The Riverporter has received a reply to our email of 12 March to Police & Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite. Following his comment at the Town Meeting, when he announced that: ‘The fact that the Police and Crime Commissioner is now cheaper to run than the former Police Authority, then you save that money in your pocket or I get that to give to the Chief Constable for more cops.’ We requested to know how he had reached this conclusion when the evidence is that his costs are £225,000 more.

The reply we received last Friday is printed in full: I can confirm that the Police and Crime Commissioner had no intentions of misleading the audience at the St Ives town meeting. His comments were based on the fact that the role of a PCC includes greater responsibility than just setting the strategic objectives for local police forces. The two are not comparable. Even if you calculate the final year costs of the Police Authority and add inflation, which you have done, the Police Authority did not include the areas of responsibility PCC’s such as Victim Support and Community Safety Grants.

Under the terms of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, PCC’s must: – Secure an efficient and effective police for their area; – Appoint the Chief Constable, hold them to account for running the force, and if necessary dismiss them; – Set the police and crime objectives for there are through a police and crime plan; [?] – Set the force budget and determine the precept; – Contribute to the national and international policing capabilities set out by the Home Secretary; and bring together community safety and criminal justice partners, to make sure local priorities are joined up. All the detail of the PCC’s costs can be found on the website – https://www.cambridgeshirepcc. gov.uk/accessing-information/money/.

If you would like to read more about the PCC’s responsibilities, please visit the website: https://www.cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk.

Naturally The Riverporter thanked the PCC’s office for the reply and pointed out that presumably it was now accepted that there are no savings, either for the Chief Constable to use for additional officers, or for the pockets of tax payers!