1. ITV Report

Police and Crime Commissioner to stand down

Richard Rhodes Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner has decided not to stand for re-election in May 2016.

Richard Rhodes said in a statement that he was making the decision "with mixed feelings".

The county's first PCC has been involved in schemes designed to help the victims of crime, including providing domestic and sexual assault advisors at hospitals.

He's also led restorative justice schemes.

In 2013 he was embroiled in controversy when details of him hiring a chauffeur driven Mercedes, costing £700, were leaked.

It was a huge privilege and honour for me to be elected to serve as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria in November 2012.

The three years since then have been extremely busy ensuring the Constabulary continues to fight crime and anti-social behaviour, in particular raising the profile of victims of crime and especially victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. During this time, the significant highlights have included; the launching of the county-wide multi-partner CCTV system, the operational opening of the new Police Station in Barrow scheduled for October and the forth coming launching of The Bridgeway (Sexual Assault Referral Service) offering enhanced support to victims of sexual violence across Cumbria which will include the county’s first own Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

During the remainder of my term, I will be completely focused in delivering the key final stages of Barrow and The Bridgeway as well as representing the views of the people of Cumbria to the Government in the consultations about the reform of police funding and the future of Workington and Kendal magistrates’ courts.

On a personal level, it has been a brilliant experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the role of Police and Crime Commissioner and especially my contact with the wonderful people who I have met and worked with. I have experienced at first-hand the excellent work of the Constabulary, local authorities, partners and people in the voluntary sector who keep Cumbria safe and secure.

Even if I was to be re-elected for a further four year term at the elections scheduled for May 2016, sadly, I cannot ignore the fact that, as a result of trying to carry out my duties across the whole of Cumbria, I could still be driving up to 2,500 miles a month around the county at the age of 78 and that is probably not a very good idea!

As a consequence, it is with very mixed feelings that I have decided not to stand for re-election in May 2016.

The role of Police and Crime Commissioner is very stimulating and challenging and I am of the view that the appropriate leadership qualities and necessary support of the Chief Constable and his colleagues in maintaining the current high levels of performance of Cumbria Constabulary in the coming years are in place.”

– Richard Rhodes, Police and Crime Commissioner