Embargoed: 00:01 Thursday 2 June 2022
The TaxPayers’ Alliance have found that introducing mandatory deputy police and crime commissioners (PCCs) could see bosses taking home an additional £1.4 million on top of the existing £77 million police commissioner budget.
With eight top commissioners taking home more than £100,000 in total remuneration - including in West Yorkshire, Avon & Somerset, Hampshire, and Merseyside - PCCs received an average of £90,184 in total remuneration last year. Total remuneration for deputy PCCs varies across forces, from £31,000 in North Wales to over £76,000 in Essex. The second highest remunerated deputy PCC was in Thames Valley and received more than £75,000. Introducing deputy PCCs would mean an almost 200 per cent increase in their current cost of £680,097 in 2020-21. Some PCCs already have offices of up to 26 staff.
The research also showed that, with budgets totalling £76.7 million, the majority of offices for police and crime commissioners (OPCCs) underspent by an average of £313,976 in 2020-21. The total not spent was over £6 million, meaning savings could be passed on to the following year and police precepts not raised further on struggling taxpayers. Despite this, more than three quarters of commissioners raised the precept by the maximum or near-maximum £15 in 2021-22, including West Mercia which underspent by over £1.26 million.
Government ministers have committed to legislating for new deputy PCCs, and the Draft Victims Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech aims to grant a ‘greater role’ for PCCs. Any commissioner can already appoint a deputy, meaning making them mandatory would place an unnecessary additional burden on the taxpayer. With yearly increases in police precepts adding to taxpayers' council bills, the TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling on the government to drop plans to make deputy PCCs mandatory.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE RESEARCH
The total budget for OPCCs across England and Wales in 2020-21 was £76.7 million. The amount spent was £6,192,685 less than the original budget for 2020-21.
The total cost of remuneration for PCCs was £2.9 million in 2020-21.
Deputy PCCs received total remuneration ranging from £31,223 to £76,434 in 2020-21, and the total cost to taxpayers was £680,097 in 2020-21.
If the government legislates that all PCCs must have a deputy, the increase in remuneration would be £1,412,505, amounting to £2,092,602 overall.
- 21 PCCs raised the precept by the highest possible amount before a referendum is triggered (£15 for the year 2021-22). Ten other PCCs raised the precept by near the highest possible amount. This was 78 per cent of police and crime authorities.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE RESEARCH
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
“Taxpayers want forces to focus funding on bobbies on the beat, not pay and personnel for police commissioners.
“While a good case can be made for elected police bosses, there’s little reason for them to be taking on unnecessary deputies and overseeing endless rises in the policing precept.
“These commissioners should not be allowed to become as costly and bureaucratic as the police authorities they replaced.”
TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Notes to editors:
Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at www.taxpayersalliance.com.
TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.
- In 2015, the TaxPayers’ Alliance found that OPCCs spent 14.7 per cent more on average in total remuneration than police authorities, but less overall.