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Chiefs need more support say PCCs

Improving support for Chief Constables must a be priority for Police and Crime Commissioners, one of the newly-elected leads has warned.

Merseyside's new PCC has warned more needs to be done to support Chiefs to avoid an exodus of experience at the top.

Emily Spurrell (Lab) told Police Oracle that senior officers are under pressure and not getting the development or back-up that they need.

"It's something we need to work on. What's surprising is the lack of support for the Chief Constables to be able to do their job," she said.

"They are expected to move round the country and more yet there is nothing in place for them depsite the pressure that has on things like family life. They also should be able to develop in their role; we need that experience." 

Her comments came as another PCC told MPs that they could help take pressure off chiefs by improving work with other agencies such as local authorities.

The government has introduced new legislation to demand forces work with councils to tackle issues such as knife crime.

Hertfordshire PCC and APCC Criminal Justice Lead David Lloyd told MPs vewing the legislation that it was not a job for Chiefs who need to be focused on enforcement work.

He said: “One of the benefits of Police and Crime Commissioners has been our ability to bring different parts of the criminal justice system together, along with local authorities, so that we can better ensure that we reduce violence and crime; that the lessons are properly learned and that we put support for victims and perpetrators in the right place.”

The updates were part of work getting the PCCs running again following the delayed elections.

A series of interim appointments have been announced by new Police and Crime Commissioners, but their own leader won’t be agreed until mid-summer.

An interim Chair will run the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners following the defeat of Paddy Tipping in the polls at the beginning of the month. A permanent lead will be voted in at the group’s AGM in July.

But one key post has already been filled.

Suffolk’s PCC has been confirmed as the new Chair of the National Rural Crime Network.

Tim Passmore takes over from Julia Mulligan who stood down as the Commissioner in North Yorkshire.

Mr Passmore has been Vice-Chair of the NRCN since its formation in 2014 and Peter McCall, the PCC for Cumbria, was chosen as the new Vice-Chair.

Mr Passmore said: “As a farmer and a businessman, I have seen all too often at first-hand the impact of crime on rural communities. For some it still can seem trivial. Too many within government, within the police and within the country as a whole, question whether crime like the theft of machinery from a farm is a big deal.”

He also signalled the group will continue with work to improve safety for vulnerable people living in rural areas including domestic abuse.

“I will continue and strengthen our work to know the true picture of crime in rural communities, understand the impact it has, and use that to ensure the police, government and others find solutions to the challenges that have existed for too long and blighted the lives of too many,” he said.

The new Cleveland PCC, Steve Turner (Con) has appointed the Chief Executive who stood in for his job after the resignation of Barry Coppinger last year.

Lisa Oldroyd had covered the PCC role until the elections and is now returning to an official role. She was previously the Assistant Chief Executive. Mrs Oldroyd’s appointment will be confirmed by Cleveland Police and Crime Panel in the coming weeks.

Mr Turner has also released Simon Dennis early from his post as Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer for Cleveland to take up a new role at North Yorkshire Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

Mr Turner added: “I want to thank Simon Dennis for his service. He has overseen many significant events during his seven years as Chief Executive and I wish him well in his new role in North Yorkshire.”

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