan for a new small National Police Air Service and to provide cover from Carr Gate, Wakefield, or Derbyshire.