How much are police and crime commissioners costing?

 
Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester's PCC, shakes hands with chief constable Sir Peter Fahy Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester's PCC, shakes hands with Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy

How much are the police and crime commissioners costing you?

My colleagues in the BBC News political research unit have been trying to find out how many staff the new PCCs are employing and how much they are being paid.

The figures aren't complete, because there is no central register of the information - but so far BBC News has established the PCCs have employed at least 449 staff since taking office.

The research discovered wide variations in salaries and the size of each PCC team in the 41 police areas outside of London. The Metropolitan Police doesn't have a PCC because the mayor of London performs the same functions.

The Home Office had said it expected the directly elected commissioners to cut costs - but it's not clear yet whether PCCs are costing more or less than the system they replaced

The police and crime commissioners were elected in October 2012 by an average of less than 15% of registered voters - the lowest turnout since World War II.

(Note: The Electoral Commission has separately criticised the way ministers organised the vote last year, saying in a report that too few people had sufficient information to make an informed choice of candidate.)

Taken together, the commissioners are responsible for £8bn of spending on police in England and Wales.

HIGHEST STAFF NUMBERS

  • Greater Manchester: 40
  • West Yorkshire: 27
  • Merseyside: 26
  • West Midlands: 23
  • Devon and Cornwall: 19

BBC News contacted each PCC in England and Wales to ask about their staff and the salaries being paid. The legislation that created the PCCs did not put a limit on how many staff each should take on, leaving it to them to decide what's best for their area. That's one of the key features of the reforms - it's up to local people to decide, through the elections, what kind of PCC they want.

As expected, PCCs overseeing the biggest urban forces tend to employ more people, but there are significant anomalies.

Overall, the BBC calculated the commissioners had employed at least 449 people. The true figure will be higher because three PCCs did not provide the BBC with any information about their staffing arrangements: Cleveland, Lincolnshire and Lancashire.

Greater Manchester's PCC has taken on the greatest number of staff - 40. A spokesman for Tony Lloyd, the commissioner, said that the staff were transferred over from the previous police authority. As things stand he's spending 8.5% less than the authority used to with more savings to come.

The PCCs for Warwickshire and Staffordshire have each employed seven people - the lowest number.

Devon and Cornwall's PCC, Tony Hogg, has 19 staff, far more than larger forces such as Thames Valley, Hampshire, Kent and Essex.

A spokesman for Mr Hogg, who won the election with the backing of about 5% of the area's electorate, said he had inherited staffing levels from the outgoing police authority and had added a director of communications. The spokesman stressed that Mr Hogg was also overseeing one of the largest geographic policing areas in the UK.

Variation in salaries

The BBC research reveals that the salaries of the majority of the PCCs are between £70,000 and £85,000, although the commissioners overseeing the three major forces of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and West Midlands each receive £100,000.

However, the salaries of deputy commissioners and other senior officials such as chief executives vary widely. The BBC figures don't include Kent's ill-fated youth police and crime commissioner, Paris Brown, who resigned after a newspaper reported a series of questionable tweets she had sent prior to taking the job.

Suffolk's PCC pays his chief executive £102,000. But Durham, which has a similar-sized force, has a chief executive paid £61,000. Suffolk's chief executive's pay was set by the previous police authority. The Durham chief executive was recruited by the PCC.

While many commissioners have taken on one deputy, Northamptonshire, one of the country's smaller forces, has taken on four at a cost of £65,000 each.

Supporters of the introduction of the commissioners say that it gives local people democratic oversight over policing in their area, because the PCC has the power to set budgets and hire and fire chief constables.

In a statement, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners said: "It is important that PCCs are able to operate efficiently and effectively on behalf of the public.

"PCCs want to ensure the public are confident that all decisions made are as transparent as possible. [The] BBC figures do not recognise the greater responsibilities PCCs discharge in office compared to police authorities.

"There is also no recognition of the variance in size of force areas. PCCs representing metropolitan areas will have a bigger office budget because they deal with a larger force and population."

