Hampshire crime commissioner hunts for £60,000-a-year assistant

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THE police commissioner in Hampshire is set to appoint an assistant on up to £60,000-a-year – but an MP has said it is a kick in the teeth for communities suffering with an increase in crime.

Michael Lane’s office is hunting for an assistant police and crime commissioner to advise Mr Lane on criminal justice.

Michael Lane. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Michael Lane. Picture: Malcolm Wells

The ‘unique and influential’ job has been advertised since Friday and is for a two-year posting.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has called the job a ‘kick in the teeth’ for people in Portsmouth – and reiterated calls to spend cash on frontline police.

He said: ‘This latest announcement is a kick in the teeth for these communities suffering from increasing crime in our area.

‘It is high time Mr Lane starts listening, and most importantly, starts taking action to tackle concerns and rebuild our community’s confidence.’

Mr Lane previously told councillors on the police and crime panel that a part of a chunk of cash set aside for ‘essential staff’ costs would be for an assistant PCC.

The proposed moving of £440,000 into his revenue budget at the same time specialist police were being cut led to him losing a crucial budget vote.

Police officers were then polled in a confidence vote on Mr Lane led by Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter.

The job advert said: ‘This is a unique and influential role, advising the police and crime commissioner on criminal justice and leading on the strategic development and delivery of evidence-based policy, to achieve the goals of the commissioner in reducing and preventing offending and improving outcomes for victims and offenders.

‘As a member of the senior leadership team and reporting to the chief executive, you will work with other department heads to integrate a focus on criminal justice throughout the office.’

People with a post-graduate degree and a ‘network’ of contacts through the criminal justice system are wanted for the job.

It’s thought that the two-year posting coincides with the time Mr Lane would face re-election in 2020.

Mr Lane’s office has been asked to comment on the job.

It comes after Mr Lane’s appointed deputy Flick Drummond lasted just weeks before she quit by mutual agreement.

Former commissioner Simon Hayes appointed a deputy, Rob Jarman, and two assistants.

A spokeswoman for the office said: ‘The role is being advertised until April 15, with interviews planned for May.

‘Start date will depend on whether it is an internal or external appointment and relevant checks and notice period of the successful candidate.’

READ MORE: Under pressure: police panel members vow to keep eye on Hampshire crime commissioner