Contact Sue James: 07745116049 |


Help spread the campaign

Here is some information I have put together which I hope that you, your family and friends might use to create press releases or write letters to local papers to support the petition to scrap police & crime commissioner posts.

People can research other information, like the cost of the Police and Crime Commissioner office in their area (outside of Devon and Cornwall).

They can add their reason for signing the petition and give an update on the progress of the petition.

Sue James, Liberal Democrat Cornwall Councillor, was so incensed by the cost and low turnout of a recent Police and Crime Commissioner by-election, in West Midlands, that she has started a petition on the Government website calling for the elections in 2016 to be cancelled.

Find the petition here

That by-election cost over £3.7m and yet only 10.4% of those eligible to vote thought it was important enough to bother.

Next came the debacle over Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner who was the Councillor responsible for Childrens’ Services during many years of the Rotherham Child Abuse scandal.

Everyone from the Home Secretary to his own Deputy said he should stand down but no-one had the power to make him give up his post. He clung on for weeks before resigning and prompting yet another costly by-election, that not that many people were bothered about voting in.

Some Police and Crime Commisioner votes can cost £11.04 per vote cast!

The South Yorkshire by-election cost £1.6m but only 14.5% of those eligible to vote did so despite the high profile cause of the by-election.

When you look more closely at the turnout, it shows that outside of Rotherham itself, the turnout was dismal! Barnsley 11.9%, Doncaster 15.2%, Rotherham 18%, Sheffield 14.5%. It has been calculated that the election cost £11.04 for every vote cast.

In March 2013, the Electoral Commission reviewed the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections which took place in November 2012. It reported that less than 1 in 5 people voted in the elections, across England and Wales. This was the lowest peacetime turnout in a non-local Government election yet they cost £75m to run.

It is difficult to get a figure on the cost of Police and Crime Offices, across England and Wales, but judging by the high numbers of staff involved it seems increasingly likely that they cost more than the Police Authorities they replace.

BBC News in May 2013 reported that the 41 Police and Crime Commissioners had between them employed 449 staff. In Devon and Cornwall, the Cornish Guardian (4 July 2014) reported that the Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Hogg, employed 20 people at a cost of £1.8m.

Before the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners the aspiration of the Home Office was to “empower the public – increasing local accountability and giving the public a direct say on how their streets are policed” (Electoral Reform Society February 2013).

It is difficult to see how this aspiration has been achieved, bearing in mind a Populus Poll in January 2013 showed that only 11% of those surveyed could correctly name their Police and Crime Commissioner.

Sue James expressed the personal view “That no one person, no matter how brilliant and experienced, could adequately represent such a large number of voters and fulfill all the aspirations for the role.

It is therefore of no surprise that Commissioners are building large teams around themselves and I cannot help feeling that if the same resources were given to Chief Constables, they could engage better with the public themselves and provide local policing that most people want and deserve to feel safe in their communities.”

Sue James is inviting people who support her view to sign the petition on the Government e-petitions website.

4 out of 5 people did not vote in 2012 and some of those who did vote spoiled their ballot papers in a protest against the elections. If this message could reach a fraction of those people then 100,000 signatures should be really easy to achieve.



Police and crime commissioners budgets soaring, say MPs

Commons committee says new ‘crime tsars’ are more expensive than traditional police authorities

More than a third of police and crime commissioners are already costing the public more than the police authorities they were elected to replace last November, according to parliamentary research.

The Commons home affairs select committee says six months after their election, 17 out of the 41 PCCs have set budgets higher than the police authorities they replaced. The largest increase so far is a rise of 133% in Hampshire where the police authority budget of £1.5m last year has risen to £3.5m this year.

The first register of commissioners’ pay, interests, costs, second jobs and offices, published by the committee will also revive accusations of cronyism. It says at least 10 “political or personal contacts”, some with little or no experience of policing, have been appointed as deputy PCCs on salaries of up to £70,000 each.

Crime tsar forced to quit after she tried to gag court in cousin’s love triangle murder trial

  • Tafheen Sharif, 32, was Deputy Police Commissioner for Bedfordshire
  • She asked court for Naveem Dadd – her cousin – to not have name published
  • Miss Dadd was at the centre of a love triangle that nearly led to a murder
  • Her fiance was shot by a hitman hired by a love rival, Shahzad Mahroof
  • Miss Sharif’s intervention could have led to the whole case being abandoned

Controversial police commissioner Ann Barnes faces watchdog inquiry

Ann Barnes, the controversial police and crime commissioner for Kent, investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after car smash

Mrs Barnes has been involved in a number of controversies since she was elected in 2012.

She appointed Paris Brown, then aged 17, as Britain’s first youth crime commissioner but Miss Brown was later forced to resign from the £15,000-a-year job after it emerged she had posted offensive comments on her Twitter feed.

Mrs Barnes, a former teacher, apologised after taking part in aChannel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary earlier this year which officers complained made their force a “laughing stock”.

A spokesman for the police watchdog said in a statement: “The IPCC is investigating whether the police and crime commissioner for Kent was legally insured to drive when she was involved in a road traffic accident last month.

4:01PM BST 09 Oct 2014

Investigation into the deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for


Oct 8, 2014An investigation into allegations against the deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Ibrahim Master, is to be managed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).The investigation, which will be carried out by Lancashire Constabulary under the direction and control of the IPCC, will examine allegations of harassment and attempting to pervert the course of justice.The Lancashire Police and Crime Panel made a referral about Mr Masters’ conduct to the IPCC following an incident at a house in Blackburn in August.The investigation will be overseen by IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell.

– See more at:

A police and crime commissioner made a “serious error of judgement” by revealing the name of a whistleblower, an investigation has found.

In May, Avon and Somerset’s Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended over allegations he made inappropriate advances to female staff.

The Police and Crime Panel found Sue Mountstevens breached her own code of conduct by telling Mr Gargan who had made the allegations.

Last week, Ms Mountstevens apologised.

The panel said it had published its findings “as a matter of public interest” and said it was “clarifying its finding of a serious error of judgement, as opposed to a ‘mistake'”.

BBC News Bristol, 30 October 2014 Last updated at 16:16

Norfolk PCC’s son charged with causing death by dangerous


The son of the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner is to be charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Henry Bett, 26, is the son of farmer Stephen Bett, the former Tory chairman of Norfolk Police Authority who now serves as the independent PCC for the county.

Henry Bett, 26, of Thornham, Norfolk, has been summonsed to appear at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It relates to a collision at West Acre Road, Castle Acre on 4 December 2013.

The crash involved a Fiat people carrier and Fendt tractor. The female Fiat driver died at the scene.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “This is a private matter for Stephen and his family.”

BBC News Norfolk,11 November 2014 Last updated at 15:35