One of the big questions about the PCCs is transparency. The Home Office argued that they would be more accountable than the "invisible" police authorities that they have replaced. If the voters don't like them, they can vote them out.

Ed Brown of the BBC's political research unit had the unenviable task of putting together the figures in the table below.

"There were huge variations in the levels of transparency on this data from PCC to PCC," says Ed. "Some of them were helpful; but the vast majority had labyrinthine websites, many had failed to publish much of the information they were required to under statute and press officers were sometimes difficult to get hold of.

"It is difficult to see how an interested member of the public would be able to get hold of this information, which is meant to be freely available."

Commissioner Salary Number of staff (including part-time) plus deputies or assistant commissioners Chief executive's salary (where in place and stated).

Source: BBC News political research unit

Greater Manchester

£100,000

40

West Midlands

£100,000

23+1D

£106,000

West Yorkshire

£100,000

27+1D

£130,000

Thames Valley

£85,000

13+1D

£93,000

Hampshire

£85,000

8

£90,000

Avon and Somerset

£85,000

12

£106,000

Essex

£85,000

9

£90,000

Kent

£85,000

13

Recruiting chief of staff

Lancashire

£85,000

No information, 1D

South Yorkshire

£85,000

No information, 1D

Sussex

£85,000

11+1D

£82,000

Merseyside

£85,000

26

Devon and Cornwall

£85,000

19

£100,000

South Wales

£85,000

12+2D

Chief of staff: £67,000

Nottinghamshire

£75,000

10+1D

£81,000

Northumbria

£85,000

No information, 1D

West Mercia

£75,000

12+1D

Up to £105,000

Humberside

£75,000

14+1D

£88,000

Staffordshire

£75,000

7+1D

Leicestershire

£75,000

No information

Cheshire

£75,000

12+1D

Hertfordshire

£75,000

11

£97,000

Surrey

£70,000

10+1D

£78,000

Derbyshire

£75,000

8+1D

Cambridgeshire

£70,000

11+1D

£89,000

Northamptonshire

£70,000

No information, 4D

Deputies: £65,000

Suffolk

£70,000

9

£103,000

Dorset

£70,000

9

North Wales

£70,000

9

Lincolnshire

£65,000

Cleveland

£70,000

Norfolk

£70,000

12+1D

Bedfordshire

£70,000

9+2D

North Yorkshire

£70,000

6

£81,000

Wiltshire

£70,000

8

Gwent

£70,000

9+1D

£91,000

Durham

£70,000

10

£62,000

Warwickshire

£65,000

7+1D

£77,000

Gloucestershire

£65,000

9

£89,000

Cumbria

£65,000

9

Dyfed-Powys

£65,000

9

 
Dominic Casciani, Home affairs correspondent Article written by Dominic Casciani Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent

Comments

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 152.

    Waste of money, a political stitch up by the Tories, jobs and huge salaries for the boys (probably more Old Etonians).
    I do not think anybody has noticed any difference in their police service.
    But we do know that they can max out their expenses (paid by us).

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 151.

    These people know nothing about what it is like to be a Policeman. It makes no sense to give top jobs to these people.
    Also, I am concerned about corruption in the Police Force, with lowering salaries and dropping standards. We should be paying the Police more salary. These people in the top jobs - I also fear they will be a target for corruption from criminal gangs.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 150.

    You just know that some one some where...is making we the public pay with no respect for friction in our back passage ..whilst they yet again they insert the large helical device that enables them to do it for years and then tell us that it was for our own good..but hey ho..as |Frank Sinatra said.."thats life "but why do they do it all the time...for once..let us have the jam..!!!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 149.

    There is absolutely no support for these people among the general public. They do not have our confidence and they are a waste of money. Get rid of them.

    I would rather the money was spent on uniformed officers to patrol the streets.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 148.

    I wonder how many fire arms officers could have been trained with that sort of money.

 

Comments 5 of 152

 

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