Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has defended his role in Lancashire after the Labour Party announced plans to scrap the office if elected next year.
Mr Grunshaw, who was Labour’s candidate for the £85,000-a-year job almost two years ago, issued a statement stressing the “significantly positive contributions” made by PCCs since they were introduced in November 2012.
And if there was to be change, the former county councillor said he would “wholeheartedly support proposals which move the PCC system forward.”
Mr Grunshaw’s comments came after Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper announced Labour would abolish the role if returned to power.
“This was Theresa May’s flagship reform and it just hasn’t worked,” she said.
“The model is just fundamentally flawed. They spent £80m on the original elections. It will cost £50m to hold the next elections.
“To spend all that money on something where so few people vote, when you could put that money back into policing is wrong.”
Since elected, several PCCs have been in the public eye for the wrong reasons, including Mr Grunshaw who was the subject of a drawn-out investigation into his expenses as a councillor before he came to office. He was totally exonerated, although the inquiry took the best part of a year to conclude and diverted attention from his job.
Responding to Mrs Cooper’s statement, he said: “Since their election, I firmly believe Police and Crime Commissioners across the country have made significantly positive contributions to the communities they serve. Here in Lancashire we have done that on a budget far smaller than that of the Police Authority I replaced.
“I am revolutionising support for victims, driving forward awareness around key priorities such as child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, have secured Pioneering Place status for the county’s work on early intervention.
“Above all I am an accountable figure residents can contact and share their concerns about policing with. This is in contrast to a Police Authority which, although hard-working, was largely anonymous.”