Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has published a 16-page magazine detailing the work completed by his office since he was elected.
A total of 10,000 copies of the booklet, called Delivery Report 2015: Making Northamptonshire the Safest Place in England, will be distributed across the county in public areas such as libraries, doctors surgeries and leisure centres and it is also available to view online.
The magazine, which the crime commissioner said had cost in the region of £3,000 to produce, contains details of major initiatives such as the setting up of the victims of crime service Voice, investment in tackling child sexual exploitation and the merger with the fire service,
Mr Simmonds said he wanted to inform as many people as possible in the county about the work he had carried out during the past three years.
Mr Simmonds said: “I have not done a leaflet in the whole three years since I was elected and I though it was necessary, in my last few months, to produce a physical document that people could read.
“I need to make use of all the different forms of communication. A lot of people do not have online access or read newspapers to find out with the Office of the Crime Commissioners (OPCC) has been doing.
“If I did it every month, I could see why people would say that is not a good use of public money but this has just been done once in four years.
“40,000 people voted for me and they deserve to know what I have done since I was elected.”
Mr Simmonds believed he had succeeded in making the police and crime commissioner more high profile with a recent survey suggesting 70 per cent of people were aware of the role and 15 per cent of people aware of his name.
Writing in the magaazine, Mr Simmonds, said: “Police and Crime Commissioners are still new to the policing and justice system with developing and wide-ranging powers and it’s been important to me to keep Northamptonshire as aware as possible of exactly what it is we are doing to support our county.
“This booklet captures as succinctly as possible the kinds of things I believe matter and I think you should know about. It’s just another way of keeping in touch and showing how we are supporting you and your community.”
Councillor Danielle Stone, Police & Crime Panel Member, said: “Adam Simmonds record in office has been, at best, mixed. At times he has made some bizarre decisions such as announcing days after his election he would like to put a ‘Tardis’ in streets across the county.
“He also announced a head to head with his online critics and then pulled out at the eleventh hour. As Commissioner he announced Wootton Hall would be a free school which surprised us as we thought he should be focusing on policing not education.
“He got off to a bad start when decided to engage in ‘empire building’ and recruit a small army of staff. In early 2014 it emerged that he employed more people than any other police commissioner in England. His office was costing more than the old Police Authority.
“Clearly Mr Simmonds has not achieved value for money. As the number of people employed by Adam Simmonds grew the total number of paid police staff in our county fell. Scrapping the Hates Crimes Unit was a big mistake and sent out the wrong message.
“Only in the last few weeks HMIC has warned Northamptonshire Police that the force requires improvement in its approach to efficiency. It must get better on how it uses its resources to meet demand and to ensure that its workforce model is sustainable and affordable.
“I can’t see how merging the Police and Fire Service will improve service performance to be honest. I think it would be a disaster.
“After he announced he was standing down he finally admitted that the Government spending review could result in Northamptonshire Police having to make 20 per cent cuts. Cuts in police office numbers would be a disaster.
“His achievement has to been recruiting more special constables and raising the profile of special constables. Special Constables do a fantastic job.”
In the magazine, Mr Simmonds has also invited nominations for the inaugural Commissioner’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Northamptonshire, which will recognise individuals – one below the age of 24 and one above - who live or work in the county and have:
• Helped their county or fellow residents through one or more extraordinary acts; or
• Significantly contributed to reducing or tackling a long term or persistent problem; or
• Made a sizeable and meaningful impact on other peoples lives within Northamptonshire.
Shortlisted nominees will be invited to a celebratory awards event in March 2016, with the winner receiving their award on the evening from Mr Simmonds. Anyone wishing to nominate someone for this award can do so at northantspcc.org.uk/commissionersaward.