Police authorities in Rutland and Lincolnshire prepare for new commissioners

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POLICE authority chairmen in Rutland and Lincolnshire have reacted to the news that the authorities will be scrapped and replaced with a Police and Crime Commissioner next year.

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill was made law by the Government last week meaning that, despite protests from police authorities and the public, the first commissioners will be elected next year.

The first elections have been postponed for six months from May to November to allow a transition period.

Leicestershire Police Authority chairman Barrie Roper of Kilburn End, Oakham, said: “It is regrettable that, despite widely voiced concerns, Police Authorities will shortly be replaced by an untried and untested governance regime.

“I still do not believe that the public want to see additional costs incurred to provide a governance structure at a time when police numbers are falling. They want to see their money spent on feet on the beat.

“However, we are all fully committed to the delivery of a smooth and seamless transition process that will have no negative impact on police performance.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the first commissioner inherits a police service that is impressively fit for purpose, financially sound and effectively managed.”

Police authorities are made up of elected local authority representatives and public figures and non-elected members of the public and are in place to assure there is efficient policing in an area.

Lincolnshire Police Authority chairman Barry Young said: “Despite these distractions, between now and the Police and Crime Commissioner taking office, we will continue to carry out our duties as conscientiously as ever, including holding the force most rigorously to account and ensuring the best possible policing.

“We are determined that the legacy we leave behind will be of a police authority which was truly effective and which served the people of Lincolnshire.”