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West Midlands police commissioner - appointing me was a mistake

Bob Jones spoke out as an influential committee of MPs said commissioners were still “on probation” two years after the first elections

West Midlands police and crime commissioner Bob Jones
Bob Jones

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has said appointing him was a “mistake” and overall the experiment hasn’t been a success.

Bob Jones spoke out as an influential committee of MPs said commissioners were still “on probation” two years after the first elections.

The Home Affairs Committee said a poor turnout of less than 15 per cent meant the value of PCCs would be doubted until more people voted.

And committee chairman Keith Vaz added that PCCs should be elected along with their staff in the 2016 elections to stop them hiring “cronies”.

Mr Vaz said: “Deputies should not be cronies that are given their job on the basis of nepotism.

“By electing them on the same ticket we ensure that the public will be able to have their say on someone who often acts with the powers of the commissioner.”

Bob Jones agreed that the introduction of commissioners was “a mistake” but rejected claims of cronyism in his appointments and said he had declared his deputy during the election.

He said: “The police and crime commissioner model of police governance remains fundamentally flawed.

“It remains the case that spending £100 million at a time of cuts to policing to create a new class of politicians the public clearly doesn’t want was a mistake – particularly as there is no evidence that crime’s fallen or public confidence increased.

“In fact, the opposite appears to be the case; crime has at best flatlined, and confidence is under pressure too.

“As the Home Affairs Select Committee recommends, I announced right at the start of the campaign that experienced and respected Birmingham councillor Yvonne Mosquito would be my deputy, so voters knew who they were going to get.

“Appointments to the Strategic Policing and Crime Board followed an open competition, and the members of the board include people from all three major political parties, and independent members who stood or campaigned against me in the election.

“It’s also much more diverse with women, African-Caribbean and Asian members.

“I would advise doing everything we can to build consensus and stability in how we support and scrutinise policing, possibly including a Royal Commission.”

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