Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has cost local taxpayers less money than the former Police Authority, according to a report out today.
The report’s author, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, compared the running costs of the 41 PCCs in England and Wales for the last financial year 2013/14, with the cost of the Police Authority (PA) during its final year.
It showed the budget for the Gloucestershire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) was down by £142,293, the equivalent of a saving of 15.4%.
Although pay at the Gloucestershire OPCC was up by 2.2%, overall it was one of 23 OPCCs whose budgets were lower than under the old system.
TaxPayers Alliance Report shows OPCC budget down 15.4%
Gloucestershire one of 23 OPCCs costing less than Police Authorities
“You can’t compare like with like”, says Commissioner
No context for how the money is spent
The report also produced figures showing the cost of the OPCC per 1000 members of the electorate. These showed that during the period under review, Gloucestershire’s PCC Martin Surl spent on average about 5p more on each individual than other PCCs, but it is not clear whether the TaxPayers’ Alliance research was based on the number who voted in the 2012 election or those who were eligible to vote.
Mr. Surl said,
“It’s gratifying, but no surprise, that my office comes out well in this sort of report as providing value for money has always been my aim. Most important of all though is the work we do to make Gloucestershire a better place and it’s difficult to see how this kind of study is able to provide that kind of context.
“It makes no account of what has been achieved or how the money has been spent. There’s no reference to the savings made on projects like the new custody suite and investigations hub which would have cost millions more if we had adopted the police authority’s plans.
“There is no evaluation, either, of the benefits of the Police and Crime Plan which has brought together the public, private and voluntary sectors as never before? Or the 110 organisations and 197 local projects I have been able to fund to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
“To be honest, it’s about time these sorts of contrasts ended because the role has changed beyond recognition and you are not really comparing like with like.”