By Lauren Grice
Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner (PCC) Adam Simmonds has unveiled his budget plans for the region today (February 5th).
Speaking to the Police and Crime Panel at County Hall, he set out plans to make the local force “the brightest and best”.
Mr Simmonds detailed aims to cut violent crime and curb anti-social behaviour, as well as tackling the “cycle” of drugs and drug-related crime.
“My commission’s ambitions are designed to raise awareness, to challenge the status quo, to push us to do more and go further,” he said.
The commissioner went on to call on policymakers in Westminster to “embrace” their localism agenda and trust local people to find the solutions to the problems they face.
Mr Simmonds claimed his team had produced a budget that will allow more resources to be diverted to fighting crime, without burdening the taxpayer with costs.
“I want a criminal justice system that challenges itself, seeks continuous improvement and places as much emphasis on prevention as it does on enforcement and punishment,” he explained.
However, Mr Simmonds’ budget decisions have been called into question, with BBC News reporting that the commissioner has advertised for three assistants, who will be paid £65,000 each year.
“I don’t accept the need for these particular posts. The government probably envisaged a PCC with one assistant, not the way it’s going at the moment,” Liberal Democrat panel member Brendan Glynane told the publication.
The issue is to be discussed at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel today, where Mr Simmonds’ budget proposals will be scrutinised.