South Yorkshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright says he couldn’t rule out sacking the Chief Constable if the public were unhappy with the force’s performance.
Mr Wright, who says he will not be afraid to take ‘robust decisions’ in his new role, said one of his first tasks will be to produce a plan of action alongside Chief Constable David Crompton, and get to grips with how the force’s £251 million budget should be spent.
He said he couldn’t rule out replacing the chief if residents complained about the force’s future performance.
“If the public were constantly telling me they were not satisfied, clearly I would have to take a very robust decision to put that right,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s a decision we’ll come to in South Yorkshire, but I’m very much looking forward to making those sorts of judgements.”
He added: “I will be working very closely with the Chief Constable. “On Monday morning I’m going to sit down with the Chief Constable and have a discussion with him about what our priorities should be.
“They are currently implementing 20 per cent cuts, and there is still another £15m of cuts to implement.
“In Doncaster, burglary has been identified as a real priority, in Barnsley anti-social behaviour, and in Sheffield guns, gangs and drugs. In Rotherham there is anti-social behaviour, domestic violence and child grooming.”
He promised to make it his mission to rebuild the public’s trust in the police following the damning Hillsborough report and the Rotherham scandal over child grooming.
“We need to be vigilant constantly that the maximum amount of resources is being used to tackle this abhorrent crime,” Mr Wright said.
The new commissioner is a former local councillor, magistrate and school governor, as well as a former chair of Rotherham’s safeguarding children board.
Mr Wright has described his role as that of a ‘critical friend’ of the Chief Constable - while the chief himself says he considers the police commissioner ‘his boss’.
Mr Crompton said: “I’m glad to have reached the end of the election. This has been a long time coming, and in the past few months it’s created a degree of uncertainty for the force. I look forward to working with Shaun Wright as the new commissioner, and re-establishing some certainty as to what the future holds.”