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Kent PCC: You can't keep emphasis on the negative

Ann Barnes, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for employing Britain's first youth PCC Paris Brown said today's report by the Home Affairs Select Committee is "very negative".

Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Credit: Daybreak

Responding to claims that scrutiny is needed to prevent PCCs from "maverick decision making" she said her appointment of Ms Brown was not maverick but "a manifesto promise".

"That was one decision I made, it didn't turn out as I wanted it to unfortunately," she added, "you cannot keep emphasis on the negative."

Home Office: 'By law' PCCs must register interests

A Home Office spokeswoman has responded to calls for greater scrutiny from PCCs, she said by "by law" they are expected to publish a register of interests, including budgets and expenses.

The local electorate will judge whether PCCs are making best use of public money and hold them to account at the ballot box.

Police reforms are working and crime is falling - by more than 10% under this government.

PCCs have brought democracy into policing for the first time and given people a real say over priorities in their area.

The Home Office will consider the committee's recommendations.

– Home Office spokeswoman


Labour: PCC register is 'vital for accountability'

The chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee said that a national register for PCCs is "vital for local accountability".

Keith Vaz MP said: "We need to guard against maverick decision-making," he added, "the Government is going to publish a register of chief constables' interests, but has so far refused to do so for PCCs, who share the power over policing."

Labour MP Keith Vaz Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Archive

Last year PCCs replaced police authorities in 41 force areas across England and Wales, they were handed the power to set force budgets and even hire and fire chief constables.

A report from the Committee said Home Secretary Theresa May was "keen to distance herself from any responsibility to assess the performance of the PCCs", stating that they were ultimately "accountable to the electorate".

MPs warn stronger scrutiny needed from PCCs

MPs have warned that stronger scrutiny is needed from elected police commissioners to prevent "maverick decision making".

The Home Affairs Select Committee found that only a quarter of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) had revealed certain financial data, despite being required by law to do so.

Stronger scrutiny is required of elected police commissioners to prevent "maverick decision making", a damning report by MPs has warned Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Home Secretary Theresa May previously shot down the idea of a national register of PCCs' interests, pay, perks and hospitality, but a recent report from the committee said it is "vital".

It comes after a string of heavily-criticised decisions made by commissioners including the suspension of a chief constable in Lincolnshire and the hiring of a youth commissioner in Kent.