Katy Bourne’s PCC cost saving claims

Katy Bourne is the Conservative candidate for the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) election, taking place on the 15/11/12.

The Sussex Conservatives have been distributing 250,000 copies of Katy Bourne’s PCC newsletter, which boasts that:

“The Police &  Crime Commissioner will cut bureaucracy and save the taxpayer money. The PCC will replace the 17 member Police Authority, who receive allowances totalling £245,000 a year.”

“The PCC will cost £85,000 – a 65% reduction in costs,  freeing up £160,000 a year to be spent on frontline policing.”

Unfortunately for Katy Bourne, this does not appear to be true!

Her figures would appear to be grossly inaccurate and therefore her claim of “a 65%  reduction in costs” is deeply misleading.

A visit to the website of the Sussex Police Authority and an examination of their ‘Statement of Accounts 2011/12′,  reveals that the true Members’ Allowances figure received was £179,000  (and the same figure for 2010/11) NOT the £245,000 figure Katy Bourne has quoted.

In addition, is Katy Bourne being incredibly naive and overly simplistic or is she deliberately misleading people when she claims that “the PCC will cost £85,000”?

Katy Bourne is ignoring the fact that when the Police Authority is abolished, a 17 member Police & Crime Panel (PCP) will be appointed to scrutinise the work of the PCC, with its own costs, which according to the Home Office website will be up to £68,640 pa :

PCP running costs of £53,300 pa + members’ expenses of £15,640 pa (up to £920 per member pa x 17 members) = £68,940.

Why aren’t these costs included by Katy Bourne in her Police & Crime Commissioner vs Police Authority cost comparison?

Given that Katy Bourne’s figures appear to be grossly inaccurate and misleading, then what possible hope is there, of her handling a Police budget of a quarter of a billion pounds?