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First elected PCC claims her Chief Constable's scalp after he quits when told he must reapply for his job

First elected PCC claims her Chief Constable's scalp after he quits when told he must reapply for his job | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

First elected Police Commissioner claims her Chief Constable's scalp after he quits when told he must reapply for his job
^ Newly-elected Sue Mountstevens met with long-serving Colin Port yesterday
^ Experienced Avon and Somerset chief constable refused to reapply and quit
^ First of what could be a number of casualties as elected officials take control

A mother-of-three elected as a new Police and Crime Commissioner has seen off the current chief constable on her first day in the job.
Sue Mountstevens, 57, who was elected last week as an independent candidate, told long serving Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Colin Port he must reapply for his own job.
He refused, and quit on the spot. He is the first of what is expected to be a number of casualties of the new regime in which elected officials take control of the police for the first time.
Mrs Mountstevens, a former magistrate and married mother of three children, stood on a platform of cutting anti-social behaviour, burglary and violence.
She also promised to keep party politics out of policing and act ‘without interference of national politics’.
The day before she took office, she met Mr Port - who has led the force for eight years - and told him his post would be opened to competition from outsiders and he would have to reapply.
She had the option of extending his contract for another year, but advertising the job would allow her to appoint a chief for her whole three and a half year term, she told him.
Mr Port, who will retire on a pension estimated at £100,000 a year, said: ‘Yesterday I had a meeting with the police and crime commissioner.
‘She told me she intends to start the process to recruit a chief constable to take Avon and Somerset forward. I told her I had no intention of applying for my job.’
‘I can confirm that I will be retiring from the police service on January 26 2013 at the end of my fixed-term appointment. In effect, I will be leaving considerably sooner.’

Mrs Mountstevens, was a long-serving member of the Police Authority and director of a local family business, Mountstevens Bakeries.

She was elected ahead of the Tory candidate last Friday with 125,704 votes to 67,842.

She paid tribute to Mr Port saying he had ‘made great improvements for this area’ and said he would be ‘greatly missed’.
She said: ‘Everyone is aware that the chief constable’s contract expires on January 26. Because of that, I would like to run a competitive process to appoint a chief constable for my whole term of office.
‘It was his choice not to apply but I know that he will continue to do great things and I wish him the very best for the future. He has increased detection rates and reduced crime. He will be greatly missed by staff and partners.’

Police and Crime Commissioners were elected following votes last Thursday in 41 police areas across England and Wales.

The polls were marred by poor turnout, with just one in six registered voters participating.
PCCs will have powers to hire and fire force Chief Constables, and will set the priorities for policing in their area.
Senior officers fiercely resisted the creation of PCC posts, claiming they would politicise the police.
Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers said: ‘Colin Port is a hugely experienced chief constable who has led Avon and Somerset police with distinction over the last eight years, reducing crime and raising public confidence, steering the force through a period of major change and handling a number of high profile criminal cases.
‘His skills and experience will be a big loss to the service.’

 

THE POWERS OF A PCC EXPLAINED

Police and crime commissioners have the job of ‘bringing communities closer to the police, building confidence in the system and restoring trust’, according to the Home Office website.
They are tasked with creating a police and crime plan, setting the force budget and appointing or dismissing the chief constable.
The former police authorities also had the power to hire and fire but this rarely happened.
Four police forces in the South West now have acting chief constables, but they are not all said to be looking at going for the top job.

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Prescott loses PPC poll in his own back yard of Hull to a TORY

Prescott loses PPC poll in his own back yard of Hull to a TORY | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

John Prescott’s political career came to a humiliating end last night when he lost his bid to be elected as a Police and Crime Commissioner.
Voters in Humberside rejected the former deputy prime minister, Labour’s most high-profile candidate, and elected a little-known Tory instead.
Lord Prescott was the most significant casualty on a day of political bloodbaths for the three major parties, which saw voter turnout at record lows.

