The Liberal Democrat candidate for Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) says she will reduce the commissioner’s central office costs and put more resources into front line services.
Market Harborough resident Dr Sarah Hill, the only woman in the contest, said: “The last (Conservative) Police Commissioner spent over £1 million per year on their office.
“By minimising the costs of the central office, I want to spend more money on operations, putting more resources into the frontline where the public needs them.”
Dr Hill, a former Robert Smyth pupil and current Harborough District and Leicestershire County councillor, said the last Police Commissioner spent too much on employing people in strategic and consultative roles.
She said she is standing on a platform of challenging the status quo by reducing central office costs and creating a more visible presence of police on the streets.
“The biggest complaint I get from local residents is that they don’t see as many police officers as often as they used to” she said.
“It can feel like the police have retreated and are too overstretched to deal with low level problems such as anti-social behaviour.”
Dr Hill’s other policies include better working with partner organisations to tackle the causes of crime, such as mental health.
She also wants new management methods to reduce bureaucracy and increase the effectiveness of frontline staff and the use of volunteers to increase intelligence gathering and visibility.
“I want to revolutionise how Neighbourhood Watch works, to make it more active and useful to police intelligence” she said.
She said she hoped that bringing new ideas to the contest will bring life to “what otherwise threatens to be a very dull debate”.
“The Tories appear to be treating this as a coronation rather than a contest” she claimed. They think because they won last time they can simply expect to win again. That’s not acceptable. Leicestershire has had four years of a Tory PCC with a poor record on partnership working, wasting large sums of public money on a pointless judicial review and running an office that costs over £1 million a year. Leicestershire needs someone with fresh ideas in order to make sure the service delivers for them and that’s why I’m running.”
Dr Hill urged the public to get out and vote for their choice of Police and Crime Commissioner. In the 2012 elections, the turnout nationally was poor - under 15 per cent. The election is on Thursday, May 5.
Dr Hill has been a district councillor for 14 years and a county councillor for 12.
She served as a member on the Police Authority for a number of years when it was a county council responsibility, and was appointed to the role of vice chair. She said: “I bring a wider point of view, a scientific background and a different perspective.”