Northampton

Northamptonshire PCC Adam Simmonds defends staffing plan

Adam Simmonds, Conservative
Image caption Adam Simmonds was elected as the county's police commissioner on 16 November

The new police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Northamptonshire has denied he is "empire building" with his plans for a 17-strong team.

Tory PCC Adam Simmonds' plans include employing a chief of staff, four assistant commissioners, and a value for money officer.

Under the old police authority, there were seven staff members. The new organisation will have 10 extra posts.

Mr Simmonds said a team was vital in overseeing the county force.

He said: "This is not an empire. This is about building something which is brand new. No-one has been PCC for Northamptonshire before.

Setting budgets

"The public voted for me to do a job to support frontline policing. I can't do it physically on my own."

He said his plans had been put forward to the public for consultation.

Mr Simmonds said he would be judged on whether he had achieved his objectives of more police and a reduction in drug crime.

In a report Mr Simmonds said he hoped to create three new departments, for drugs eradication, faith-based and neighbourhood initiatives, and the protection and security of the county, would also be created.

The commission will carry out the work that the previous police authority did of overseeing targets and setting budgets.

But the office also has new responsibilities of prevention and taking care of victims of crime.

For 2012-13, the budget for Northamptonshire Police is £120.55m - £2m less than 2011-12.

Savings of £20m have to be made over four years.

A spokesman for the commissioner said staff would be consulted about the plans in the first four months of next year.

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