COMMENT: Working hard but public need to see some results

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Another bad day at the office for Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner Michael Lane.

A police superintendent employed by Mr Lane as his ‘staff officer’ has been redeployed to work on a neighbourhood policing project.

The appointment of a senior officer on a salary of £70,000 to assist Mr Lane was previously criticised by Hampshire Police Federation, whose chairman John Apter, representing the rank-and-file, said the posting sat ‘uncomfortably’.

Mr Lane is currently having to manage without a staff officer, and a spokeswoman for his office explained: ‘He and the chief constable are considering what this role needs to provide, and he is exploring how that can be best delivered in respect of current budget pressures.’

Mr Lane has also faced criticism for proposals to increase his office budget at a time of cuts to front-line policing.

Last week we reported he lost a crucial budget vote when the Police and Crime Panel approved a £12-a-year tax hike but insisted it must be spend on frontline policing.

Mr Lane had proposed to spend an extra £440,000 on ‘essential staff’.

Mr Lane recently told a meeting he worked more than 12 hours a day and had no plans to appoint a deputy.

Council tax payers will be delighted to learn that he is working so hard, but they could be forgiven for wondering when they might see the fruits of his labours.

Police and Crime Commissioners are elected officials in England and Wales charged with securing efficient and effective policing of a police area.

After recent controversies Mr Lane needs to work even harder to convince the public he is getting results.