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Calls to Open Up Selection of Durham Chief Constable

by Craig Martin on 30 March, 2019

With the announcement of Durham Constabulary’s Chief Constable, Mike Barton, retiring, the process to select their successor will begin. Lib Dem Cllr Craig Martin is calling for this process to be opened up and allow a cross-party panel to be involved. This would normally be the sole responsibility of the elected Police and Crime Commissioner.

Lib Dem Cllr Craig Martin said, “I’m calling on our Police and Crime Commissioner to open up the process and ensure a cross-party collaborative approach is taken in this crucial decision. With such a tiny mandate, elected with a mere 18% of public involvement, they cannot rule like a dictator. The PCC must realise they need to bring the public with them on this decision rather than it being a selection, stitched up behind closed doors.”

Cllr Craig Martin went onto add, “Mike Barton will be sorely missed from the helm of Durham Constabulary. The reason we’ve got the best constabulary in the country is down to Mike and the whole team’s efforts. I’ve no doubt Mike’s methods and policing philosophy will be carried on while he takes a well-deserved rest from years of service.”

“But to get the best candidate that will continue Durham Constabulary’s award-winning success, the process needs to involve multiple people from different political persuasions. In County Hall, there is an opposition Councillor that sits on interview panels for senior appointments. The PCC should follow this example of good practice to ensure we get the best possible candidate to deliver safer streets across County Durham and Darlington.”

Ron Hogg was reelected as Durham Constabulary’s Police and Crime Commissioner for a second term on a turnout of 17.7%. With this position comes the responsibility of hiring and firing the constabulary’s chief constable.

During the election, Cllr Craig Martin as the Lib Dem PCC candidate campaigned to highlight the public’s lack of interest in this position that doesn’t have a credible mandate. Craig continues to hold the current PCC to account and remind them that their mandate is actually quite small.

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