Humberside Police spending & elected commissioners

On May 18 last year, it was revealed Humberside Police were going to spend £25K on a sculpture to sit outside its new Divisional HQ in Hull. This police station has not been built, and when the sculpture story was revealed, the building costs were estimated to be £26 million. Just two days later, it was revealed the building costs had risen by £7 million to £33 million.

Bringing this story up-to-date, the police authority is planning to spend a total of £43  million in the next two years on building projects, at a time when the authority has to make a least £22 million worth of savings in the next four years.

Unsurprisingly, the public is not happy, and enter the fray none other than Councillor Colin Inglis. Mr Inglis is a former chairman of the Humberside Police Authority, and has rightly criticised spending £43 million on building projects as a 'grandiose plan.' Well, he should know, as when he was leader of Hull City Council, he was responsible for wasting £650K buying a 'big screen' that hardly anyone watched and was subsequentially scrapped at the beginning of last year.

Mr Inglis went on to say, "Any new Police and Crime Commissioner may very well take a very different view of such a level of borrowing to create this 'Palace of Policing.'" Then a few days later he announced he would be seeking election as the new commissioner next year! In all fairness to him, he has criticised this spending in the past, and I agree the authority needs to think again, however the timing couldn't have been better for him.

We support elected police commissioners. It gives the public a say in how they are policed. I can't name a single member of Humberside Police Authority, and I bet there are very few people who can. This will be the same around the country too. Hopefully, when we do get a commissioner they will reverse these spending spending decisions, and at least one of the potential candidates has signalled they will, although I fear he will come up with grandioise projects of his own. He has form, not only as leader of Hull Council, but as the chairman of the police authority too!

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