Lincolnshire Police’s Chief Constable has hailed the election of independent candidate Alan Hardwick as the county’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.
Well-known former TV personality Hardwick was named as the election’s winner last night, following a day of busy vote counting.
And although low voter turnout across the country overshadowed the elections, now that the dust has settled the county’s Chief Constable, Neil Rhodes, believes Hardwick will be a ‘champion for victims and witnesses’ of crime.
Rhodes said that Hardwick had made it clear that his objective was to provide the best possible policing service to the county.
“He is committed to maintaining a strong front line of uniformed police officers on our streets and we share these objectives wholeheartedly,” said Mr Rhodes.
“Lincolnshire Police is a force that is currently performing strongly with crime well down and one of the best anti-social behaviour reductions in the country. Our real challenge is finance.
“Mr Rhodes said he was firmly committed to working alongside the commissioner to continue to drive costs down, but most of all to secure a fair and sensible funding package from government for the people of the county.
“So there is much work to do. Policing in Lincolnshire is delivered already at the lowest cost per head of population in the country and we face further cuts.
“My priority is to work with the commissioner to secure the best financial package to stabilise officer numbers on the streets of the county.
“When the commissioner steps through the front door on his first day he can look forward to a real welcome and full cooperation from the chief officers of the force.
“Backed by the electoral mandate, I know we will be held firmly to account for performance and service delivery and that he will be both challenging and intrusive. We believe that we can also look forward to support in equal measure.”
Mr Rhodes added that the new PCC role was much wider than that of the Police Authority it replaced.
“He will be the champion for victims and witnesses in the Criminal Justice System and in particular working with other elected members in the community safety and partnership world to get the most out of it for this county – and we welcome that,” he said.
“So, early days, but the PCC can expect a really positive attitude from the chief officers of Lincolnshire Police.”