Across Britain the public rejected Tory, Labour and Lib Dems to elect a raft of independent candidates.
The nationwide turnout of just over 14 per cent was the worst on record in a nationwide poll, as ballot boxes in some polling stations were left empty when not one single voter showed up.
In a further blow for the establishment parties, the UK Independence Party recorded some of its best results ever, seizing votes from the Tories and pushing the Lib Dems into fourth place in several seats.

Lord Prescott led after the first round of votes in Humberside, but when second preferences were taken into account the 74-year-old was overtaken by councillor and Tory candidate Matthew Grove.
After his defeat by more than 2,000 votes – on a turnout of just 19 per cent he polled 39,933 to Mr Grove’s 42,164 – Lord Prescott said he did not think he would stand for election again.
In a characteristically long, rambling losing speech, he criticised the creation of the post he had hoped to fill, and complained about the cost of the poll.
He said: ‘I said at the beginning, this is a Tory marginal seat. It’s not a safe Labour seat. It’s not even a Labour seat. It would have been nice but it wasn’t so. The people have spoken.’
Addressing public disinterest in the elections, he went on: 'They didn't turn out in the numbers that anyone would want.
'We have got a low turnout and I don't think that's an easy thing to live with.'

Lord Prescott stood for the election despite having vocally criticised the creation of the new police chief posts. He is now expected to return to the House of Lords.
It is his first personal experience of electoral defeat since he stood for Parliament in 1970. If he had won, he would have taken home an estimated £155,000 from taxpayers in salary and pension payouts.
The peer gave an indication of his electoral chances when he told waiting reporters to 'b***** off' earlier on Friday after they asked if he was feeling confident.

Tory MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, said: ‘The result in Humberside shows that the local voters went for quality rather than quantity.
‘The last thing people want is a failed minister running their local police. They were offered a household name and they would rather have someone who is quietly competent.
‘The days when politics is dominated by so-called big beasts from Westminster is coming to an end.’

Local businessman Mr Grove, 49, who runs a successful building services firm, has pledged to cut police red tape and sell off the expensive premises used by the Police Authority and use the money for a community crime fighting fund.
The result was the silver lining on an otherwise dismal day for the Tories who saw the public react with a mixture of apathy and outright contempt for their flagship law and order policy. Tens of thousands of voters spoiled their ballot papers in an apparent rejection of the new elected police chief roles.
At one polling station in Newport, South Wales, not a single vote was cast and ballot boxes were returned empty.
The elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, announced a review of the poll, saying turnout was ‘a concern for everyone who cares about democracy’.
Critics said low turnout meant the new police bosses – who will be paid up to £100,000 a year – would struggle to claim a mandate.

Lib Dem president Tim Farron said it would be ‘extremely difficult’ for PCCs to claim a mandate and warned their legitimacy would be ‘compromised’.
Tory backbencher Conor Burns, the MP for Bournemouth, wrote on Twitter: ‘I suspect we will live to regret creating these Police Commissioners. I regret voting for the Bill.’
Aside from Lord Prescott’s defeat, a number of Labour ‘retreads’ and MPs who featured in the expenses debacle were elected to PCC roles.
Alun Michael, who was forced to repay almost £20,000 in expenses blaming ‘clerical errors’, was elected in South Wales. Jane Kennedy, who stood down as an MP after complaining about a ban on employing her partner in the Commons, won the Merseyside poll. Vera Baird, the former solicitor general, who put through a £286 expenses claim for festive decorations, won Northumbria.
The vote threw up a number of surprise results, including the Tories losing Kent to an independent, the former Police Authority chairman, but winning Dyfed-Powys, expected to be a Labour win.
A Labour spokesman pointed to its win in Bedfordshire despite the seat being 24th on its target list. A former judge won in North Wales and seven former police officers were elected.
Elected commissioners will set the priorities for policing in their force areas. They will have some control over budgets and, significantly, will hold the power to hire and fire the Chief Constable.

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