MP slams police plans to spend £75k per year on Commissioner among £21m cuts

SIR Peter Tapsell has hit out at plans to appoint a police commissioner in Lincolnshire at a time when the force is facing massive budget cuts.

The force has to find savings of £21m by 2015 and has already axed 610 posts - including 140 police officers.

However, it is pressing ahead with plans to appoint a commissioner who would be paid an annual salary of £75,000.

Sir Peter, the MP for Horncastle, Louth and Woodhall Spa, said: “I am not at all keen on the idea of elected police commissioners.

“I think it will lead to the politicizing of police and I fear there will be continual disputes between the commissioner and the chief constable, particularly when you get an extreme left wing commissioner.

“I can imagine a lot of disputes would become public knowledge and that is the last thing anyone wants.

“I am totally against the idea and I won’t be involving myself in the process at all, no matter who the candidates are.”

Sir Peter’s stance flies in the face of official Government policy as Prime Minister David Cameron is one of the leading figures behind the scheme for commissioners.

All three main political parties will nominate candidates for the role in Lincolnshire.

Phil Dilks, who has been put forward by the Labour party, has already called for the idea to be shelved. He said it was wrong for the election to go ahead when police offers were being made redundant.

Sir Peter recently raised fears about the number of police officers in rural towns like Horncastle.

A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary showed crime across Lincolnshire had increased.

However, Inspector Mark French, the officer in charge of policing in the Wolds Area, revealed in the News last week that crime had fallen locally by almost 10 per cent in the last year.

l The first ever elections for Police and Crime Commissioners will be held on November 15 from 7am-10pm.